Wanting some takeout, but not feeling like spending the money? Have a kitchen decently stocked with ingredients for Asian cooking, or a cheap Asian grocery store within an easy walk? Then go with this recipe. All I really had to do for this recipe was throw a thing of rice in the rice cooker the day before, and spend maybe a half hour tops getting everything going the day of. Simple, quick, and makes a regular shitton (though I might have to double the recipe next time as the boything really liked it). 

Ginger Fried Rice
Lasted two of us one meal and a bit leftover, will probably double next time

Ingredients

  • 4 c day-old cooked rice
  • .5 c peanut oil
  • 2 T minced garlic 
  • 2 T minced ginger (mine was grated, as I freeze mine) 
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 large leek, white and light green bits sliced thin
  • egg, if you want one on yours (do the thing if you do eggs, it’s great)
  • sesame oil 
  • soy sauce (I used the aged soy that I have from ) 

First, your rice. If you have leftover rice from other takeout that’s still good, use that. Otherwise, do what I did – throw a bunch of rice in your rice cooker the day before, cook it, and keep the warm function off. 

In a large pan, heat .25 c of peanut oil over medium heat, and then add in the minced garlic and ginger, cooking until crisp and lightly browned (see picture 3). Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl or on paper towels, and salt lightly. 

Reduce heat to medium low, add another 2 T of peanut oil, and add in your sliced leeks. Cook them for about 10 minutes, until they’re tender (but not browned; see the difference between pictures 4 and 5). Salt them lightly. 

Then, raise the heat back to medium, and add in your rice. Stir well, and cook until the rice is heated fully through (about eightish minutes), maybe a bit longer if you want the rice to have a bit of color and crunch to it. Pics six and seven are the rice just added to the pan, and after being fully heated. Again, add a small bit of salt. 

If you want to add an egg, heat the remaining peanut oil in a small nonstick pan over high, break an egg into it, and then cook until the whites have just set, but the yolk is still wobbly (call it two minutes). 

Then, scoop out the rice into your serving bowls, drizzle with a bit of sesame and a bigger bit of soy sauce, sprinkle the crisped garlic and ginger over it all, and, if you feel so inclined, put your egg on top, and enjoy!

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This smells all kinds of fantastic as it’s cooking, especially once you add in the smoked salmon.  I was able to get a big filet of smoked salmon at one of the last outdoor farmer’s markets of the year, and if you have anywhere that does it locally, I highly recommend going for that with this.  Towards the last few stages of cooking this, you will need to watch it closely, as if it boils (instead of simmers), the milk will separate from the stock base, and you don’t want that.  The original recipe also calls for chives and celery, but honestly, I’ve never found that either adds a lot to a soup, so I skipped them.

Smoked Salmon Chowder
Lasts 4-5 lunches

Ingredients

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 leeks, medium sized, the white and light green bits sliced thin (don’t use the dark green parts)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed (original recommended russet, I used a large red)
  • .5 t salt
  • .5 t black pepper
  • 2 c chicken stock (original recommends vegetable broth)
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 c milk (I used 2%)
  • 8 oz smoked salmon, flaked (I got a 10 oz filet and just flaked it off the skin with a fork)
  • .5 c heavy whipping cream

Heat your olive oil over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pot, and then add your leeks and garlic, sauteeing for two minutes.  Then add your potato, salt, and pepper, and sautee for an additional minute.  Add your stock and bring to a simmer, and let simmer for fifteen minutes, until your potato is fork tender.

Then, add your tomato paste and milk, stirring to combine, followed quickly by your smoked salmon, flaking it directly into the soup.  Bring back to a simmer, but don’t let it boil, as then the milk will separate, and you don’t want that.  Simmer for a few minutes more, stirring in the heavy cream, and then remove from heat, and enjoy!