This is a re-post from our Archives of February 2014 with updated photos
You would think there wouldn’t be any difficulty in cooking up something as simple as a pot of rice but in the past I have cooked up a few pots of mushy rice. Is it any wonder why it wasn’t included on my menu more often? It wasn’t until 1975 when Don accepted employment to the U.S. Naval Shipyard Repair Facility at Subic Bay, Phillipines that I finally learned to cook rice without it being mushy or gluey.
Our entire family re-located to the Philippines for five years; our four kids were 15, 13, 11 and 7 years of age. We returned to the U.S. in 1980 and by 1987 Don and I were empty-nesters and we returned to the Philippines for another five years. We survived that huge volcano eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991 and returned to the U.S. one year after that event when the U.S. base closed. The Filipino people are gracious, loving and kind-hearted people and we will always treasure our friendships, experiences and memories while living in their country.
It was during our first tour in 1975 that I learned to cook rice properly. We had this really nice local lady by the name of Naty that helped me in the home and she taught me how to cook rice. She couldn’t understand how I could have any problems with something so simple. But then she had been cooking rice most of her life.
So I am, to this day, cooking rice just like she showed me. I think the most important thing I learned was to wash the rice three times until the rinse water is clear and not milky. Also to cook the rice for twenty minutes, turn off the burner and never, never lift the lid until ten minutes after that. Then fluff it gently with a fork.
This is Naty’s recipe for pork fried rice and I always think of her whenever I eat fried rice in a restaurant or make it at home. She always used the cold rice left over from the day before. I tried making fried rice with freshly made hot rice once but it was mushy. Day old rice makes the best fried rice since it has time to dry out. If you do make your rice fresh then spread it out on a baking sheet and stick it in a 200°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes then let it cool completely in the refrigerator or freezer. The kids all loved Naty’s fried rice! Thank you, Naty!
- Serving size: 1 cup
- Calories: 307
- Fat: 10.9
- Saturated fat: 3.24
- Trans fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 34
- Sugar: 1.93
- Sodium: 504
- Fiber: 1.58
- Protein: 17.3
- Cholesterol: 151
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 3 strips of bacon, cut into small dice
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup chopped carrots
- ½ cup chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 8 oz. cooked, diced pork (I used 2 leftover pork chops)
- 4 cups cooked long or medium grain rice, cold
- ½ cup frozen peas, defrosted
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced for garnish
- Break the eggs into a small bowl, add the salt and pepper and whip gently with a fork as if you are making an omelet.
- In a wok or large skillet over medium low heat add the oil and use a pastry brush to coat the skillet (or non-stick spray). Add the eggs and tilt the pan so the eggs cover the skillet bottom completely. Remove the skillet from the heat when the eggs are set and firm. Cut the eggs into small pieces and reserve.
- Using the same skillet/wok add the diced bacon and cook over medium heat till crisp. Push to the far side of the skillet and add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery and grated ginger and the soy sauce. Cook for 2 minutes, they should still be firm. Add the pork and rice , breaking any clumps of rice loose and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Add the peas and toss to combine. Remove from heat, the peas will continue to cook in the hot mixture. Add the reserved eggs and toss together with the rice mixture.
- Transfer the rice to a serving dish and garnish with the chopped scallions.