Saturday, January 21, 2006

Sprouts Fried Rice - Indo-Chinese Fusion Cooking

Fusion cooking is basically the art of blending compatible flavours of different foods and cooking methods of East and West to create dishes which are unique,exotic and offer the best of both worlds.With the growing number of food bloggers sharing their food traditions and exposure to multi-cuisines and cooking methods,the enthusiasm to attempt at fusion cooking and bring forth my creative culinary endeavours is growing with each passing day.Of course,I would like to tread cautiously initially ,attempting at safe and familiar ‘mix and match’ foods and spices before embarking on more adventurous creations…:) At the end of the day you want your food to taste good and provide good nutrition and if our experiment with fusion cooking provides just that..what more can you ask for..:)

Chinese cuisine is a very popular cuisine in India and one can find innumerable food joints serving Indo-Chinese fusion cuisine. A number of Indian kitchens,five star hotels,restaurants and wayside dhabas cook and serve this fusion food which involves a different cooking style i.e cooking in a wok with Indian herbs and spices like green chillis,red chilies,coriander,black pepper,garam masala and using Chinese cooking methods and spices like soya sauce,vinegar,tomato sauce,chilli-garlic sauce. This fusion food is very tasty, flavorful and a refreshing change for the Indian palate. Chilli Paneer,Gobi Manchurian, Crispy Schezuan Prawns, American Chopsuey ,Chilli Chicken and Rice dishes like Chicken Fried Rice and Veg Fried Rice are some of the Indo-Cuisine specialities.

One of my favourite cuisines is Chinese and there is something about it,whether it’s the nutrition factor or the special ingredients used or the presentation or the sheer simplicity in cooking style involving less cooking time…which just amazes me. In our home, Chinese Fried Rice is relished by all and its a simple and easy recipe that can be made in a jiffy and can be served alone or as an accompaniment to a main dish.This dish is so versatile that you can use a variety of veggies,chicken,shrimps,eggs,sprouts,corn kernels (let your imagination run wild)..well, it has a bit of everything spices, chillies, meat and vegetables.All I can say it’s a palatable dish that one cant resist.

"Fried rice with Choice of Flavors.There are more ways to make fried rice than I would care to count. Which is more authentically Chinese?...Fried rice, Chinese style, can be varied infinately by following a basic recipe and just changing the main ingredients used in conjunction with the rice. Roast pork, ham, chicken, or any type of seafood or preserved meats may be used."
--Jim Lee's Chinese Cook Book,Jim Lee [Harper Row:New York]1968

Sprouts Fried Rice is a prepared using sprouts,basmati rice and red chilli paste.Each grain of the cooked rice should be seperate and rice should be cold.Chinese wok-cooking is all about the timing of the ingredients and the proper tossing and mixing and maintaining proper temperature(flame).Barbara of Tigers & Strawberries has written a very interesting and in-depth article on home-style Chinese cooking,"Stir Fry Technique: Ten Steps to Better Wok Cookery".A must-read for those who love to cook Chinese.Here’s how the recipe goes:


2 cups of cooked basmati rice
1 cup sprouts
1 tsp red chilli paste (soak 2-3 dry red chillis in 1 tbsp of malt vinegar for half an hour and make a paste)

1 tbsp. groundnut oil
½ tsp. soya sauce
1 tsp tomato sauce(optional)
salt to taste
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
white pepper pwd (as per your choice-its optional)
2 tbsp bell pepper jullienes or spring onions

Heat oil in a wok or large non-stick skillet till it nearly smokes and add the chopped garlic and ginger and stir fry for a few seconds on high heat.Keep tossing around so that it doesnt burn.
Add the red chilli paste and stir fry for 10-15 seconds.Now add sprouts and cover and cook for 2-3 mts on medium heat.
Add the soya sauce,tomato sauce,salt and white pepper pwd and mix well.
Add the completely cooled rice to the wok and stir fry tossing well for about 2 mts.Its important to note here that after adding the rice, flip the whole thing over as quickly as possible in order to coat the rice grains with the rest of the ingredients.
Garnish with bell pepper juliennes or spring onions.Serve hot.



Rorie said...

I'm very intrigued with "fusion" cooking and the blending of regional cuisines ... this sounds quite tasty! Great post!

a said...

Hi Saiu,

It's so funny - I recently post my Egg Fried Rice on my blog and you've your Sprouts Fried Rice-looks really good to me but I never had one with sprouts before...very interesting thing to do! Thanks for sharing..


sailu said...

Thanks,rorie.Fusion cooking is fun..:)

Tin,your egg fried rice looks yummy.Sprouts fried rice is a regular at home and healthy too..:)

Ashwini said...

Sailu I must say this is a lovely twist on an old favorite. I dont think there is any Indian around who does not like Indo-Chinese. But the sprouts must surely add another flavor to the dish. Its going on my must try list

mg said...

Sailu, ginger with rice is always a favourite for me. With added sprouts, and chillies too. Great recipe you've put together. I'm drooling over your photo. I love rice.

Barbara Fisher said...

Hello, Sailu--

I love fried rice and I make it as a way to use up leftovers all the time.

One big favorite way to eat it, though, is to make what I call "Hillbilly" (do you know what a hillbilly is--it is a slang term for the folks who live in the southern Applachian mountains--or most of West Virginia, where I am from) Fried Rice. I use greens, bacon, onions and eggs in it. It is really good.

My Pakistani and Bangladeshi personal chef clients had me making Indo-Chinese food a lot--they loved it. We always had a good time in the kitchen together--them teaching me things, me teaching them things. It was fun.

Keep up the good cooking--those sprouts in that fried rice are looking pretty amazing.

sailu said...

Yes,agree with you,Ashwini...very rare to find one who doesnt enjoy eating indo-chinese food.Try this one,you'll love it.

I love rice too,Mae and with sprouts its healthy too..:)

I am honored by your visit,Barbara.Thank you so much for dropping by ..:)
The slang 'hillybilly' is new to me..thanks for sharing and for your kind words.