I was recently researching techniques for making homemade rice noodles for another recipe on a fave foodie resource, the Chowhound Discussion Forum. One of the users asked why the original commenter didn’t just buy the rice noodles pre-made as opposed to making them from scratch. Another user brought the conversation back to the fact that the difficulty of making the noodles is inherently related to the point of cooking in the first place – to learn and to enjoy the process of creating. Although I am a fan of shortcuts and techniques that propel us to master chef status, I do think that it’s important for us to focus on the fact that homemade dishes mean we can control every single ingredient comprising a dish. No extra junk and no foods we don’t like – just pure deliciousness that we can be proud to eat.
There is good Chinese food to be found here in Phoenix, but sometimes it feels like an exception and not the rule that takeout will be delicious. I tend to combat this by keeping a few recipes for Chinese takeout-style dishes in my repertoire, and the results are always marvelous. The meat is always lean and tasty, the vegetables crisp, and there’s a heck of a lot less oil and salt than if I ordered out. It’s rather brilliant, and it keeps my cravings at bay when I’m not in a 5 mile radius from China Fun in NYC or XO Taste in Virginia.
This recipe involves barely more than steaming rice, but offers all of the flavor of a more complicated fried rice. Not to mention the fact that it involves a lot less cooking oil. In the time that it’d take you to order greasy takeout and wrestle with indigestion, consider whipping up a pan of this goodness. It goes ever so well with some Pork with Bamboo Shoots and a starter of Pork and Chive Potstickers or Shrimp Wonton Soup. Crisis averted!
Un-Fried Rice with Egg and Peas
3 c. of instant white rice
3 c. of chicken stock
2 scallions, white and tender green parts only
1/2 tbs. of soy sauce
1 tbs. of sesame oil
1/4 tsp. of garlic powder
1/2 c. of frozen peas
Finely chop the scallions. Bring three cups of chicken stock and scallions to a boil. Add the soy sauce, garlic powder, 1/2 tbs. of sesame oil, frozen peas and the rice to the stock and stir. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. While the rice steams, cook the eggs. Scramble the two eggs and add to a skillet slicked with a 1/2 tbs. of sesame oil. When the rice is finished, stir in the scrambled eggs. Serve.