In the KB kitchen this is usually dinner, but I can also imagine heating it up for breakfast. Serve it as a side, or with an egg. My mouth has been watering all the time I have been prepping this post - you'll love it!
This is a Mr. KB recipe. He stumbled across it in 2010 and made it part of his cooking repertoire. I have eaten it countless times - always extra delicious since I have never been the one who made it. It comes from Mark Bittman, writing in the New York Times and he, in turn, got it from his chef friend - the famous Jean Georges Vongerichten.
I love it with an over easy egg (or two) oozing into the rice, but this can be served as a side dish for many things - and we have at times had it with shrimp. If you were to peek at the original recipe site, you'll see that it is pictured as a mostly "white" rice dish. The photo here shows it darker - and this is from our use of a bit more soy sauce - just one of a few modifications that Mr KB made.
Bittman himself acknowledges that there are several steps to the prep, but that each is quick. In the KB kitchen the steps lend themselves to a "same day / make ahead" approach.
Make ahead: On the same day, some time before -
- make the rice ahead of time so it has time to cool and dry a bit, BUT please see Notes below for important food safety linked to rice
- finely chop (or mince) the garlic and ginger
- make the crisped garlic and ginger
- thinly slice the leeks
1/4 cup peanut oil (see Notes)
2 TB garlic (finely chopped or minced)
2 TB ginger (finely chopped or minced)
(We prefer the garlic and ginger to be finely chopped.) In a medium to large fry pan, heat the peanut oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until crisp and brown - being sure to stir occasionally. Your kitchen will smell magnificent! With a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic and ginger to paper towels and salt lightly. This can be made well ahead of time - even the day before.
1 cup jasmine rice, cooked, and cooled (see Notes below re Food Safety)
The original recipe calls for 4 cups day-old rice, preferably jasmine, at room temperature.
Will begin by saying that Mr. KB doesn't bother with the "day old" bit. He makes the rice shortly before final prep of the dish and let's it cool no longer than an hour - but this is not as specified in the original recipe. Bittman's advice is to make this ahead of time - even the day before. He suggests it should be at room temperature as you go into final preparation, though you may have been storing it in the fridge.
1 cup of uncooked rice usually yields 3 cups cooked. Adjust the quantity of dry rice (and water and cooking time) if you'd like just a bit more cooked rice.
2 cups thinly sliced leeks
2 TB peanut oil
(rice from above)
2 TB soy sauce (optional - no soy sauce or even a bit more to taste)
Slice the leeks, white and light green parts only, then rinse and dry them.
If you have just cooked the garlic and ginger, use the same pan. If you made the garlic/ginger earlier, then re-heat the skillet to medium-low and add 2 tablespoons peanut oil and the leeks. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are very tender but not browned. Season lightly with salt.
Raise the heat to medium and add the rice (which should be around room temperature. Cook, stirring well, until heated through. Season to taste with salt. That's it if you want "white-ish" rice.
If you want the rice to look "brown-ish" like my photo, then add 2 TB (or more) of soy sauce to the pan.
4 (or more) large eggs
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp soy sauce
In a separate pan, using another 2 -3 TB of peanut oil, fry the eggs until set, but with the yolks still runny.
To serve, dish out some rice and top each with 1-2 fried eggs. Lightly drizzle with sesame oil and soy sauce. Sprinkle with crisped garlic and ginger.
Notes and Tips...
- Peanut Oil - Bittman notes that Jean Georges makes this with rendered chicken fat (aka schmaltz). I bet that would also taste great.
- Rice - The original recipe calls for 4 cups day-old rice, preferably jasmine, at room temperature. Bittman notes that since this is a chef's recipe, there is likely always some leftover, day-old rice in the kitchen. He also suggests one can buy rice from a Chinese take-out. Mr KB has never made this with day-old rice, and usually makes the rice about an hour before the final steps.
- Rice: Food Safety - It's surprising how many people do not know that cooked rice, if handled improperly, can cause food poisoning. Unless cooked rice is being used right away / within an hour it should be transferred from the cooking pan/dish and distributed evenly in a larger shallow dish. This is the best way to cool the rice, eliminating hot spots where possible spores can grow into dangerous bacteria. Even when in a shallow pan, rice should be refrigerated after one hour. (Sample Source)
- For KB Recipe Attribution Practices please click here.