Thursday, October 02, 2008

Fried Rice and Spareribs

Fried Rice
Originally uploaded by Lisa Fagg
Today was 'shopping day' for us - we went up on Mill Road (on a week day, for a change - we are still in 'vacation mode'...).   I bought a long-desired (very garish!) striped broom and dustpan set, a teapot (red!) and a much-needed new tea cosy (and learned that they don't sell tea cosies in Switzerland and so are kept in stock at small shops all over Britain!). After a day spent cleaning and shopping, I wanted to cook something that was easy (but not necessarily 'quick'...). 
I had some spareribs that we'd bought on Saturday from Andrew Northrop and, digging around in the fridge discovered some left-over rice from several days ago. I rarely cook fried rice because it's supposed to be a dish to be prepared from leftover rice (which Steve and I rarely have!).  So on discovering this 'rare' ingredient in our fridge, we just knew we had to make fried rice. More rummaging turned up some panchetta (destined for a cabonara, no doubt!) and a couple of lovely "golden yolked" eggs; these are produced here as a speciality item and are recognisable by their (very) bright yellow yolks which distinguish them from the usual, anaemic-looking, pale-yolked eggs that have become the usual fare here. We combined these ingredients with some onions and green peas and created a beautiful fried rice dish to accompany our slow-cooked pork spareribs. The spareribs themselves benefited from a seasoning mix brought back from China by a friend.  I browned the spareribs (which I first seasoned with salt and 5-peppercorn mix) in oil, garlic and ginger.  Once browned, I added boiling water to cover, Chinese cooking wine, Chinese sugar "candy" - a dark brown sugary substance - dark soy sauce, a bit of MSG (which, I read recently, is widely - and shamelessly - used in Chinese cooking in China) and some salt.  This was left to gently simmer for about 1-1/2 hours, and checked regularly to make sure nothing stuck and the level of the cooking liquid was sufficient to keep everything cooking together.

After this time, the meat looked about ready to leap off of the bones. I checked the seasoning and adjusted according to taste, thickened the sauce a bit with a couple of tablespoons of corn starch (corn flour) mixed with cold water and served it with the rice.

And was it delicious? :)
Of course.



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