Monday, September 21, 2009

Fried Rice with Saffron, Ginger and Tomatoes

Have never cooked with saffron before, and so couldn't resist adding this recipe (from Serious Eats) to the fried rice chronicles. It turned out a tad too brassy from the healthy dollops of salt and pepper (mistakenly heavy in the case of the latter), but still flavorful and good served cold the next day. Will definitely try it again with a couple of modifications (in parentheses); may also adopt this method of cooking the egg for fried rice.
  • small pinch of saffron (used two)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, pureed
  • 1-1/2 tsp. ginger, minced (used 2-1/2 tsp.)
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (used about 2/3 cup)
  • 1-1/4 tsp. salt (will halve this next time)
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper (will actually use this next time - ended up with about 1 tsp.)
  • 3 cups cooked rice, crumbled
  • 1/4 tsp. oyster sauce
  • 1/3 cup scallions, chopped
  • soy sauce to taste (skipped this)
Put saffron in a small bowl with 1 tbsp. water. Stir gently, then set aside.
Put 1 tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Crack egg into a bowl and whisk in 1 tbsp. water. When skillet's hot, pour in the egg, tilting the pan to spread it so it coats the bottom (like an omelet). Once the egg has set, which should take somewhere between 2-4 minutes, scrape the egg into a bowl and break up into bite-sized pieces.
Pour the rest of the oil into the skillet and turn the heat to high. When it's hot, add the ginger; cook for about 15-30 seconds, stirring often.

Add the saffron water and tomato puree. Cook, stirring often, till most of the water evaporates - about 3-5 minutes.

Add the sliced onions. Cook for one minute.

Add the rice, salt, pepper and oyster sauce. Cook for 2 more minutes, stirring to homogenize the mixture.

Add the peas and cooked egg. Stir for another minute.

Add soy sauce to taste and garnish with scallions.

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