Chinese Chicken Fried Rice
Breakfast in the Philippines seemed to have evolved ever since trade restrictions in most countries were loosened. (I often explain to my daughter that a lot of the things they enjoy today were not as accessible to us when we were young and this includes food items. Yesterday, for instance, I was delighted to see the latest flavours of Holand and Eng Bee Tin hopia at the Asian supermarket; which was unthinkable a decade ago! Maybe this is also because of the evolving population of North America. But I digress.)
However, despite the availability of foreign brands such as Eggos, different brands of cereals and flavoured milk, fastfood restaurants such as McDonald’s and Burger King, I still believe that most Pinoys still go for kape at pandesal (coffee and salted bread). If there’s enough on the budget, one can throw in a piece of keso (cheese) or mantikilya (butter or margarine) as well. On the other hand, those who opt for a heavy breakfast go for the classic tuyo (dried herring scad fish), tocino (cured pork or chicken), tapa (cured meat), pritong itlog (fried egg) diced tomatoes or sinamak (vinegar with spices) and a plate of sinangag (fried rice). This heavier set of breakfast has evolved and appears, interestingly, in most fast food restaurants (e.g. tapsilog for tapa or fried cured beef, sinangag and pritong itlog). Think Goodah, Goto King and even Jollibee!
Taking off from the fast food mold, I thought that quick rice meals can also be equally complete and nutritious as well. This is nothing new since we have ventured into the territory of rice toppings (rice topped with meat or veggies), rice and viand carinderia style (hawker style food) to fried rice. For this blog, I thought of sharing with you my wife’s version of a complete fried rice (I don’t have exactly a name for it), which I was able to replicate! However, even if it can stand on its own, I still say it goes well with fried spring rolls or stir fry veggies. 🙂 It might not be completely Pinoy but what’s best about my wife’s fried rice is that it’s filling, nutritious and easy on the pocket! Now that’s definitely a bonus!
CHINESE CHICKEN FRIED RICE
½ kilo of chicken breast (boneless)
3 tbsp. oyster sauce
3-4 tbsp. light soy sauce
2 tbsp. sesame oil or canola oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup sweet summer peas, boiled
1 medium-sized carrot, cubed
½ cup of sweet corn, whole kernels
1 egg, cooked scrambled styled and cut into strips
4 cups of day old cooked rice
1 tbsp scallions, chopped
1. Cut chicken breast (about 3-4 inches long) across the grain then marinate it in oyster sauce for at least 8 hours.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients and set aside. To maintain freshness, put them in plastic containers and refrigerate them.
3. Once chicken is ready, fry them in canola oil for about 7 minutes or until chicken is slightly brown. In a previous blog, we mentioned that white meat cooks faster than brown meat.
4. Once done, cut these into cubes then set aside.
5. Heat pan then add sesame oil. When oil is warm enough, sautee the garlic until lightly brown.
6. Add day old rice making sure the grains are separated from each other then toss. You can use your siyanse (slotted turner) to do this (I remember my grandmother compulsively separating the rice grains by hand!) then add a dash of pepper.
7. After 5-8 minutes, add the carrots then cook for about 2 minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients: corn, peas, egg, and chicken. Season with soy sauce.
8. Toss and cook for another five minutes, top with scallions and serve immediately. Enjoy!