For someone with a cultural background like mine, steamed rice is a staple food. We eat it breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s versatile. Fresh. Clean. (Almost sounds like I’m describing an Apple product.)
Fried rice is the complete opposite. But I love it even better.
Where steamed rice is soft and fluffy, fried rice is hard and crunchy. Where steamed rice is plain and healthy, fried rice is rich and flavoursome. Where steamed rice is all-round and multipurpose, fried rice goes with only a few things, but it is perfectly suited to them.
Its taste is inexplicably sharp. Each element of it’s elegant simplicity blends seamlessly into the one grain. A grain of perfection and balance. It is a satisfactory dish just by itself.
I’m not talking about the fried rice that you find at Chinese restaurant. Not the oily guff with stale peas, mushy scrambled egg, and wilted spring onions. I’m talking about the real fried rice. The one that’s rice, cooked in a searing pan with nothing save a pinch of salt, a drop of vegetable oil, and a small clove of garlic. It’s rice. That’s fried. As simple as that.