Sunday, January 11, 2009

Stir Fried Rice, a delicious resolution

Forces have aligned to make this an auspicious year for accomplishing resolutions! Here's greeting the Year of the Ox with Kung Hei Fat Choy, which means good luck, prosperity and longevity. The Year of the Ox, begins Monday, January 26 and signifies a time to sweep away old habits and start anew. What better way than to jumpstart the process with a healthy, easy and delicious Pineapple Fried Rice using my simple stir fry technique.

Some of my fondest childhood memories of growing up in Hong Kong include the rituals, ceremonies and foods during Chinese New Year's two week celebrations. Many traditional dishes are served because they symbolize good luck like uncut noodles represent long life, dumplings represent good luck packaged inside, and fried rice signifies prosperity.
In Asia, fried rice is either an elegant banquet dish or a homestyle staple which uses leftovers. Fried rice is an all-time favorite Chinese dish in America and the most requested dish I get asked in my Wok Star Cooking Classes. Even picky eaters and kids love it because it's a one-dish wok meal combining tasty flavors, different textures and rainbow colors.

I realize it takes more than willpower to fulfill resolutions so to help make it happen, I published a recipe card and also produced a video for Pineapple Fried Rice (a joint video project with Del Monte Fresh). You can also see the video in the side bar.
In the video, you'll discover the simple secrets to achieving perfect fried rice. The most common complaints I hear are, "sticky" rice and "soupy" veggies, so it's important to use the right wok and technique to guarantee success. And that's why I put together a Wok Star Kit to demystify the art of stir frying with DVDs and a "recipe-free" technique.

Here's the recipe but remember...
Create your own variations by substituting ingredients. That's what being a Wok Star is all about!

What you'll need
3/4 lb ham, cubed
4 cups day old, white rice, break up lumps
1 cup pineapple, cubed, save juice for sauce
1 red bell pepper, cubed
3/4 cup frozen peas
2 scallions, thin rounds
3 eggs with dash of San-J tamari
2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
2 slices fresh ginger, diced
2 1/2 tbsp. canola oil for frying

2-3 tbsp. San-J tamari
2 tsp. medium drinking sherry
dash of white pepper
Juice from pineapple

Gather all prepped ingredients (including eggs and sauce) around wok. Here's order for stir frying :

First, fry vegetables...Heat wok till you see a wisp of smoke (for cast iron woks only.) Add 1 tbsp. of oil, then add half of the diced garlic and ginger. Add vegetables and pineapple, stir fry quickly. Add scallions at the very end so they don't overcook. Remove ingredients and put them on a serving platter.

Next, fry eggs...Heat wok till hot, add 1/2 tbsp. oil, add the eggs and scramble, keeping the eggs soft (use low heat so they don't overcook). Set aside with veggies. If wok has eggs stuck to it, wash out and dry.

Then fry rice and ham...Heat wok till hot, add 1 tbsp. oil, add garlic and ginger, then add rice and ham. Warm thoroughly. Add vegetables, then sauce, and combine thoroughly by stir frying. Last, add eggs and break up as you mix but don't overcook them. They should remain soft and fluffy.

Pineapple is what makes this Fried Rice so special and sweet. Enjoy!...

This new year, instead of being a spectator watching chefs cook on television or being a passive diner, my mantra is anyone can be a Wok Star and make healthy, tasty, sizzling, wok creations right in your own home! Wok Stars agree my Kit is the solution to achieving their resolutions for longevity, prosperity and good luck.

You can find out more about Year of the Ox, predictions and horoscopes, celebrities and compatibility.

For a lot more about Chinese New Year traditions on what to eat, wear and how to decorate your home.

Those who live in South Florida, you're in luck because I am giving two Special Chinese New Year Wok Star Classes: Arclinea Miami in Coral Gables, Sat. Jan.10, 12pm-3pm
Gibson Guitar Showroom in Design District, Wed. Jan.21, 6:30pm-9:30pm

You can also subscribe to my FREE newsletter focusing on Asian culture, cuisine and beyond.

Kung Hei Fat Choy!
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