Yesterday afternoon, I texted Kurt at work to see if there was anything he REALLY wanted for dinner as I was bereft of ideas. “Crepes” was his sole suggestion. I looked at my clock and it was already 2p; the crepe batter needs to rest at least two hours for the flour particles to expand and then I would need close to an hour just to make up the crepes, let alone prepare the filling, which I had mentally determined would be “crab meat.” NOT going to happen since I had neither the right cheese (gruyere) nor the crabmeat on hand. So I texted something back like “Too much fat” and went to plan B– to see what I had on hand and sell the proposed meal to Ken when he came home from school.
I had lots of vegetables in the fridge– enoki and cremini mushrooms, scallions, snow peas, carrots, celery. I rooted around the freezer drawers and found frozen peas and– Eureka!– a half package of Chinese sausage. Score, a direct hit! These babies are sweet, a little salty and VERY red when fully cooked; I slice them on the diagonal and they are irresistible to my guys. I later found that these little bits of porky goodness appeal to everyone when I served them to the mommies for Filipino Food Night in a noodle dish called pancit. For some, it was the first time they had ever tasted Chinese sausage– such deprivation! My mom had been buying them in DC’s Chinatown since I can remember…
So I knew what I was going to make– fried rice with lots of vegetables and CHINESE SAUSAGE! I was sure Ken would give me the BIG stamp of approval. (Unfortunately, I discovered I had only a handful of jasmine rice left after the Korean food fest this month, but I knew basmati would be acceptable).
The frozen sausages were lying on the kitchen island to defrost when Ken came through the back door; he immediately eyed them and said “Fried rice?” “Yep, but we need to eat later because the sausage has to thaw.” One high five later, he sauntered past me, opened the refrigerator door asked “Aren’t there any dumplings left? I want one or two for a snack.” Yep, that’s my boy, the Bread King…
The amounts here are based on what I did last evening; I usually eyeball my ingredients, but for this blog, I actually wrote down how much of what I used so it could be a “recipe.” Feel free to adjust (as I would)! It’s a stir fry, so the dish is very forgiving.
Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage
- 1.5 cups of uncooked rice, preferably jasmine
- 1 large carrot, julienned
- 1 medium onion, small dice
- 3 sliced scallions, divided (one half for garnish)
- 1 TB minced garlic (for me this was 4 small cloves)
- 1/2 cup frozen baby peas (that’s what I had, you could use regular)
- 1 small package of enoki mushrooms, trimmed, about 1 cup
- a handful of snow peas (my label said they weighed .15 lbs), julienned
- 1/2 package Chinese sausage (5 links), cooked and sliced on the diagonal
- 2 TB Filipino soy sauce (I use Silver Swan), less if using Kikkoman or other store brand
- 1 egg
- olive oil or vegetable oil
- salt and pepper to taste
The result of my rummaging:
First, I washed the rice and set up my rice cooker. I don’t know how to make rice on the stove as I grew up with a rice cooker and have never had to make it in a pan unless it was gussied up as pilaf.
I pricked the sausage links all over and then placed them into a small frying pan with a a bit of water. I set the pan on medium heat:
While the sausage cooked, I prepped the vegetables, starting with the carrots. First I cut the carrot on the diagonal into long ovals:
Then I stacked the ovals (I don’t do more than 3 at a time) and sliced them into thin sticks:
I glanced over at the sausages which were beginning to boil:
I finished the rest of the vegetables:
The sausage links are done when they are browned:
When cool enough to handle, I slice them on the diagonal. Here’s my full board of ingredients for the rice:
…and my pot of steamed rice.
It’s now time to pull the dish together. I heated some oil in a large pot or saute pan (I use a dutch oven):
I added the onions and half the scallions, and cooked them briefly til softened:
I added the garlic, stirred to combine and sweated for another 30 seconds:
Next I added the carrots and snow peas together and let them soften:
Lastly I added the enoki and stirred; these do not take long to cook.
At last it was time to break up the rice in the pot and add it to the vegetables:
I seasoned by adding the soy sauce, then taste tested. I added salt and pepper, then the frozen peas.
In went the sliced sausage.
This next step is optional; I also scramble an egg at the end as an additional garnish. I pushed the rice to one side of the pot and heated some oil, then I cracked an egg on top of the oil:
I broke the yolk and let the egg fry in the oil:
When the egg was cooked, I just scraped it off the bottom of the pan and mixed it into the rice:
I served it in a square bowl and sprinkled the reserved green onions on the top.
A slice of sausage in every bite!