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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

“Meat” Fried Rice – Four Ways

Meat Fried Rice - Four Ways

My editor, Jeff Houck, sent over a picture of pan-fried Scrapple slice and my heart fluttered like crazy. “Scrapple? Scrapple! What’s Scrapple? I asked him,” and within 30 minutes was off to the supermarket to find Scrapple, a distant cousin to Spam.

Yes, I have an odd fascination with meat that comes in it’s own coffin.

“hmmm…I wonder if I could showcase the otherwise disgusting “meat” in a edgy, fashion-y, Bon Appetit-esque yet appetizinng way. I mean, when was the last time you saw a photo of canned ham and said, “DAMN…that’s a mighty fine piece of ass?!”

While I was there, I went bezerk and ended up with a basketful of “meat” products along with a variety of ingredients to concoct four different recipes. And really. That’s how my “meat” adventure began.

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Scrapple Fried Rice with Fresh Chilies and Garlic

Scrapple

Hello world, meet Scrapple, a product that when fried with nothing else, tastes just like the name sounds, scrappy offal. If you must know what scrapple is made of, Wikipedia paints a pretty picture:

Scrapple is typically made of hog offal, such as the head, heart, liver, and other scraps, which are boiled with any bones attached (often the entire head), to make a broth. Once cooked, bones and fat are discarded, the meat is reserved, and (dry) cornmeal is boiled in the broth to make a mush. The meat, finely minced, is returned, and seasonings, typically sage, thyme, savory, and others are added. The mush is cast into loaves and allowed to cool thoroughly until gelled.

I don’t know about you, but thank goodness for sage, thyme and savory. The thought of jellied pig snout without those herbs just sends shivers throughout my frail, virgin body.

My main strategy when developing this recipe, was really, “how the hell do I transform something so utterly disgusting into a flavorful fried rice that even the pickiest eater would enjoy (as long as I didn’t let on what scrapple was.)

I chose 3 of the most pungent Asian ingredients that I had on hand: fresh chilies, fish sauce and garlic. Now, I know some of you would say that fish sauce sounds just as disgusting as scrapple, since basically a vat of stinky, fermented fish. But it’s a Southeast Asian staple and I’m being SO hypocritical right now. But did you know that your beloved Worcestershire sauce also contains a version of fish sauce? Dude. I KNOW! If only the makers of scrapple had marketing smarts too – and named their product something a little appealing than horse shit.

Scrapple Fried Rice

Because scrapple contains cornmeal, it crumbles pretty easily when fried, so I treated it like ground beef. First, I cut the scrapple into small cubes and stir fried it, using my spatula to break it up even further.

Scrapple Fried Rice with Fresh Chilies and Garlic

serves 2

1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 stalk scallion, minced
1 thinly sliced fresh chili (like Thai bird’s eye or jalepeno)
1/2 cup chopped scrapple
2 cups cooked, leftover rice (grains separated with a fork)
3/4 teaspoon fish sauce (substitute with 1 to 2 tsp soy sauce)
freshly ground black pepper

In a wok or large saute pan, heat just 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil over high heat. When the oil is very hot, add the scrapple and fry until browned, about 1 minute. Push the scrapple towards the outer edges of the wok, clearing a space in the middle to fry the aromatics. Turn the heat to medium, add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil and immediately add the garlic, scallion and fresh chilies. Stir fry for 15 seconds, until you can smell the fragrance of the aromatics. Turn your heat to high and add the rice. Use your spatula to mix all the ingredients thoroughly and at the same time spreading the rice and ingredients to use as much of the cooking surface of the wok as possible.

Now just leave it alone for 30 seconds. Don’t stir, poke or prod. Let the rice grains heat up, which basically will re-steam the rice. Once the rice has heated up, use your spatula to stir and flip the mixture. Pour the fish sauce slowly around the outer edges of the wok – the heat of the wok will help evaporate the fish sauce as it moves down the sides. Stir and flip the rice well again, to mix the fish sauce throughout. Season with black pepper. Let rice continue to cook until each of rice grain is hot.

***

Spam Fried Rice with Pineapple

Spam Fried Rice with Pineapple

Wow, what a voluptuous fan of Spam! Spread it all out, hot stuff!

spam fried rice

This was a no-brainer…I’ve previously have professed my love for Spam, in the Ode to Spam in the Style of Seuss, and I wanted to create a simpler, more refreshing version of Spam Fried Rice. My recipe calls for canned pineapple – but of course, you can use fresh pineapple, but hey…we’re going with the whole canned and processed theme here.

Spam Fried Rice with Pineapple

serves 2

2 teaspoons cooking oil
1/2 cup diced spam
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 stalk scallion, minced
1/4 cup crushed or 1/8 inch diced pineapple (canned or fresh)
2 cups cooked, leftover rice (grains separated)
1 to 2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

In a wok or large saute pan, heat the cooking oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the diced spam and fry until browned on all sides, about 1 minute. Push the spam towards the outer edges of the wok, clearing a space in the middle to fry. You should still have a bit of oil left that is pooled in the middle of the wok. Turn the heat to low, add the  add the ginger, scallions and pineapple. Stir fry for 15 seconds, until fragrant. Turn your heat to high and immediately add the rice. Use your spatula to mix all the ingredients thoroughly and at the same time spreading the rice and ingredients to use as much of the cooking surface of the wok as possible.

Now just leave it alone for 30 seconds. Don’t stir, poke or prod. Let the rice grains heat up, which basically will re-steam the rice. Once the rice has heated up, use your spatula to stir and flip the mixture. Pour the soy sauce sauce slowly around the outer edges of the wok – the heat of the wok will help evaporate the soy sauce as it moves down the sides. Stir and flip the rice well again, to mix the ingredients throughout. Finish with sesame oil and stir well. Let rice continue to cook until each of rice grain is hot.

***

Pork Roll Fried Rice with Shitake Mushrooms and Red Bell Pepper

Pork Roll Fried Rice
“Come ‘on, baby, look sexy for the camera….WORK IT!….Twirl and look over your shoulder now!…..YEAH BABY”

I had no idea there was such a thing as Pork Roll until I went shopping for Scrapple! The meat manager actually went around the store with me, helping find the scrapple (frozen section) and then also brought me to the refrigerated bacon and sausage section to hand me a package of Pork Roll. Four slices come per package, and it’s used in a regional specialty called “The Jersey Breakfast” – fried pork roll, egg and cheese sandwich. If you’re not lucky enough to find Pork Roll at your market, substitute with that strange oval-ish shaped canned ham. But then you’d have to buy that big can and only use a half cup diced. I have no idea how to eat that stuff outside of fried rice. I guess you could make the Jersey Breakfast sandwiches the next day from leftover canned ham.

Pork roll is basically coursely ground pork shoulder, and to me, is a Gucci-er version of spam. So I had to up the ante and use some fancy ingredients like fresh shitake mushrooms and fresh red bell peppers. Instead of plain ‘ol soy, I used Maggi sauce, a very popular condiment in Asia (even though its origins are Swiss). I’ve seen this seasoning at most major supermarkets and of course Asian markets too. I believe Maggi sauce even has a big cult following including myself!…. ;-)

Pork Roll Fried Rice

We were going for the casually tossed, grunge look for this photoshoot.

Pork Roll Fried Rice with Shitake Mushrooms and Red Bell Pepper

Pork Roll Fried Rice with Shitake and Bell Peppers

serves 2

2 teaspoons cooking oil
1/2 cup sliced pork roll
4 fresh shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cups cooked, leftover rice (grains separated)
1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine
1 teaspoon Maggi sauce (substitute with 1 to 2 teaspoons soy sauce)

In a wok or large saute pan, heat the cooking oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the pork roll and fry until browned, about 1 minute. Push the pork roll towards the outer edges of the wok, clearing a space in the middle to fry. You should still have a bit of oil left that is pooled in the middle of the wok. Turn the heat to low, add the shitake and bell pepper. Stir fry for 30 seconds, until softened. Turn your heat to high and immediately add the rice. Use your spatula to mix all the ingredients thoroughly and at the same time spreading the rice and ingredients to use as much of the cooking surface of the wok as possible.

Now just leave it alone for 30 seconds. Don’t stir, poke or prod. Let the rice grains heat up, which basically will re-steam the rice. Once the rice has heated up, use your spatula to stir and flip the mixture. Pour the Maggi sauce and the rice wine sauce slowly around the outer edges of the wok – the heat of the wok will help evaporate the sauce as it moves down the sides. Immediately, stir and flip the rice well again, to mix the ingredients throughout. Let rice continue to cook until each of rice grain is hot.

***

Vienna Sausage Fried Rice with Kaffir and Lemongrass

Vienna Sausage

Went for minimalistic architecture – symmetrical, clean, lines. Very sleek and slimming!

I admit to eating an entire can of Vienna Sausages – straight out the can at room temperature. LOVE IT. We used to eat these little turds fried for breakfast in Hong Kong. I thought it would be great to put a Southeast Asian twist to this fried rice – and use thin slivers of lemongrass and torn kaffir lime leaves – both from my garden, but you can find at most Asian markets. If they don’t have fresh lemongrass or kaffir, ask for either in frozen form.

To prepare lemongrass, measure about 4-6 inches from the bottom and cut. Discard the scratchy, long leaves and keep the bottom, white bulb part. Peel off the outermost leaves and use a very sharp chef’s knife to cut paper-thin slivers. If you’re not capable of doing this, grab a microplane grater and just grate the bottom 4 inches of the bulb. It’s a pretty fibrous grass, and if you cut into huge chunks, you’ll end up chewing like a cow. Not so lady-like.

For the Kaffir, take a single leaf and tear in several spaces, stopping at the spine to keep the leaf intact. You won’t actually eat this leaf, but exposing the inner part of the leaf will fragrance your entire dish.

Vienna Sausage Fried Rice with Kaffir and Lemongrass

Even the bowl is sleek and slimming!

Vienna Sausage Fried Rice with Kaffir and Lemongrass

Vienna Sausage Fried Rice with Kaffir and Lemongrass

3 teaspoons cooking oil, divided
1/2 cup Vienna sausage, each link cut into 4 pieces
1 tablespoon fine rings of lemongrass (see note)
3 kaffir lime leaves, torn in several places to spine
1 tablespoon sliced chilies
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups cooked, leftover rice (grains separated)
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce (substitute with 1-2 teaspoons soy sauce)

In a wok or large saute pan, heat just 2 teaspoons of cooking oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the Vienna sausage and fry until browned, about 1 minute. Push the sausage towards the outer edges of the wok, clearing a space in the middle to fry. You should still have a bit of oil left that is pooled in the middle of the wok. Turn the heat to low, add the lemongrass, kaffir leaves and chilies. . Stir fry for 30 seconds, until fragrant.

Now push those aromatics up to the sides of the wok to clear space again in the middle. Turn the heat to high and add the remaining 1 teaspoon of cooking oil and let that heat up to hot but not smoking. Add the egg and fry the egg, swirling gently to break up the egg. Cook the egg until firm, about 1 minute.

Add the rice. Use your spatula to mix all the ingredients thoroughly and at the same time spreading the rice and ingredients to use as much of the cooking surface of the wok as possible.

Now just leave it alone for 30 seconds. Don’t stir, poke or prod. Let the rice grains heat up, which basically will re-steam the rice. Once the rice has heated up, use your spatula to stir and flip the mixture. Pour the fish sauce slowly around the outer edges of the wok – the heat of the wok will help evaporate the sauce as it moves down the sides. Immediately, stir and flip the rice well again, to mix the ingredients throughout. Let rice continue to cook until each of rice grain is hot.

***
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75 Responses to ““Meat” Fried Rice – Four Ways”

  1. Cenk — 7/10/08 @ 5:27 am

    Jaden – Loved this post! I am no expert, but I think these are definitely the best photos you have ever taken. The meat products look extremely appetizing and it is no easy task. Both stumbled and dugg!

  2. Donald — 7/10/08 @ 10:05 am

    Nicely done Jaden! Very creative. I love scrapple, ONLY HABBERSET!!!!

    Being from Philadelphia, it was a breakfast staple. In school though, they somethimes served it to us for dinner in large thick slices with maple syrup and a side of mashed potatoes. I prefer the thinly sliced crispy type.

    I blogged about it and creamed chipped beef a while ago. Check it out when you get a chance:http://mrorph.com/foodblog/index.php?title=a-true-philly-breakfast&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

  3. City Girl DC — 7/11/08 @ 3:34 am

    I admire you now more than ever Jaden! That’s quite an accomplishment. You turned something kinda gross into a work of art. Reminds me of how my single working mom turned out great dishes on a budget. And by the way, I recently discovered fish sauce and love it!

  4. Leslie — 7/11/08 @ 8:15 am

    Wow..you make Scrappel look sooo pretty!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog!
    I never thought to look up other food bloggers here in Tampa!
    Yes we should have a Tampa Foodie Convention!LOL
    All my friend think I am such a dork for having a food blog, but screw em..I love cooking and food and I love photography!

  5. Jeremy — 7/11/08 @ 11:09 am

    Those sorts of meats were cooked in my mess hall in the army. Yes I did make a few nasty, high caloric and carb sandwiches with them, instant head buzz, but now I take omega pills.

    Thanks Jaden for the memories of mystery meat!

  6. sharon — 7/11/08 @ 1:42 pm

    Jaden, I’m loving these fried rice combos. I’ll say that from the options, I’ve only had spam. Scrapple still frightens me, but if you were to make it for me, I’d try it :)

  7. Veda — 7/11/08 @ 1:50 pm

    Dear jaden …its so fantastic to hear from you! I would love to see ur collection of magnets….send them soon to my event:-)

    Regards,
    Veda

  8. matt wright — 7/11/08 @ 11:31 pm

    a great looking dish, and a completely awesome bowl. Where did you get that?

    JADEN: Villeroy + Bach clearance outlet!

  9. Elise — 7/12/08 @ 9:15 pm

    You totally crack me up.

  10. wmw — 7/14/08 @ 7:26 am

    I love fried rice. This post of yours hit me right between the eyes!!!

  11. Maya — 7/14/08 @ 7:32 am

    Ahhh Spam !!!!Spam sandwiches with lots of sweet chili sauce was a childhood fav.
    This brings back memories Jaden!

  12. Dr. Biggles — 7/14/08 @ 1:56 pm

    Um, I believe it’s, Meat Adventure. Or at least that’s how we spell it in my circle of nutcases.

    xo, Biggles

  13. Carolyn Jung — 7/17/08 @ 4:59 pm

    That’s what I love about both fried rice and omelets _ basically you can put anything in it and it will always taste good. ;)

  14. Hillary — 7/18/08 @ 11:52 am

    I’m pretty sure you just kicked it up a notch for me. I am not usually big on fried rice, but if you’re adding meat, I’m in!

  15. Cricket — 7/19/08 @ 11:09 pm

    My husband is PA Dutch. He grew up on scrapple, or in the local dialect, panhas(I think). The closest European equivalent to scrapple is haggis.
    Double dog dare ya to do something with that Scottish sausage.

    I have a much better and less gutsy recipe for scrapple that involves muscle.
    It is actually quite good. You are a brave, brave lady to tackle scrapple!

  16. Kristin — 8/1/08 @ 12:13 pm

    Scrapple is best eaten deep fried with a sweet breakfast dish, like french toast. The whole then gets covered in syrup and is heavenly! A lot of people can’t get past whats in it, but several places in philly make their own these days and use better quailty product. Delish!!
    I’m loving the Spam revolution and am inching closer and closer to buying a can myself!

  17. Anita — 8/5/08 @ 7:59 pm

    How did you like the scrapple? I’m a huge fan of spam and vienna sausage, but didn’t really like scrapple. You might also like “pork roll”.

  18. rightwingprof — 8/18/08 @ 3:37 pm

    Forget the scrapple — go with head cheese.

  19. LOL my dad was born and raised in Hawaii and because of this we were raised to believe that SPAM was a delicacy and Vienna Sausage was “special.” My mom makes a great SPAM fried rice. In his retirement my dad has perfected a killer SPAM musubi recipe with a special teriyaki type glaze that he makes and shares with anyone standing within 5 feet of him, anytime, anywhere. Love your photos.

  20. Skull — 9/3/08 @ 7:39 pm

    http://www.rapascrapple.com/

    Click here if you can’t find scrapple in your neck of the woods.

  21. Sarah — 9/30/08 @ 9:41 am

    I love scrapple – always have some frozen, ’cause it is hard to find in the South. I am partial to RAPPA hot scrapple.

  22. tastyeatsathome — 10/20/08 @ 12:49 pm

    You know, the other day, I was thumbing through an old Julia Child cookbook “The Way To Cook” and she tells you HOW to make Scrapple! I was like, OMG, I totally know what that is, thanks to you, Jaden! Except I have a feeling Julia Child never considered scapple in fried rice….

    Thanks for sharing Jaden!

  23. moe wileaver — 2/28/10 @ 6:27 pm

    Hi,I really enjoy your site,just came across it a few days ago.I love “Little Smokies” I fix a crock pot of them with onions for the Bears Games,and OD on them, Love that salty,pork favor.Many some day you’ll come up with one of your great recipes using those,it would be something special. Thanks for a great foodie blog! moe

  24. Tina — 1/21/11 @ 11:25 am

    These are amazing ideas for fried rice. It is so perfect to eat friend rice in the morning and it is so amazing that we can do it in many ways according to the taste that we want. But most of the time I save leftover so that the following day we have a delicious fried rice with our leftover in it.

  25. Jane — 1/23/11 @ 3:31 pm

    What a hoot! A woman after my own heart. With your refined palate, you admit to eating Vienna sausages! I didn’t think they made them just for me. One of my guilty pleasures…eaten out of the can, halved and placed on saltines. Guess you could call them a poor man’s hors d’oeuvre.

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