Thai flavours fried rice with salad and a peanut dressing

This dish was born out of a wish to recall flavours of thai food in a fried rice dish, but only using what I had in the kitchen. The salad is part way between an Indonesian flavour combination, and the peanut and sesame seed flavour combo sometimes found in dishes bearing the name “bang bang chicken”.

To serve 2

150g rice
50g frozen peas
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 medium red onion, thinly chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
3 halves bell peppers, coarsely chopped
2 mushrooms, finely sliced
approx 1 tbsp oyster sauce + 1 tbsp kejap
1 cup frozen prawns
½ tbsp groundnut oil
1 pork loin steak, chopped into finger joint size pieces
1 tsp dried basil
½ a fresh lime
1 tbps groundnut oil
1 tsp chilli oil
1 baby red cos lettuce
2 carrots
3 hard boiled eggs
For the dressing

2 heaped tsp peanut butter
about 50ml boiling water
2 tsp (ish) chilli sauce (I used the linghams brand which only contains chilli, sugar, vinegar and salt)
about 1.5 tbsp kejap manis
1 lime
sesame seeds

bw fried rice and salad
Method

Add twice the water to the rice and turmeric, add the peas. Cover and bring to the boil before reducing to a simmer for 11 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to rest on the warm hob for 5 mins before moving to a cold hob or rack to cool.

Hard boil the eggs (pour on boiling water, boil for 8 mins then crash cool before removing the shells).

Wash the lettuce and allow to drain. Peel the carrots and slice lengthways down the middle before using the peeler to run down the narrow length of the halves and turn to ribbons. Roughly chop the drained lettuce and leave in a large bowl in the fridge.

Prepare the dressing by dissolving the peanut butter in the boiling water then adding the chilli sauce, kejap and the juice of the lime to taste. There should be a bit of bite from the lime and warmth from the chilli sauce.

In the wok over medium heat, toast a handful of sesame seeds until they have colour and you can smell them – keep them moving all the time. Transfer to a small bowl or ramekin and give them a stir to help them cool a bit.

Prepare the vegetables and pork as listed. Pour a little warm water over the prawns to defrost them.

In a small bowl, add the dried basil. Add the ½ tbsp of oil to the wok and heat til there is a little smoke – fry the pork over full heat for a couple of minutes until cooked and browned. Drain into the bowl and stir to evenly distribute the basil.

Remove the salad from the fridge, add a few tbsps of the dressing and mix. Divide into two small bowls to serve. Halve the eggs and add three halves to each bowl. Drizzle with more of the dressing then sprinkle each with a couple of tsps of the toasted sesame seeds.

Drain the prawns.

Add the 1tbsp oil and chilli oil to the wok on high heat and fry the onions for about 20 seconds, before adding the ginger and garlic. Add the peppers and fry for a couple of minutes before adding the mushrooms. After another couple of minutes, add the rice and push into the wok to break apart the grains. Add the kejap and oyster sauce and stir fry for about 3 minutes, coating the grains.

Now add the pork and prawns to the wok, squeeze over the juice of the lime and stir fry for another minute – long enough to get everything hot. Serve onto preheated dishes/plates.