It took quite some time for me to finally delve headlong into my fried egg phase. This choice of timing is not because I had any particularly longstanding fear of the running yolk, but rather because I always used to hesitate before ordering them.
Rather than be abashed when asked the inevitable question, “how do you like them cooked?” I could not seem to get past the incredible complexity that is the fried egg, and the true art form that is its preparation and presentation.
Every time I thought I was playing it safe by ordering what I thought was just “two eggs,” but then I suddenly became stuck when given only a few mere seconds to follow up with how exactly I wanted my eggs served.
At this point, I was generally way, way too embarrassed to ask for any sort of explanation, so my approach would usually be to just mumble something along the lines of “yolk broken.” The yolk was not always broken, however. Sometimes the yolk was prepared to a beautiful sunny side up, flipped to a scrumptious over easy or cooked.
This was initially quite confusing, though it would ultimately turn into a true blessing. I had gone from being utterly clueless about the staple breakfast food to being completely intrigued by the myriad ways to deliver a fried egg.
Once crossing over at long last to the fried egg side, I couldn’t help but note the many ways in which to munch on this delicious, protein-filled addition to a healthy diet. Some people stuck to sausage on the side. Others organized an impressive bagel sandwich. Others still choose an even healthier route, opting to garnish their fried eggs with spinach, tomato or even sauteed mushrooms. The list goes on ad infinitum.
But the best part about it, you may ask? I quickly learned that fried eggs were not limited to their traditional context of breakfast food. In fact, when well done, a fried egg is the seemingly the cherry on top to all things savory, no matter what the occasion.
This brings me to a recently discovered and really simple recipe: jasmine rice topped with finely chopped ginger and a fried egg. This simple yet special dish is the easiest way to make a meal appear fancy, but without any added stress.
Like most fried rice recipes, the dish begins with its main component: rice. In fact, with regards to fried rice, the secret boils down (pun intended) to leftovers (since cooking with fresh rice will be too moist). Many folks tend to incorporate jasmine rice, but any form of the starch will do just fine, even if it conveniently comes out of your average Sunday night take out box.
As we move away from the grain, be sure to scope out fresh sources of ginger and garlic. These two ingredients are crucial flavors in the final product of the dish, especially when accompanied by leeks.
This is, of course, as long as they get along with your own personal taste, buds. Be sure not to forget to assemble this hearty mix of flavors in a large heated skilled with help from peanut oil to produce crispy, golden results.
Once the leftover rice is brought back from the dead (with quick help from chicken fat and/or chicken stock), mix it with its supplemental garnishes over heat. After the rice is well heated and topped with salt, it is best to mould it carefully onto a plate with a steady surface so that it can support its toppings without falling apart.
After assembling your base, carefully place the fried egg (without breaking the yolk, if possible) and sprinkle any additional garlic, ginger and leek garnishes. This very simple, yet very satisfying meal is sure to impress both the eyes and the appetite, but be warned, those leftover plain rice days are likely to come to an end.