I picked up Issue 53 of Donna Hay magazine the other day. There, on page 161 was a stack of small shallow egg nests looking as light and thin as French crepes. A mixture of sauteed mushrooms, bean sprouts and green onions were nestled beautifully in a shallow bowl of cooked egg the shape of the scoop of a ladle.
I had to try it. With some cooked brown rice in the refrigerator, I decided to make a deconstructed version of fried rice. Rather than whipping some eggs, frying them and slicing them up to stir into the rice as normal, the rice would rest inside of egg nests.
I may have had Asian food on my mind, as I had just listened to Linda Carucci via teleforum talk about what’s new in the culinary field. CarucciÂ is Chef Director at The Art Institute of California-San Francisco, a cookbook author, and International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Cooking Teacher of the Year in 2002.
One of the food items she mentioned is Ponzu, a Japanese seasoning, which is now available in bottles on grocery store shelves. Ponzu is basically soy sauce with citrus added to give bright flavor. I found Kikkoman brand ponzu in a local grocery store. A few years ago I taught a fondue cooking class. We made our own Ponzu sauce to use for dipping chicken and shrimp.
I made a small amount of ponzu to season the fried rice. Toasted sesame oil gets whisked into my ponzu along with some fresh ginger and garlic.
I just can’t tell you how delicious this deconstructed fried rice is. It’s deconstructed in the sense that rather than mixing all the ingredients together, some are held out of the rice and layered. I can only guarantee the rich, satisfying flavor when it is seasoned with the made-with-my-recipe ponzu sauce.
First, an egg nest rests on the plate. One egg will yield three or four shallow cooked egg nests. Fill with frozen organic peas and sauteed celery slices that have been stirred into cooked brown rice seasoned with ponzu. Sprinkle with bits of crispy bacon and slices of green onion. Deconstructed fried rice. Quick, easy, healthful.
I ate this for supper, but I would easily serve it for breakfast or lunch or brunch. A sweet, juicy clementine is just the right dessert for this meal.
I have a gas range, so it was easy to hold theÂ oiled ladle over the flame to heat it up before adding a tablespoon of beaten egg. I gave the cooked egg a little nudge around the edge with a table knife and it slid right out of the ladle. If you don’t have an open flame, you can cook the egg in a lightly greased, small, non-stick frying pan over low heat. The result will be flat, rather than bowl-shaped.
Such a fun way to serve fried rice or sauteed mushrooms. What would you serve in these egg nests?
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon minced gingerroot
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Combine all ingredients..Â Whisk together.Â Store in sealed jar in refrigerator.
Deconstructed Fried Rice with Ponzu
- 1 egg
- sea salt flakes
- cooked brown rice, about 2 cups
- 2 slices bacon
- 1 rib of celery, sliced thin
- 1 cup organic frozen peas
- 1 or 2 teaspoons Ponzu sauce (see recipe above)
- 4 green onions, sliced
Slice bacon into thin pieces. Cook over medium heat in saute pan until crispy. Remove with slotted spoon to plate. Set aside. Pour all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat from the pan. Add celery and saute until crisp tender. Stir in peas and continue to saute until peas are heated through. Season with ponzu.
Beat egg in a small bowl. Add sea salt. Brush inside of metal ladle with canola oil. Hold over open flame on gas range until bowl of ladle is hot. Add 1 tablespoon of beaten egg and swirl to coat the bowl of the ladle. Once the egg is cooked (it won’t take long), slide a table knife around the edge of the cooked egg and slide out onto a plate.
Spoon rice mixture into each egg nest. Sprinkle with bacon bits and green onion slices. Makes 4 egg nests filled with fried rice.