Thursday, February 3, 2011

"Jamaican Me Crazy Good Fried Rice"


Seriously, Hannah? What is wrong with you?! The title of this post is completely lame. And truth be told, being (almost) Jamaican I really hate the stereotypical jokes, the "Jamaican me crazy" and the "ya mon." Hate 'em. But I get the appeal. I get how they are funny. Sorta, kinda.... Not really.

Sidenote: Happy Chinese New Year!! It is the year of the Rabbit this year, and I am so excited for all of my future fellow Rabbits to be born in 2011. Not to mention that After last year's Tiger year, I am looking forward to a much more delicate/gentle year!


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Anyway, this dish is something I have been eating my whole life. This may have been the first solid food I ever tasted. Right after ice cream.

Now, my dad makes this the absolute best. This is sort of his signature dish. Anytime we have strays friends over to my parents house for the first time, he makes this. His way of impressing people. My dad isn't the best at first impressions, but this totally makes up for it.

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I feel like I should share a story about it. But I don't think it has one. But I'll tell you what I think is the story as far as I am concerned. I'm a mut. Culturally. Both of my parents, and all of my sisters, were born and raised in Jamaica. Jamaica is a tiny island in the Carribean, and a very ecclectic country. It was owned by the british, has tons of Cuban influences (given the fact that you can see Cuba from the north shore), tons of Chinese immigrants. The food is a mix of all of those things. My dad's dad is chinese. And he has learned many a recipe from him. This is one of those. My only gripe is that for the average non-Jamaican cook you need one exotic ingredient, and it may be hard to find. But it is worth it. You need mushroom flavored dark soy sauce. This soy sauce is different than your run of the mill soy sauce because it is thicker, richer, deeper in flavor, and has less sodium. A little goes a long way. But it is so good, I use this soy sauce in every recipe that involves soy sauce because the flavor is so much better, and I'm keeping my blood pressure in check.

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The one I linked to is the brand that my dad, and I have always used, and I trust it. But if you are able to find a different brand, do what you gotta do. You can probably find it in your local oriental, or west indian market. Or on Amazon.

People always think that fried rice is labor intensive, but it's really meant to be a leftover dish. Whenever someone new tastes my Dad's fried rice they tell us we should box it up and sell it. And we probably should, but I am about to post it on my blog. So there goes that idea.

Jamaican Me Crazy Good Fried Rice
serves 4

6 cups cooked rice (day old is best)
4 eggs, beaten
1 bundle of green onions (about 5 onions), diced
1/2 lb cooked leftover meat, diced (I used leftover pork roast, but chicken, beef, and shrimp work great)
2 Tblsp mushroom soy sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3 Tblsp canola oil (any light tasting oil will work, not olive oil)
2 Tblsp butter (or non-stick spray)
salt and pepper to taste

In a large high sided skillet melt 1 Tblsp butter over low heat. Once melted, pour half of your beaten egg into the pan, swirl pan to coat with a thin layer of egg. Allow egg to set and then flip. Finish cooking on second side, slide out of pan, and repeat with remaining butter, and egg.

You now have 2 large crepe-like egg pancakes. Slice it, and then dice it in the opposite direction so that you have small squares of cooked egg, set aside.

Turn heat under skillet up to medium, and add oil. Heat until almost smoking. Crumble in rice being sure to seperate each grain, and sprinkle with garlic powder. Turn rice around in pan to coat each grain with oil, stir in green onion (the key is to key the rice moving, and scraping the sticky bits off the pan as you go). Add in meat, and egg, keep stirring. Pour soy sauce over rice, and stir, stir, stir coating all of the rice. It may not look like enough at first, but keep the rice moving and it will eventually coat all the rice (if it doesn't, add more soy sauce, 1 tsp at a time). Taste, and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with Sticky Chinese Chicken Wings, and Ginger Soy Sugar Snap Peas (recipes coming soon).

You can really customize this however you want. I've added a little bit of ginger to the oil, bean sprouts, water chestnuts (blech), you can even add vegetables like they do in the americanized asian restaurants. But I won't condone that. I don't like vegetables in my fried rice. At all. But the real secret ingredient is that you are supposed to be on the tipsy side of the sober spectrum.

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Just make sure you have supervision, so you don't burn the house down.

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4 comments:

  1. I'm intrigued! I want to try your family recipe so I'll look for some mushroom soy sauce at the store today! Wish me luck!! :) By the way, I'd SO much love to experience the culture and food of Jamaica. Since I can't travel there (not enough dough) just yet, I want to try the food...starting with your Dad's recipe. :)

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  2. Hi Sheila!! Thanks for stopping by!! I hope you found it! This really is as good as it looks! True story is I've never been, my WHOLE family was born there, but never had the good sense to take me back!! I would love to visit and it experience it first hand also! If you go will you bring me with you?! ;-)

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  3. hi Hannah, I looked yesterday at the grocery store for the mushroom soy sauce but they didn't have any. :( I'm going to a different grocery store to look for it today. I hope they have it!

    Even if they don't have it, I'm still gonna make this tonight for dinner. I'll just use regular soy sauce instead, and I'll serve it with some asparagus instead of peas. I love peas, but we some asparagus in our fridge that really needs to be used up.

    Anyway, I can't wait to to make it!

    By the way, I sure do hope that one day you and I will both make it to Jamaica!! I was reading that the people there are very friendly and welcoming, and I'm sure the food is amazing!

    A gal I work with is going there in May for her honeymoon. I'm so looking forward to seeing her pictures!!! :)

    Well, lady, take it easy, and I'll let you know how my rice turns out. I'm sure it'll be fantastic!! :)

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  4. hi Hannah, We made it last night and loved it!! It's just wonderful!! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe! :) Cheers! sheila

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog! It means the world to me!