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rice

Featured/ Vietnamese Recipes

Shrimp and Swiss Chard Fried Rice

Nothing satisfies my hunger more than a big bowl of fried rice. My mom makes the best fried rice, and in the first few weeks after having my baby, she would bring me food every second day or so and I would often request her fried rice because it’s satisfying and easy to reheat and eat. Unfortunately for you guys, I have yet to learn her recipe but I do have my own version that I make.

There are some universal basics to making a good fried rice. First of all, the cooked jasmine rice needs to be cold. Day old rice is best. I usually will make a big serving of rice the night before for a meal to ensure that I will have enough leftover rice to make fried rice the next night. Second, there is usually scrambled eggs in the rice. And then there is a protein and some vegetables. The protein and vegetables is where you can add your own twist to the recipe. The most basic, Westernized version of fried rice will have chicken as the protein and frozen peas/carrots as the vegetables (this is what you’ll get at most Chinese restaurants!).

Side note to my Regina readers: If you want a delicious, unique fried rice from a Chinese restaurant in Regina, go to Peking House and order the salted fish fried rice. It’s not on the menu, but they’ll know what you want if you say salted fish fried rice. Order a beer with it and enjoy. You’re welcome.

I’ve elevated my fried rice game a bit, and I often make this shrimp and swiss chard fried rice. As mentioned in an earlier post, always use black tiger shrimp! It’s more expensive but it’s the best quality shrimp to use in Vietnamese cuisine! There are a few reasons why I like to use swiss chard: 1) Alliteration 2) I feel like I don’t have enough greens in my diet so I’m always looking for ways to incorporate more greens into my recipes and 3) I use red swiss chard, and the stems add some colour and texture to the fried rice.

The recipe calls for seasoning sauce, and the brand that I use is Maggi. This brand must be 30+ years old because I remember my mom having this in the house when we were little. If you don’t have seasoning sauce, then just use soy sauce. It’s almost the same thing.

Maggi Seasoning Sauce, a staple in Vietnamese households

Pair this elevated fried rice with a cold light beer and enjoy!

Shrimp and Swiss Chard Fried Rice

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 12 black tiger shrimp, thawed, peeled, deveined, and chopped into small pieces
  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice (day old rice is best)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups, shredded Swiss Chard
  • 2 tbsp Maggi seasoning sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tsp fish sauce

Instructions

1

Season your cold rice with some salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.

2

Heat the canola oil in a wok or frying pan over medium high heat.

3

Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 1 or 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp to a small bowl and set aside, leaving the oil in the wok or frying pan.

4

Crack the eggs into the wok or frying pan, and scramble them using a spatula. When the eggs are scrambled, add the rice and stirfry for about 3-4 minutes.

5

Add the swiss chard and stirfry until they are wilted.

6

Add the shrimp and stirfry to mix all the ingredients together.

7

Add the seasoning sauce and fish sauce and mix well until all of the rice is coated. You may need to add a bit more seasoning sauce to taste and/or for all of the rice to be coated and have a golden colour.

8

Remove from heat and serve with a nice cold beer!

Featured/ Vietnamese Recipes

Lemongrass Pork Rice Plate

Lemongrass Pork Rice Plate

Vietnamese rice plates are hands-down my favourite dinner. They are filling, easy to make, and bursting with a variety of flavour – the warm rice, grilled protein, pickled carrots, fresh cucumbers, creamy egg yolk from the fried egg and tangy prepared fish sauce. This particular plate got two thumbs up from the husband, so it’s definitely a substantial enough meal for a growing man!

As I have mentioned before in previous posts, I prefer lean cuts of meat so I used a boneless pork rib roast for this plate. I think the piece I bought was about 2 lbs, costing just over $7, and I used half of it for our dinner for two. I froze the other half and will use it again to make the same plate again whenever I’m craving a hearty rice dish.

Most of the ingredients for this recipe should be pantry staples and/or easy to find, except for maybe the lemongrass. Lemongrass is a stalky plant with a lemon scent, commonly used in Asian cooking.  I always buy my lemongrass from Ngoy Hoa, the Asian grocery store in Regina. I have never found it at Sobeys or Co-op, but Superstore might have it.

Lemongrass

The fresh vegetables added to the rice plate make it a healthy, well-rounded meal. I prefer to keep it simple with just the pickled carrots that I make with my prepared fish sauce, and fresh cucumbers. However, feel free to add whatever vegetables you want. I’ve seen other Vietnamese rice plates built with tomatoes, shredded lettuce and fresh herbs as well.

The recipe below is for the preparation of the grilled pork. The pork is best prepared on a barbecue or a grill. We currently don’t have a barbecue right now as we are still building our backyard deck. I ended up grilling the pork in a cast iron pan, constantly flipping the meat on both sides to build a nice char, and it worked out fine.

Build your plate with the pork, hot jasmine rice, fresh vegetables, and a fried egg, and dress it with prepared fish sauce. This dish is best served with a cold, light beer (says the husband!).

Lemongrass Grilled Pork

Print Recipe
Serves: 2 Cooking Time: 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of lean pork (I used a boneless pork rib roast), sliced
  • 1 tbsp of minced lemon grass (just the white portion, discard the tough leaves at the top)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp of pure fish sauce
  • 1 English cucumber, julienned
  • Fried eggs
  • jasmine rice
  • pickled carrots
  • prepared fish sauce

Instructions

1

Marinate the pork with the lemongrass, garlic, shallots, soy sauce, brown sugar, and fish sauce. The longer you can marinate it, the more flavourful the meat will be. I marinated mine for about 2 hours.

2

Prepare your rice.

3

Prepare the vegetables that you will be including in your plate.

4

Grill the pork slices on a grill or barbecue until nicely charred.

5

Fry up an egg or two.

6

Build a plate to your preference, dress it with your prepared fish sauce, and enjoy!