I might have said something on Facebook about posting my Saturday post on Sunday. And that might have been a lie. I might have skipped it altogether. I blame jetlag. And cookie chips, because they’re habit-forming and caused me to spend half of Sunday rocking in a corner fiending, which, by the way, does not make for productive blogging. Also: Newsroom. The characters on that show are so damn sharp! I like to tell myself that not everyone follows their quick dialogue like I do. That not everyone appreciates the conversations within conversations. That not everyone feels my deep, personal connection to Oliva Munn. All of this makes me feel smart. And therefore justified in dedicating a large portion of my day to HBO. Yay.
Perfect, then, that today’s recipe is totally time-wasting friendly. It’s a quick one-dish meal that has all the merits of takeout without the pricey guilt. You know, so you can mindlessly shovel mouthful after mouthful of rice down the hatch while you anxiously anticipate what exactly did happen to Maggie in Africa? (Still playing catch-up, no spoilers, please!)
This is summer food. Fast, satisfying and a great catch-all for the last few harvests of summer veg. That six-pound zucchini turning into a Jim Henson character in your backyard? He wants in. So does that head of CSA cabbage that’s daring you to make slaw. Again. And those scallions you’ve been regrowing from their slimy roots because you saw it on Pinterest. And the way-too-much basil you bought/planted/were gifted with by a generous green thumbed (please say it “thumm-edd”) neighbor.
Get. In. My. Ricey.
And don’t be intimidated by the generous inclusion of sweet, juicy Chinese sausage if you’ve never cooked with it before. It couldn’t be easier to prepare — and the taste and texture is something to be discovered, both salty and sweet, meaty yet marbled with plenty of porky fat. If you like breakfast sausage mopped through syrup or a little brown sugar on your bacon, get excited. I could go on and on about the versatile uses for this tasty treat, but I’ll save those for another day.
For now, let’s just concentrate on Rice, Rice, Baby.
Dunh dunh dunh duh-duh dunh dunh.
But really. Liking Newsroom makes me totally smart, right?
Simple Summer Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage
By Emily Stoffel (Adapted from years of eating my mom’s recipe!)
Cook time: 10 mins (plus rice cooking) | Serves 3 as a meal or 4-6 as a side
Note: Get as creative with the veggies as you like. Frozen peas and tiny, diced carrots are great kitchen staples that will more than do if your fresh produce is getting low. And a healthy zigzag of sriracha at the end never killed anyone.
- 2 cups uncooked long grain white rice
- 4 “lap cheung” Chinese sausages, such as Kam Yen Jan brand (available at most Asian markets)
- 1 generous drizzle toasted pure sesame oil
- 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/4 head purple cabbage, cored and finely sliced/shredded
- 2 small zucchini, thinly sliced into half-moons
- 2 scallions, finely sliced on the diagonal (white and green parts)
- 1 T oyster sauce
- 1 T light soy sauce (or more, to taste)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- freshly cracked black pepper
- fresh basil or cilantro for serving
Day 1: Make the rice/sausage.
Thoroughly rinse two cups rice until water runs mostly clear. Add rice to rice cooker pot and prepare per cooker instructions, going just shy on the water. (If using the stovetop method for rice, prepare rice as you would normally, going just shy on the water.) Lay sausage over rice. Cook rice per cooker instructions. Let cool, then refrigerate rice and sausage overnight.
Day 2: Fry that shiiii!
Thinly slice Chinese sausage on an angle. Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add generous drizzle of sesame oil. Add garlic. Quickly stiry-fry, about 30 seconds. Add sausage, cabbage & zucchini and stir-fry an additional minute or so, coating veggies and sausage well in the oil. Add rice, crumbling grains apart with your hand as you add them to the pan. Toss to mix with veggies, ensuring oil is evenly distributed through rice. Allow to fry a couple of minutes. Rice won’t crisp, but it will become even drier, each grain more distinct.
Push rice to the sides of pan, creating an empty zone in the middle of the pan. Add egg and lightly scramble until almost set. Reincorporate rice and add scallions.
Add oyster and soy sauces and toss all ingredients to distribute, adjusting to taste. Serve with fresh herbs and plenty of cracked black pepper.