We’ve just got back from a week in Tulum and I’m pretty jet-lagged. Thankfully I’ve got a day at home to sort through a tonne of photos (expect a Mexico picture post next!) and reflect on all the amazing things we have seen and done this last week, it was an incredibly inspiring trip.
May is proving to be a difficult month for us, a lot of memories and a lot of build up to Archie’s birthday. There was some serious soul searching whilst we were away, a lot of reflection and we made some resolutions about what we’d like to do differently when we get home. There aren’t lots but it’s quality over quantity, and things that are achievable. Small things like waking up earlier, make time every week to exercise together (like we were doing before, we’ve been slack), small changes that will make a big difference. My weekly shop is one of those resolutions. When I first started cooking again in the early days, doing my weekly shop and meal planning gave me such a sense of achievement. I felt good knowing I was doing the best I could by feeding us well, as well as relaxing by spending time in the kitchen.
So today I did my first weekly shop. Lots of fruit and veg, organic yoghurts for breakfast, tea smoked fish for a seasonal asparagus salad, ham hocks for our favourite hash, chicken to have with mole sauce… For lunch today however I wanted something comforting and homely (although it is supposedly warm by UK standards, I’m not convinced – I’m not bringing the Birkenstocks back out just yet). This cracking recipe came about on the back of a Chinese New Year recipe I made from the February issue of Jamie Magazine. Whole steamed sea bass, in a pork and doubanjiang sauce, which looked impressive but was surprisingly easy and incredibly delicious. My only issue with recipes like these however, is that when they call for an unusual ingredient, I’m then left with a jar of somethingorother in my fridge or cupboard, that will probably go off by the time I get round to making that recipe again. So, in an attempt to use up my jar of doubanjiang sauce, this crispy pork fried rice recipe was born.
Doubanjiang is an ingredient I’d never heard of before, a spicy salty chilli paste that is made from fermented broad beans. It wasn’t particularly hard to find, I found it in the first Oriental supermarket I went to, however I did have to ask the shop attendant where it was. On the jar it is just called ‘spicy bean paste’ so check with someone if you are unsure. Alternatively, if you don’t like near an oriental supermarket, you can order it online here.
I really love this recipe, this is the 3rd or 4th time I’ve made it. Its simple, nourishing and so delicious. A perfect post-work recipe to have up your sleeve or if you just fancy a comforting hug-of-a-lunch, like me.
CRISPY PORK AND CHILLI EGG FRIED RICE
Because this recipe calls for cooked and cooled rice, it’s perfect if you have any leftovers from the night before.
- Groundnut oil
- 150g pork mince
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated
- A thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 3 tablespoon doubanjiang
- 4 water chestnuts, sliced
- 4 tablespoons shaoxing rice wine
- 125ml good quality chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon runny honey
- 1 teaspoon cornflour
- 120g brown basmati rice
- 2 large eggs, free range or organic
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Large handful baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
Rinse the rice thoroughly and then xook the rice according to packet instructions. If you have time it’s best to stir fry with cold cooked rice, but don’t worry if you don’t, as brown rice is a little more forgiving than white
Heat a good lug of oil in a large non stick frying pan or wok, over a medium high heat and add the pork mince, grated garlic and ginger. Fry for around 4 – 5 minutes, stirring as you go, until the meat has browned. Add the doubanjiang, water chestnuts, shaoxing rice wine, stock and honey to the pan and bring everything to the boil. Once it starts bubbling, turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes. Dissolve the cornflour in a little water and add to the pan, stirring it through and cook for a few more minutes to thicken and reduce down. Decant the cooked chilli pork into a bowl and wipe the pan clean.
Return the pan to a medium heat and add a lug of oil. Add the cooked rice and stir fry for around 2 – 3 minutes. Whisk the eggs with the soy sauce, then make a few spaces in the pan and pour in the eggs. Leave them to cook for 30 second before rippling them into the rice. Don’t over mix, as you want to see ripples of egg. When everything is piping hot, gently stir in the cooked chilli pork and spinach. Fry for a few more minutes, so the spinach has just wilted and then serve, sprinkled with the spring onions.