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Friday, July 15, 2011

Spam Pineapple fried rice

I can't decide where to put this, so it will probably be a dual blog post. It is the ultimate fusion, and of course, it is inspired by that great melting pot of Hawaii. I first saw a version of this made by Chef Sam Choy and have adopted it for myself.

First there is the smoked Spam, the essential ingredient and cultural icon of Hawaii gets a BBQ spin with a hour and a half in the kettle, over apple wood and citrus wood charcoal, some briquettes thrown on for fun. I rubbed the Spam with a salt free Dizzy Dust rub, I mean, there is no need to add more salt to Spam. Here it is, and I might add, Spam looks more delicious smoked
This was allowed to rest overnight, let the smoke settle in while I ate other stuff. Note the bacon? Yes, applewood bacon. Next are the aromatics and spices, chopped onions, celery, lemon zest, Red Boat black pepper, garlic chives and some chile powder. 

 The onions and celery were sauteed in the wok until translucent. Then the meat, comprised of a little bit of smoked Spam and some crumbled bacon were added and heated through. The rice, a jasmine rice from Thailand was cooked then cooled on a bamboo mat, as drier cool rice makes for a better friend rice. I slightly undercooked the rice to get the right texture and to prevent it breaking down in the wok. The cooling on a bamboo mat or strainer allows for air circulation and prevents mushiness, this also works great for noodle to be fried.
The rice was tossed into the wok and tossed a few times to heat through. Then I added the spices (shown above) to season it all up. I then added a flavoring blend of 1 teaspoon each of Red Boat Fish Sauce, Liquid Amino Acids and Japanese Worcestershire sauce. Anyone who has followed my cooking knows it is all about layers of flavors and playing the idea for raw or crispy off of cooked and tender, so the final additions were some chopped kimchi and come fresh pineapple chunks. 
The whole mixture was tossed in the wok for a minute then loaded into a bowl, obviously there was far more than one serving. Some was tossed in a bowl and topped with a fried egg. 
Take a look at that egg and the mixture underneath. Yes, a fried egg, sunny side up, no I am not worried about getting food poisoning. Another beauty shot.
The egg I got from my sister's chickens, the rich yellow yolk and see how it stands up, you know that is a good egg. I like to add the egg to the top and then let the yolk flow down and flavor the rice. As a child, I hated raw yolk, but, now, I love the warmed yolk on hot rice, there is something about the richness of the yolk and how it sits on rice that is just perfect.