In this new column, Joy Entry explains how to create an authentic Asian flavour in your kitchen in the Algarve.
Ginger Beef Fried Rice
Everyone loves fried rice. You have to admit that there is just something so divine about how simple and comforting this rice dish is. There are so many variations of this stirfry that you can make. You can very quickly elevate the flavour profile just by adding an additional protein or sauce. This particular variation with beef, ginger, and my secret ingredient – a generous splash of Chinese cooking wine – is a personal favourite. Here is how you take the humble fried rice to the next level.
- 2 cups cooked Jasmine rice (preferably cold and
- stored overnight)
- 5 slices ginger
- 2 cloves garlic – minced
- 2 medium-sized carrots thinly sliced
- 120 grams beef sirloin thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- 1 tablespoon soya sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Marinade your sliced sirloin in cornflour and sugar and set aside. (See top tips for how to slice your beef.)
Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl separately. Heat your wok or pan until piping hot, add a tablespoon of sunflower oil, garlic and ginger.
Give it a quick stir until the aroma of the ginger and garlic start to fume and the aromatics start to lightly brown.
The sirloin goes in now for two minutes followed by the carrots. Stir on high heat for approximately five minutes or until the meat is browned and the carrots are starting to caramelise at the edges. Now is when the sauce mixture goes in and stir quickly to coat meat and vegetables. Add the cold rice (see top tips).
Bring everything together in the wok with a ladle ensuring that every single grain of rice separates and is browning with the sauce in the process. This will take you another five minutes.
Remove the wok from heat. Serve in a bowl or plate and garnish with spring onions and fried shallots if you like. This dish also works really well with a fried egg on the top.
- I often find slicing a raw piece of meat like sirloin much easier if you partially freeze it beforehand (around 30–45mins in the freezer) to firm up meat. Using a sharp knife, slice thinly across the grain. If you can get your butcher to do this for you it will be much easier of course!
- When making fried rice it is best to use cold rice, refrigerated overnight if possible. Why? We want the rice grains to separate when we are frying and freshly cooked rice tends to be too starchy for this purpose.
- When frying rice, let the rice sit for a bit in between stirs to brown and crisp at the bottom – the best bit!
- Shaoxing Chinese cooking wine can be substituted with dry sherry or mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
WHERE TO SHOP:
My go-to for Asian sauces and condiments:
- Go Dutch – this Dutch shop stocks most of what I need with a very good selection of Indonesian sauces and a frozen section with the likes of wonton wrappers and kaffir lime leaves. (Av. do Cabo Bojador, Lote 6 Loja F, 8600-315 Lagos)
- Continente – you will be able to find a decent selection of Asian sauces in the dry goods aisle and a variety of noodles too.
- Intermarche – from Asian noodles to sauces and other ingredients, the Asian section also does a really nice selection of Indian food items which you might enjoy. I also love that they always have fresh turmeric, chillies, pak choy, lemongrass and spring onions!
- Asia Supermarket – if you can afford to go a little bit further, the nearest full-on Asian grocers is in Albufeira. They stock just about anything you will need for an Asian cook for Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian and even Malaysian dishes. (Beco da Felosa 33, 8200-182 Albufeira)
Considering the red meat element in this stir-fry dish, a fruity pinot noir will work very well here.
Joy Entry is a Malaysian home cook based in Lagos who is obsessed with the provocative, unapologetic flavours of South-East Asian cuisine.