It’s too easy to make boring rice. Sometimes you want a good base for the other foods and sauces you’re serving, but in simpler dishes the rice really needs to justify itself a little. It’s that which inspired this simple fruity fried rice. It goes especially well with fish.
You’ll be needing
Quantities to serve 2, multiply as needed.
- Rice, count out what you’d consider a ‘small portion’, since it will be bulked up with extras
- A Shallot, finely sliced.
- A centimetre chunk of ginger, finely sliced or crushed.
- Three mini-peppers, finely sliced.
- Four mushrooms, finely sliced.
- Handful of spinach leaves.
- Small handful of dried tropical fruit (mango, pineapple, pomegranate, etc.) The cheaper cubed fruit is about the right size out of the packet, fancier, larger pieces should be chopped up.
- Handful of pine nuts.
Start boiling the rice as normal. If you’re serving with an oriental-flavoured fish, you could use a little sesame oil to help stop it sticking and add an appropriate flavour.
In a frying pan on medium heat, add a dash of olive oil and fry all the vegetables apart from the spinach together with the fruit and nuts. The idea is to do this at a medium pace, to match the boiling rice, which helps the fruit moisten. (You can also soak the dried fruit beforehand, but I’ve found that’s not really necessary.)
Check on the rice. Once you have a few minutes left, toss the spinach into the frying pan with the other vegetables and fruit. You want to it reduce down a bit, but not so much that it shrinks to nothing. Such is the knack of frying spinach. A couple of minutes should be sufficient.
Drain and rinse the rice, and immediately throw it into the frying pan. Stir it around. The rice will absorb the flavours from the pan. (An obvious variation here is to combine them separately in a bowl, keeping the flavours more distinct). That’s it, ready to serve.
I last cooked this with salmon, and I’d recommend it. The fruit is a great complement to fish anyway, and if you marinate the salmon in soy sauce with ginger and brown sugar, it makes for an excellent sweet and sour dish.