This recipe comes from Stir-Frying To The Sky’s Edge by Grace Young page 265. It is part of the Wok Wednesdays project which can be found on Facebook and www.wokwednesdays.com
Such a simple recipe with such simple ingredients .Or so you would think. Looking forward to making this recipe, and I was so sure I had everything I needed except the Basmati rice. Just a quick trip to the store that turned into a trip to three stores and no Basmati rice to be found in the Mid-levels in Hong Kong! Plan B was to use jasmine long grain rice, but I did not have any leftover as suggested for fried rice. Moving forward, decided to use the jasmine rice freshly cooked.
After the trip to multiple stores for rice, in pouring rain I might add, I set upon my mission to complete the the fried rice. After finding no ketchup in the refrigerator and no chili garlic sauce ( I thought I had those staples) the improvising continued. I would make this dish, or a reasonable incarnation of it or die trying! I used tomato paste diluted with a bit of sugar and worchestershire for the ketchup. Easy enough. I then opted to use some homemade Indonesian Sambal Bajak in place of the garlic chili sauce. I also used veggies on hand which consisted of red pepper, red onion and carrots.
I was so very pleased with the result, although I am sure it is nothing like what the original recipe intended. But we gobbled it up with pleasure. I served it with stir-fried lemon and salmon.
My one-time Minnesota neighbor and great friend, Ari, made me a supply of Sambal Bajak to bring to Hong Kong. She is a native of Indonesia and an excellent cook. Although I have purchased sambal bajak at market, there is nothing like hers to be found. It is a delight and a staple in our house. A very complex mixture of flavors with an incredible heat! Not for anyone that does not like it “hot”. We use it on eggs, baked sweet potatoes, stir-fried cabbage, chicken with rice in lettuce wraps……… I could go on and on and on. Anyway, THANK YOU Ari for the sambal and THANK YOU Grace for the inspiration. I will diligently look in local gourmet stores for some Basmati rice and attempt the recipe again with all the prescribed ingredients.
Update: Five stores later, I found the basmati rice!