Friday, October 22, 2010

Crab Fried Rice

Fried rice is one of those dishes that I generally avoid at restaurants.  It's a great way to get rid of leftovers, but that's not why I go to restaurants.  Moreover, it is often greasy, fried in too much oil.  At home, fried rice is a treat.  It's quick, easy, and not greasy at all.

 Crab fried rice is not a dish of leftovers.  Although I originally had this version at a restaurant near the school where I taught in Jakarta, this is not an Indonesian style of nasi goreng.  Indonesian nasi goreng features kecap manis and is a dish that I associate more with breakfast.  This crab fried rice is more subtly spiced and allows the crab to stand out.  The addition of corn adds a little sweetness and texture to the rice.

It's important to use good quality crab meat when making this dish.  You could add other ingredients if you like, but I prefer to let the crab be the star of the show here.  That's the same reason I would feature this as the main dish of the meal, not peripheral to any other dish.

Crab Fried Rice

4 cups cold, cooked rice
1 cup good quality crab meat
2 shallots, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1--2 red chilies, finely diced
kernels from 1 ear of corn, about 1/2 cup
2 large eggs
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 TBS fish sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
3 TBS Thai basil, finely chopped
2--3 TBS vegetable oil

Beat the eggs with 1 tsp of the fish sauce.  Heat a wok or frying pan over medium high heat.  Add a little oil to cover the bottom.  Fry half the egg mixture to make a thin omelet.  Remove and repeat with the remaining egg.  Let the omelets cool, then roll and slice into thin strips.

Heat the remaining oil in the wok.  First, fry the corn for about a minute.  Then, add shallots and garlic and briefly fry.  Next, add chilies and fry another 30 seconds or so.  After this, add green onions and then stir in rice, breaking up any clumps.  Then, add crab meat, fish sauce and soy sauce.  Stir well to distribute the ingredients evenly.  (If necessary, add a little water to help break up any rice clumps.) Finally, stir in the Thai basil just before removing from heat.  Decorate the plated rice with the omelet strips before serving.

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