Friday, May 24, 2013

NomNom: Hawaiian Fried Rice

Food confession time. I'm in love with spam.

It all started when I was a young child when my mom would make us kimchi jjigae (a delicious kimchi stew) with spam in it or put it in gim bap (korean version of sushi rolls). I loved having it in my kimchi jjigae so much that I would refuse to eat it if she cooked it with another type of meat. Gosh, I was such a brat. Sorry mom.

Most people probably might find Spam to be gross and overtly salty but I love it anyway. Spam, rice, and roasted pieces of seaweed with a side of kimchi is one of the most simplest and satisfying meals to me. When I was on vacation in Hawaii during my childhood, I distinctly remember going into a 7 Eleven and seeing individiually wrapped musubi sold as snacks! It's basically spam sandwiched into rice, all wrapped in seaweed. So perfect. So great.

When I first came across this recipe, I was intrigued about this take on non traditional fried rice. I loved the idea of using sweet and salty together for this dish, but the only problem I had with this recipe was that they used ham. I mean, the recipe is titled Hawaiian fried rice so it's only appropriate to use Spam. Le duh.

Leftover rice from the past week or even from your take out/delivery is the perfect excuse to whip this incredibly easy dish in about 30 minutes. But, let's face it. Do we need an excuse to make really good fried rice?

Hope you enjoy the long holiday weekend ahead. I'll be spending mine in NYC visiting my sister:) Xo.

Recipe (Adapted from Cook's Country) Yields: 4
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon hot sauce (like Tapatio or Sriracha), more or less to taste (I used 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon vegetable, canola or peanut oil
2 cups cooked, chopped ham (I used Spam)
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
6 green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
5 cups cooked rice, white or brown, cold
3 large eggs
1-2 cups pineapple pieces

 1. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil and hot sauce. Set aside. In a large nonstick skillet or electric frying pan heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil until rippling and hot. Add the ham, red bell pepper, and the chopped white parts of the green onions. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and the red pepper is tender (but not mushy), about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook another minute. Scrape the mixture onto a plate and set aside.

2. Heat another teaspoon of oil in the skillet until hot. Add the cold rice and cook, breaking up large clumps, until the rice is heated through, 5-6 minutes.

3. Push the rice to one side of the skillet and heat the last teaspoon of oil on the empty side of the skillet. Crack the eggs into the hot oil and stir lightly with a spatula or wooden spoon, cooking until the eggs are lightly scrambled and set. Stir the eggs and the ham mixture into the rice. Pour the soy sauce mixture into the rice and cook, stirring, until thoroughly combined and hot.

4. Off the heat, stir in the pineapple and green parts of the onions. Serve immediately.

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