By Steph Farrar
When I first started following food blogs, I ran across a Los Angeles based blog called Cozy Kitchen, and was immediately drawn to Adrianna's light sense of humor and addiction to her kitchen. One of the first posts I salivated over was her Ginger Fried Rice. So I decided to try it. My first note: remember how difficult I said it was to bread and fry a soft boiled egg. Just saying it now.
We were visiting my in-laws for a weekend at the beach, where the light is second to none. I've since bought a new camera, but I think I could've used a disposable one and the photos would still look effortless. I cannot say the same thing for the eggs.
I'm always trying to impress Pearlie, Sam's mother. She and I are very close, and I'm very lucky to have a "Mum"-in-law who I not only get along with, but who I genuinely love. She will be reading this. I swear I'm not lying though. Sam's folks do so much for us... one of the few things I can do for them is fix a nice dinner. Pearlie is an exceptional cook, but definitely deserves a break from the kitchen every now and then. She cooks nearly every meal at home.
I poured Pealie a heaping glass of her infamous Woodbridge Chardonnay, myself something red, made Poppy and Sam and Key Lime Martini and got to work emulating this heavenly Fried Rice. First you must fry up the diced garlic and ginger, to top the rice at the last minute. The crunch is a necessity.
I added the pancetta and additional onion to the original recipe. I am never sorry about pancetta. The rest I'll leave to the recipe. You could add nearly any vegetable you'd like to this rice, as long as the egg is soft boiled to perfection and oozes over the entire bowl, which as I said, is tricky. Make sure you transfer those soft boiled eggs to a bowl of cold water. Peeling will be much easier. Might want to make a few extra, in case of disaster.
Pancetta Leek Fried Rice with Five Minute Egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed and dried
1 cup diced pancetta
1/2 cup diced baby onion, white and green parts only
4 cups day-old cooked rice, preferably jasmine, at room temperature
3 teaspoons soy sauce
5-Minute Fried Egg:
5 large eggs, divided
1/4 cup buttermilk, shaken
1 teaspoon Sriracha
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp and brown. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels and salt lightly.
Reduce heat under skillet to medium-low and add pancetta. Let it crisp up for a few minutes. Add onions and leeks. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very tender but not browned. Season lightly with salt.
Raise heat to medium and add rice. Add soy sauce, stirring well and cooking, until heated through and lightly crispy. Season to taste with salt. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Using a spoon, gently lower 4 eggs into the water and then bring the heat down to medium, so the water reaches a simmer. Start the timer and set it to 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, transfer the eggs to cold water and gently peel. This is the hardest part. Be careful and take your time!
Add 3 inches of oil to a cast iron skillet and heat oil to 400F. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat together the remaining egg, buttermilk and Sriracha. Add the flour to a shallow dish. On a medium plate, toss together the panko and teaspoon of salt.
Start with rolling the egg gently in the flour, dusting off any excess. Next, transfer the egg to the egg/buttermilk mixture and then place it atop the panko mixture, sprinkling the mixture on top of the egg, being sure it’s evenly coated. Gently drop the into the hot oil and cook on each side, about 30 seconds and until lightly browned. Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Repeat process with the remaining eggs.
Divide rice among four dishes. Top each with an egg and sprinkle crisped garlic and ginger over everything and serve.