When I made a pork tenderloin the other night, Ashly made a comment about pork fried rice. I'd never made that before, but it's something that I've always wanted to try. After all, it sounded easy and it's something that I already know tastes good, but I had just never done it. Maybe it's because I tend to only try out new recipes if they're main dishes. Anyway, once it was in my mind, I couldn't quite get rid of it and I decided to give it a try.
Here are my main ingredients: cold cooked rice (used my rice cooker), diced carrots and onions (not in the original recipe, but recommended by reviewers), a can of peas (also not in the original recipe), and diced leftover pork tenderloin.
I was trying to time everything to be ready when Andy got home from work, so rather than measure spices directly into the pan, I measured the garlic powder, ginger, pepper, and chili sauce into the pork. My mom does this with salt and baking powder/ soda when baking.
I scrambled up some eggs and set them aside. Because the recipe said to add the scrambled eggs and soy sauce at the same time later, I measured the soy sauce directly into the bowl with the eggs. In retrospect, that wasn't too bright because the eggs soaked up all the soy sauce flavor, but I guess making mistakes is how I will teach myself to cook.
Next, I sauteed up the onion, carrots, and peas.
This is the first time I've ever used canned peas. Judging by the yellow-ish color, it'll probably be the last. They tasted fine, but really, how appetizing do they look? Ah well.
When Andy said he was about 15 minutes away, I put the cold rice in the skillet with the pork and spices, and stirred it up until the flavor was mixed and the mixture was warm. Then I added the vegetables mixture and the eggs/ soy sauce mixture, although I needed to add more soy sauce because it was soaked into the eggs. In the end, it looked like this.
Now, I couldn't just make pork fried rice and expect my husband to consider it a full meal. I have a recipe for sticky, sweet, spicy chicken and it has been very popular in the past, so I decided to stick with the Asian theme and make that.
Normally, I use chicken breasts. But I know that Andy prefers chicken thighs to breasts, so I decided to use them instead. After slicing them into strips and adding flour and paprika to dredge them, this is what they looked like:
Two things to keep in mind:
1. If you're going to dredge chicken in flour, it is not a good idea to do this far in advance. I mixed all this together and set it aside until Andy was on his way home, and it resulted in one sticky lump of chicken all glued together. Whoops. Won't make that mistake again!
2. I cut my finger pretty badly in this step and lost most of my enthusiasm for taking pictures at this point. Bear with me.
I made a sauce with brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, ginger, minced garlic, and hot sauce. Then I remembered that I normally double the sauce, so then I measured everything out again. This is a close-up.
Side note: Why do food sellers insist on selling honey packaged in those teddy-bear-shaped containers? They are so difficult to squeeze honey out of, especially if you've already cut your finger and are trying to do everything one-handed.
Though it deviates from the original instructions, I always simmer the sauce for 4-5 minutes alone, then add in the chicken (already sauteed) and simmer for another 4-5 minutes. This is what it looked like at that point.
And a close-up:
I failed at getting pictures of either dish on a plate - completely forgot with the chaos of doing everything one-handed. Everything came together very nicely, though. The flavor of the rice was a little different, though I think the soy sauce and ginger were really appealing. And it certainly balanced the spiciness of the chicken. Andy really loved the fact that I used thighs this time, though I still think I like chicken breasts better. But they were delicious and easy, and one of my favorite things to make.
As always, if you are interested in either recipe, hit me up and I'll gladly share.