My husband firmly believes in that common phrase ‘everything tastes better with bacon’. Although he’s probably not far wrong, I think a fried egg is a pretty good contender!
The fried egg topping off this dish works wonderfully with the hot and spicy flavours. And although this can’t be called a vegetarian meal (due to the fish sauce and shrimp paste), it doesn’t need bacon or any other meat to make it taste amazing!
My secret having those Asian favours covering every grain of rice is to make a flavour paste using garlic, chilli, soy sauce, tamarind, tomato puree, a little sugar and the aforementioned fish sauce and shrimp paste. All really punchy flavours that can take a fair amount of rice before becoming too diluted.
You’ll notice in the directions that I boil and cool the rice before frying it. This is the best way to get the perfect texture to your rice, whilst also ensuring it’s dry enough to absorb plenty of flavour (see my special fried rice master class for further info and tips on making the best fried rice at home).
The finishing touches are a few spring onions, some crispy fried onion, and of course, not forgetting the fried egg!
Hope you enjoy!! x
- 500ml/2.25cups water
- 300g/1.5 cups long grain rice (not easy cook rice)
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 shallots or 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp shrimp paste
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 red chilli, chopped finely
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 heaped tbsp. brown sugar
- 1tsp tamarind
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 5 spring onions (scallions) chopped
- 5 eggs
- Bring the water to a boil and pour in the rice (no need to rinse). Give it a stir so that the rice is covered by the water, put a lid on the pan and cook for 20 minutes on the lowest heat on your smallest burner.
- After 20 minutes, take the lid off and spread out the rice onto a tray. Leave to cool, uncovered for 20-30 minutes (until room temperature), then cover with clingfilm/plastic wrap and place in the fridge until you're ready to use (make sure you use the rice within 24 hours).
- When you're ready to make the rice, heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large wok or frying pan until hot. Dust the onion in cornflour and add to the wok. Cook, for 5-6 minutes until browned and crispy, then remove from the pan and place in a bowl.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add another 1 tbsp of oil to the wok and add in the shrimp paste, garlic and chilli. Heat for one minute until fragrant, then add in the fish sauce, brown sugar, tamarind and tomato puree and soy sauce and heat for a further minute.
- Now add the rice to the wok and cook on a high heat. Use a spatula to ensure the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan, and move the rice around so that it's all getting reheated. Once the rice is hot (this will take about 5 minutes), push the rice over to the side of the pan and crack one of the eggs into the space. Making sure this bit of the pan is over the heat, fry the egg, giving a mix with the spatula until the egg starts to cook and look scrambled. Now mix the egg into the rice. Add the spring onions, a pinch of salt and the crispy onions and mix it all together. Reduce the heat to low.
- Add the remaining oil to a large frying pan and heat until hot, then fry the remaining four eggs until the white is crisp at the edges, but the yolk is still runny (you can baste the egg in the hot oil to make it cook quicker.
- Divide the rice between four bowls and top each with a fried egg, then serve.