Fried rice is an excellent way to use up old rice. When steaming rice, I always add extra for the next day's breakfast or lunch. Store leftover rice, covered, in the refrigerator.
For something a little different, try Luke Nguyen's pagoda rice steamed in lotus leaf recipe, or a fast-and-simple Thai-style fried rice recipe.
1 tbsp fish sauce
½ tbsp vegetable oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp annatto oil
½ pineapple, cut into bite-sized chunks
100g podded peas, blanched
6 cups cold cooked rice (or start with 2 cups uncooked rice)
1 cup roughly chopped dill
Soy and chilli dipping sauce, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Clean the cuttlefish by opening the body and removing the hard cuttlebone. Remove the ink sac and tentacles. Separate the tentacles by cutting them off just below the ink sac. The 'beak’ (the hard core) inside the tentacles should now easily pop out if you press with your fingers. Discard the ink sac and beak. Rinse the cuttlefish body and tentacles under cold water, pulling off any outer mauve-coloured membrane. Drain and pat dry. With a sharp knife, score the cuttlefish body, then cut into 3cm strips. Cut the tentacles into 3cm lengths. Marinate in the fish sauce for 10 minutes.
Heat the vegetable oil in a wok. Pour the eggs over the base of the wok and cook for 1-2 minutes, rotating the wok to ensure the omelette cooks evenly. Remove from the wok and when cool enough to handle, chop into bite-sized pieces.
Wipe out the wok and return to the heat. When hot, add the cuttlefish. Keep the cuttlefish moving to prevent it from sticking and to cook it evenly. When opaque, remove the cuttlefi sh from the wok and set aside.
Place the wok back on the heat. Add the annatto oil and pineapple. Toss the pineapple for 3 minutes, until slightly coloured. Quickly add the peas and rice. Keep tossing the ingredients as the rice will stick easily at this stage, ensuring all the rice grains are coated with annatto oil. When the rice has heated through, return the cuttlefish to the wok along with the cooked egg and chopped dill. Toss to mix and then remove from heat.
Place the rice onto a large platter and serve with soy and chilli dipping sauce on the side.
This recipe is an extract from KOTO: A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam by Tracey Lister and Andreas Pohl (Hardie Grant Books).
Photography by Michael Fountoulakis.