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Recipe: Karikari okoge no yakimeshi (fried rice with crispy bits)

This fried rice dish is left to sizzle in the pan, untouched, so that it forms lovely little crispy bits

Fried rice is a personal thing, says Tim Anderson: some people like it fluffy and relatively plain, others prefer it dense and highly seasoned. I like it in pretty much all its forms, but I especially like it when the rice is left to sizzle in the pan, untouched, so that it forms little crispy bits. This gives it a nice textural contrast as well as a lovely scorched-rice aroma.

Ingredients: Serves 2
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 200g raw, peeled and de-veined king prawns
  • ½ an onion, finely diced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 50-60g shiitake (de-stemmed) or chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 large portions of cooked and chilled rice (from about 200g uncooked weight)
  • 1½ tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp dashi powder
  • white pepper, to taste
  • 20-30g beni shoga (red pickled ginger, available online or in Asian supermarkets), coarsely chopped
Method
  • This is a very quickly cooked dish, so make sure that all your prep is done and laid out before you start cooking.
  • Heat half the oil in a reliable non-stick frying pan (skillet) or well-seasoned wok over a very high heat, and add the prawns and onion. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, then clear a space in the centre of the pan and pour in the eggs. Scramble the eggs, then remove everything from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the remaining oil to the pan, then add the mushrooms, garlic and spring onions. Stir-fry for a minute or so, then add the rice and a little splash of water. Break up the rice with your spatula so there are no clumps, then reduce the heat to medium and add all of the seasonings, as well as the beni shoga.
  • Fold in the prawns, eggs and onions, then gently press the rice down into the pan to maximise crispiness, then leave to fry for about 5 minutes, without stirring. After a while, you should be able to smell a nutty, popcorn-like aroma coming from the pan – this means the rice is toasting nicely. Once you start to smell this, continue to fry the rice for another couple of minutes, then tip it out onto a plate and enjoy.
  • Chef’s tip: this recipe uses prawns – my favourite. You can leave them out for a vegetarian version, or use a different protein, if you prefer. The process is the same.
Your Home Izakaya recipe book by Tim Anderson

Recipe taken from Your Home Izakaya by Tim Anderson, published by Hardie Grant at £25. To buy from The Week Bookshop for £19.99, call 020-3176 3835 or visit theweekbookshop.co.uk.

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