I’m a huge fan of untraditional breakfasts.
By that I mean I’ll pretty much eat anything for the first meal of the day.
Sure, I love eggs, toast, pancakes, and hash browns as much as the next person, but there’s also something deeply satisfying about eating last night’s cold leftovers out of a tupperware container while standing in PJs in front of the fridge. It’s like helping yourself to seconds… just 12 or so hours later, and it feels oddly devious in a way.
Some people get really weird about the concept of eating something other than a traditional breakfast. Le boyfriend, for example, just can’t wrap his head around NOT eating eggs or waffles in the morning, which is kind of funny when you think about what our “traditional” daily start consists of: greasy protein, whole grains, or…sugary pastries? A slice of cake or cookies would be a big no-no at a traditional American breakfast table, but muffins, pancakes and waffles (covered in syrup and powdered sugar)… now that’s acceptable?
Pssssh! I say we break down those cultural barriers! Leftovers, cake, and cookies for all!
Now, I grant you that I have rarely gone out of my way to actually make an untraditional breakfast — I mostly just like to quickly scarf down a cold version of what was once dinner one or two days ago, but today I thought it was time to try my hand at something new…
In most parts of Asia, breakfast is similar to other meals of the day: rice, vegetables, soups, sometimes meats. A friend who is currently living in Korea wrote in a recent update that her breakfast is usually fried rice with an egg and kimchi… roughly the same thing she eats for lunch… and dinner.
This naturally peaked my curiosity. What would it be like to have fresh, warm, fried rice with my eggs instead of fried potatoes? Worth a try, right?
So I set to work this morning fryin’ up some rice ‘n eggs. I kept the rice nice and simple with just a few key ingredients and since I didn’t have kimchi on hand, I sauteed some asparagus spearz.
I’ll be honest, when I saw the finished product, I had my doubts about how much I was going to enjoy this homage to an Asian breakfast. But all my fears were washed away when I made my first cut into the fried egg and the yolk gushed all over the rice, creating a yolky mass of yummy goodness. Yep, I was pleasantly surprised how naturally this dish slid down my throat at 8 a.m.
For all you non-believers out there, I imagine this makes a pretty tasty light dinner as well… and a really great use for leftover rice any time of the day!
Ginger, Garlic and Mustard Fried Rice With Asparagus and Fried Egg
(portioned for one because no one else would eat it with me) 😦
- 1 cup of cooked white rice (leftover works great!)
- 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped into small little matchsticks
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 asparagus spears
- 1 egg
- Olive oil, for frying
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- In a shallow frying pan, heat some olive oil over high heat. Sauté the asparagus spears until soft and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- In the same pan, heat the peanut oil. When hot, add the ginger, garlic and mustard seeds and cook for 3 minutes, until fragrant. Add the rice and mix well, cooking for another 2 minutes.
- Add the soy sauce to the rice and mix well. Cook another three minutes and then set aside on a plate. Arrange the asparagus spears on top of the pile of rice.
- Using the same pan, yet again, heat a little more olive oil and when hot, crack an egg in the center, being careful not to break the yolk. Fry to an over-easy or over-medium consistency (I usually cook to over-medium. Takes about 3 minutes on high heat, with one flip at the 2 minute mark). Carefully place the finished egg on top of the asparagus spears. Top with salt and pepper, if you like.