While I am no culinary wunderkind, I love the challenge of using specific ingredients to create a dish. This month, there were so many to choose from that I was stumped…what do I make and how can I fit it into the way we eat ??? I have made it quite clear I have a family of picky eaters and while I insist that they try new flavors and be more adventurous there are limits to how much I can push…the most important question being …..do I want to fight that particular fight when I have so many others to get thru….exams, good character, manners etc !!!! Somehow, making sure they are open to and eat various foods ranks quite low on that ladder !!!!
Anyway, I came across this one from The Spicy Pear, called In My Veg Box, where you basically had to highlight one vegetable and it featured one of my favorites….ONIONS !!! I cannot cook without them……depending on how use them and which ones you use they give a sharp bite to your dish or add a mellow sweetness that is superb. My uncle M, dad’s younger brother, in whose house I lived while I went to college always used to say that if G doesn’t have onions she cant cook !!! While I do cook many dishes without it, I have come to the realization that I love the dishes with it !!!
While there are many kinds of onions, I am partial to the red onions, which is a deep purple color…go figure !!!! While it is not as sharp as the yellow and white, it is not as sweet as the sweet onions like Vidalia and Maui. According to many, it is not suitable for cooking as it does not retain an “onion“ taste during the cooking process but I like the taste…it’s just enough !!! Now for a quick lesson on onions…yellow onions are the most common and for the most part, are sharp and astringent with the exception of the Spanish, which is slightly sweeter and more delicate. White onions are more sharp and pungent than yellow. They are the most crisp due to the high water content and used a lot in Mexican cooking. Red onions are sweeter and les astringent than yellow onions. It’s also less pungent. There are also sweet onions like the Vidalia or Maui, which have thick layers and due to their high sugar content, are less astringent and less pungent. Spring Onions or Green Onions are basically baby onions harvested while the shoots are still green. They are very mild which are perfect eaten raw or in stir frys.
This recipe uses Spring /Green Onions, which incidentally are in season now. It’s kinda like a stir fry of day old rice, caramelized, almost burnt garlic, red chili flakes and lots of spring onions both green and whites. I love how this recipe takes a humble vegetable and makes it the star . It is a simple recipe that packs a flavor punch !!!
SPRING ONION & CHILLI FRIED RICE
2 cups cooked and cooled Rice, preferably a day old
8-10 cloves of Garlic, finely minced
1 tsp. crushed Red Chili Flakes
10-12 Spring Onions, trimmed and sliced thin, both green and whites
½ tsp. Soy Sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 ½ tsp. Oil
1 tsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
Gently run your fingers through the rice and make sure there are no lumps and that the grains are separate.
Heat the oil in a wok or something similar.
Sauté the garlic till it is dark, just short of burnt.
Now add the salt, pepper, soy and the whites of the onions. Sauté for a minute.
Add the rice and mix well. Warm the rice through.
Add the vinegar and mix well.
Serve, garnished with the greens of the onions.