Thursday, August 13, 2009

Barbecued Pork Fried Rice...

Yesterday, I got a bit of prep work out of the way by cooking up a mess of brown rice, using that convenient no-fuss method, to prepare this Barbecued Pork Fried Rice for dinner tonight.

"Aged" rice tends to works better for fried rice as it seems to be a little drier and can absorb the seasonings without becoming too mushy. If you can't find time to make a batch or don't have leftover rice to use, you could prepare the rice the same day - just spread it into a thin layer on a baking sheet to quickly cool, then set it in the freezer for just about half an hour to speed the process.

The quick sauce used to coat the center-cut piece of pork loin we used was a combination of hoisin sauce, soy sauce, fresh garlic, a squirt of ketchup and just a healthy pinch of Chinese five-spice for a special warmth. Roasted until it was cooked through, leaving a nice pink tinge to the center, once the pork had a chance to cool down, the loin was divvied out into cubes for easier eating. If you know you'll be short on time the night you want this, the pork can be done a day or two ahead of time and kept chilled in the refrigerator - since I made the rice ahead of time, I went and prepared the pork too.

Since we had those ingredients prepared and ready to go, getting this fried rice dish on the table took less than twenty minutes! A couple handfuls of thinly sliced leeks and a spoonful of grated ginger from the knob I keep in the freezer were softened in a slick of hot oil, followed by a splash of Chinese rice wine and the grassy snow peas and to be cooked crisp-tender. The grains of rice and pork were then added and tossed around the skillet to warm through. As the rice hits the heat, it opens itself up to the seasoning liquids we were about to add - soy sauce, chicken broth, salt and fresh ground black pepper.

If we had a rotation schedule of recipes, I wouldn't hesitate to throw this into the mix, especially with how quick it comes together with a bit of prep work that can be done ahead of time. While there wasn't anything that was earth shattering about it, this dish felt very cozy and nourishing, without feeling boring or bland. I do think it could handle a bit more vegetables if you wanted to bulk it up or to swap out the peas - broccoli, carrots or even bok choy sound good to me. Mushrooms would be nice for an earthy note, but I didn't feel like pushing my luck this time - maybe when "someone" begins to ask for them I won't hesitate as much (um, yeah - wishful thinking I know!).


  1. This looks awesome, Joe! I just never seem to have leftover rice when these kinds of recipes come up - it really does make a difference!

  2. I usually cook a bit of extra rice and freeze it in saran wrap in single portions. A minute or so in the microwave and it's good to put in soup, use for fried rice, or accompany a stir-fry. I wish I had some in the freezer right now...Pork Fried Rice looks great!!!

  3. Mitch - Yes, we usually have cooked rice in the freezer too!