I’m the first to admit that I cook too many risotto and pasta dishes especially during the week, as they are so simple and I know I like them. Every now and then I decide it’s time to try something new and this was one such week. I still like to cook simple, quick and healthy meals most of the time and this week I decided to go down the Chinese food route. I got a copy of Ching’s fast food (Ching-he Haung) for christmas and decided it was about time I tried cooking something from it.
We have an electric ceramic hob which are not suitable for cooking with a wok unfortunately. This has always been my excuse for not cooking Chinese food before (my husband loves his Chinese take aways and has been trying to get me to recreate some of his favorite dishes at home for years). Both the char siu pork and the egg fried rice recipe can be cooked at home without a wok. I cooked the egg fried rice in a frying pan and we had no complaints so don’t let not having a wok or a hob suitable for wok cooking put you off making your own egg fried rice any longer.
For char siu pork I used this recipe from the Ching’s fast food (this link is to an American site using the version from her American cookbook but the only difference I can spot is to use groundnut oil where it says peanut). The recipe makes enough pork for 4 people, so I made the noodle soup on sunday and used the left over pork in the recipe below for egg fried rice after work on monday. I’m a big fan of this way of cooking, either making bigger batches and freezing meals for later or cooking twice as much as you need and using it over two nights.
The char siu pork was delicious on both nights. However we did not enjoy the noodle soup which is essentially noodles and pak choi in vegetable stock. It was just too watery and lacking flavour for our taste. At the moment I am using really good quality stocks from Essential Cuisine but even so it just lacked additional flavours. They sent me a pot of each of their stocks to try a little while ago and I’ve been testing them all out before telling you about them. They are all simple to use. It is simply a matter of adding the powder to boiling water and giving it a quick stir (no more waiting for stock cubes to dissolve). The flavours of all the stocks are really good and I like the fact they are much lower in salt than even low salt stock cubes so you have more control of the salt content of a dish. The chicken stock works really well in all types of risotto I have found.
Monday night I used the leftover pork to make egg fried rice. When searching for an egg fried rice recipe it became clear there were many different ways to make this recipe. Some use salt, some use soy sauce, some cook the eggs separately and some cook the eggs in the rice. I adapted several recipes and came up with the recipe below. I knew I wanted to use soy sauce for the flavourings and liked the sound of cooking the eggs in the rice (simpler and the rice gets time to absorb the egg flavours). We enjoyed this dish a lot more than the noodle soup. Homemade egg fried rice is a really quick meal to cook (so long as you have leftover rice, even if you don’t it’s juts a case of cooking the rice for 10 minutes as far in advance as you can so the rice cools fully before frying) and it tastes great. I’ll be cooking char siu pork again in the near future, one night with egg fried rice and the second night in an as yet undecided way. Do you have a favorite way of eating char siu pork that you would like to share with me in the comments below?
200g (dry weight) basmati rice
1tbsp groundnut oil
1 cup frozen peas
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup leftover char siu pork (optional)
3 spring onions, chopped
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp light soy sauce
- Cook the basmati rice according to the packet instructions (or your prefered method). Once the rice is cooked spread it out on a plate and leave it to cool completely.
- Heat the groundnut oil in a wok or frying pan. Once smoking add the frozen peas and stir fry for 1 minute.
- Add the cold rice and pork. Stir fry for 3 minutes.
- Pour over the eggs, stir fry for 3 minutes or until the egg is cooked.
- Add the spring onions. Drizzle over the sesame oil and soy sauce. Stir fry to mix well for 1 minute or until the rice is dry. Taste and add more soy sauce &/or sesame oil to taste.
- Serve immediately.
Thank you to Essential Cuisine for sending me their stock pots to try.