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Recipe

Fiddlehead Fried Rice with Cherry Tomatoes, Corn, Anise Hyssop and Chili Crisp

Spencer Huey

Serves 4-5 people

Ingredients:

4 cups day old jasmine rice (from fridge)
neutral oil
2 eggs
salt
2-3 garlic scapes (or 3-4 green onions, sliced thin), cut into 1in pieces
1/2 cup fiddleheads (use asparagus/string beans cut into 1in pieces or take out)
1/2 cup chopped little gem lettuce (use iceberg, romaine)
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 ear of fresh corn
1-2 teaspoons chili crisp
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
thai basil, a few springs (use green onions or cilantro as well)
anise hyssop (I had this in my garden so I used it. It’s completely optional)
fennel flowers (again, it’s what I had on hand)

Instructions:

Heat up a large pan on high heat. Add the neutral oil and when you see whisps of smoke, add the rice. Let it sit for a couple minutes between stirring, this will create crunchy bits of rice that add different components of texture to the final dish. Allow the rice to dry out.
After about 7-9 min, make a well in the middle of the rice and add a bit more oil. Crack the eggs in and cook the eggs in the well. Slowly stir in the rice. Season lightly with salt.
Add the longer cooking vegetables to the rice like the garlic scapes, fiddleheads and lettuce. (If using green onions, put them in with the herbs at the very end). Let them cook until almost done. The idea is that you want to add the things that cook longer first, allow them to get a hard start and then add everything else in. That way, everything finishes at the same time.
Add in the corn, tomatoes, and seasonings: chili crisp, soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, and sugar. Move the rice around to distribute the seasonings. Taste and add salt if needed. If you want it spicier, add more chili crisp.
Serve on a large bowl or plate and garnish with the herbs on top.

Tips:
Fried rice is a great dish to use up whatever bits of vegetable and meat you have in your fridge. I happen to have a bits of random vegetables from the farmer’s market and so I decided to go with these. They are not at all traditional but use what’s on hand. When I was growing up, my dad cooked fried rice with cubes of ham, canned corn, green onions, and egg. It was delicious. Of course, the tomatoes add a nice juicy pop of acid to the fried rice so I do recommend that.
It’s important to focus on the technique and use high heat. First cook the leftover rice to dry it out. Then add your egg and other vegetables and meat (if you want to use it). Finally, season it and bring it all together. I like to mix in or top the fried rice with fresh herbs, usually green onion or cilantro but I decided to change things up for this recipe.

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