April 23, 2011

Let the Cooking Begin!

Why not start off the list with some Thai-Infused Chicken Fried Rice!
This idea came to mind from going out to eat at a popular lunch spot. In Anchorage, there are contemporary Asian markets called "Sagaya." Inside they have various choices in Asian foods and cookware. Aside from that, you will most likely see me there eating from their food line. They have a good selection of entrees and side dishes. The main staple you receive is either steamed rice, fried rice, or noodles. I tend to go with the fried rice, which I really like; however, I know I can make it better at home.

Using a combination of random assorted vegetables, chicken, rice, with various sauces and spices, a masterpiece is born. First, lets begin with the Thai infusion. This flavor comes from the Thai chili peppers (roasted, dried, or normal). With a similar flavor, it can also be interchanged with Fried Chili Paste (a Korean paste I believe).

Preparation time: 30-45 minutes
Feeds approx. 4 people (a family!)

This recipe is not final and can be changed in accordance to your liking.

  • Big Wok or Wide Frying Pan (cover top is also useful, but not required)
  • Rice Cooker or you can cook rice in a pot
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Mortar or Knife (for crushing/dicing chili peppers)

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 4-8 cloves of garlic
  • 1-3 eggs
  • 4 cups of assorted vegetables
    • This could be anything you want! peas, carrots, bok choy, cabbage, broccoli, onions, water chestnuts, squash, green beans, etc...
  • 2-4 oz. of oil (any really, but i prefer olive oil. Sometimes I switch it up with sesame oil)
  • 3-5 Thai peppers or 1 Tbs of fried chili paste
  • 3-4 cups of cooked rice (white or brown)
  • 3-5 Tbs of soy sauce
Cooking Instructions:

First, you need to get your rice cooking. I prefer brown rice in this meal, because it is a bit harder and chewier. While white rice tends to become mushy, depending on how you cooked it. Put 2 oz. of oil in the wok, place it on the stove set to medium-high heat (7 of 9), with the 4 cups of vegetables placed in it. Cover those veggies and let them cook, stirring them around every minute or two.

While those are cooking, cut up the chicken and dice the garlic cloves. I suggest cutting the chicken into thin slices, you generally get some chicken in each bite this way. If the veggies were frozen, 10 minutes of cooking should do; otherwise, 5-7 minutes will do. Once you are done cooking the veggies, put them in a separate bowl and set them aside.

Now lets get that Thai infusion started! Get those chili peppers and grind/pound them in a mortar. If you do not have a mortar, just finely finely dice them up. If you decide to use fried chili paste, just get that 1 Tsp and you are good to go!

Put another 2 oz. of oil in the wok, same heat, and add in the diced garlic and chicken slices. Fry these up until they start turning a very light shade of brown. Continue cooking them, but add in the Thai chili peppers/fried chili sauce. Mix it around real good, or else there will be one bite in there with an explosive kick! After mixing, Add in 1-3 eggs, I suggest 2. These eggs can either be beaten before hand or you can just mix it in the wok with the chicken. Once the eggs are solidified, add in those veggies you set aside!

By this time, your rice should be done (brown rice should take a little bit longer). If it isn't finished, just set the wok on low, (1 or 2) and let it keep warm until the rice is finished. Once it is finished, turn the heat back up to medium-high and add in at least 3 cups of rice or more. Mix this around really well to balance out the rice. Once everything is balanced, disperse at least 3 Tbs of soy sauce among this delicious mixture. If you want a stronger soy/saltier taste, add in more soy sauce. If you want a sweeter taste, add in some sugar!
Let that soy sauce soak into everything while stirring for a minute or two and you are done.

I hope you enjoy your meal of Thai-Infused Chicken Fried Rice!

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