Occasionally, I spend some time online reading other food blogs (although I try not to, as it’s an endless task). Quite often, as I work my way through the first few sentences or even paragraphs of a post, I find the introduction is some kind of whimsical, limp wrested observation which has little or no relevance to the subject in hand; food.
It reminds me of listening to dreary, insipid sermons at church*, where awful analogies were dragged out, such as comparing God to a carrier bag, because carrier bags are very useful in our day to day life, they hold our food and keep everything together. You could feel that every last thread of energy that could be summoned had been twisted and squeezed into the creation and delivery of that sermon, yet it was merely killing time, it wasn’t contributing to the enhancement of anyones faith.
Yet, we have the same situation with food blogs. We get the sermon at the start, which if we’re lucky will have something to do with food and may offer some emotional insight into the author’s involvement with the creation of it. And if we’re unlucky it will be about hoovering the hallway or carrier bags. However, they’re all followed by the common ground, the big offering, the money shot; the recipe. Which is why we’re here.
And so, with a deep sense of irony, I’d like to present my very own latest creation, my Thailand-in-a-mouthful, packed full of flavour, special recipe for Thai Fried Rice with tofu or prawns. And I promise, no more about carrier bags.
* This may have actually been a stand-up comedian.
Thai fried rice with Tofu or Prawns
By Gavin Wren
250g brown rice
2 Lemongrass stalks, bashed
2 Keffir lime leaves
2 tablespoons ground nut oil (or you can use vegetable oil)
200g tofu, cut into chunks or raw prawns, or a mixture of both.
1 Small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
100g Green beans, cut into 2.5cm (1”) sections
2 small pak choi, leaves separated and washed
3 tablespoons fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
2 red chillis
2 Spring onions, chopped
4 Lime wedges
1 Red chilli, chopped
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok and fry the tofu/prawns over a high heat for about 6 minutes until browned, then set aside.
Fried rice rice tipWhenever you make fried rice, it is always beneficial to cook the rice in advance and fry it once well cooled, preferably overnight in the fridge. Fried rice recipes will often refer to ‘overnight’ rice, which is rice that has been cooked the day before then left to cool over night in the fridge. You can use this to your advantage, by cooking it the day before alongside dinner or if you have some spare time, making the final creation of this dish a much quicker process.
Heat another tablespoon of oil and fry the garlic and onion for 2 minutes over a high heat. Add the beans and pak choi and fry for another 2 minutes.
Add the rice and tofu/prawns, cook for a minute until heated through, then make a well in the middle of the rice and pour the eggs into it. Muddle it all around, incorporating the rice and cook for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, then add the fish sauce and lime juice.
Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped chilli, lime wedges and spring onion.
This also freezes well, I make a large batch and freeze into portions for work lunches, sprinkled with crushed chilli flakes once defrosted for some heat.