Sunday, March 20, 2011

You be the Sommelier

On my 18th birthday my parents gave me a hand hammered wok. All these years later I still use it constantly, and it's turned out to be one of the best gifts I've ever been given.

Fried rice is a quick and easy dish for which the wok is vital. About a year ago I discovered that I can "hide" things like spinach and cabbage in fried rice, and my kids will happily eat it. Fried rice is a great vehicle for leftovers, and seriously, what's not to like? There are authentic versions from all over Asia, and there are the versions that come from places like my house, in which the same basic techniques are used but the ingredients are whatever I have leftover from the day before.

On this day I had some leftover steak. Some chopped onion, carrot, and an egg - that's plenty to make a nice fried rice. It would have been better if I had a scallion or some ginger, but those are the breaks. Here's one thing I can tell you about wok cooking: heat the wok without any oil in it, for longer than seems reasonable. We cannot achieve restaurant heat using our domestic stoves, so highest flame for a few minutes must suffice. Then a bit of oil, a swirl, and more heat. Use canola, safflower, corn, or something that won't smoke under high heat.

The onions first, and then things like ginger, if you're using it. The carrots next, especially if you want them to be cooked enough so that your two-year old can chew them easily. Then the leftover cooked rice, and really toss it well to separate the grains. Then the meat and the egg, tossing constantly. I seasoned here with a bit of Chinkiang vinegar and soy sauce, et voila.

So that's the dish - fried rice with beef and egg. Please, you be the sommelier. What would you serve with this dish? Leave your ideas in the comments and in a few days I'll share what I drank and whether or not it was a good match.

13 comments:

Nicola said...

I can't decide: either a Botte Freres riesling, or some other similar riesling from Alsace or a blanc de noirs champagne

Anonymous said...

German Riesling, keep it at Kab level.

BTW, keeping the steam rice over night in the fridge will allow the grain to separate better. :)

Daniel said...

Riesling or maybe a Sauvignon Blanc!

Le Brown Belly said...

Yup, Riesling I would choose. Wok skills, impressive!

Stevie said...

Well, this dish sounds like it wouldn't be that spicy and you did add beef. I know that everyone always recommends whites for this kind of thing but I never agree with that. Red is more complex and has the potential to add excitement and enjoyment to Asian dishes. For this I'd try a spicy California zinfandel, perhaps from Paso Robles. We were just at the Zin Fest there over the weekend and there's loads from which to choose. Perhaps Riverstar? or maybe if you're feeling frisky, Turley?

Clotpoll said...

On my 18th birthday, my mom told me I should learn how to reupholster car interiors.

Keith Levenberg said...

Red Burgundy if I'm in the mood for something red, riesling or bubbles if in the mood for something white. We do red Burgundy all the time with the Jean-Georges ginger fried recipe from Spice Market which the NYT published a little while ago. My absolute favorite fried rice dish.

King Krak, I Drink the Wine said...

Thinking for less than a second, something from my cellar: 2007 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Großes Gewächs.

Andrew R said...

ito en green tea for the kiddies, pint of asahi for the daddy

Cliff said...

This calls for something interesting but a little rustic: maybe a Descombes or a Puffeney Trousseau. If you had added ginger, that would have complicated things.

Clotpoll said...

Chateau Chalon. Or, if it's not a splurge, any good, funky, oxidative white Jura. Love this kind of wine with Chinese. Plays well against the eggs.

Michael Amendola said...

A good quaffing wine for me, entry level gruner veltliner, or welschriesling, maybe a well made silvaner (like Hans Wirsching)

Brooklynguy said...

Thanks for these suggestions. I drank a Mosel Riesling, the 2009 Immich Batterieberg Escheberg. It is a delicious wine, and it actually was great with fried rice.