25 August 2008

Carbo-Loading: Asian Style

Actually, for the types of races I run (5k and 10ks) it's very unnecessary to carbo-load, as the body as enough glycogen stored to keep you from bonking. That being said, I still had to eat dinner the night before a recent 10K, and I've realized that spaghetti doesn't really do much more me but make me hungry a few hours later. So what did I eat? Chicken fried rice.


From top to center: Julienned carrots, frozen green peas, chicken marinated in soy sauce, a bit of kosher salt, white pepper, and corn starch, chopped onions and minced garlic, beaten eggs.


Long-grain jasmine rice

The first step is to assemble the ingredients. I used 2 carrots, about 3/4 cup peas, 1 large onion, 5 cloves of garlic, 2 chicken breasts (I prefer using chicken thighs as the meat remains tender after stir-frying), and 2 eggs. For the rice, it's important to make it the day ahead of when you want to make it. This ensures that the refrigerated rice is chilled thoroughly, thus keeping the grains separate when it comes time to cook instead of having clumps.

There's a procedure needed to make fried rice that keeps the process efficient. First, you need a large skillet, wok, or a large electric skillet. Secondly, since the heat of whatever pan you'll be using will be on high, all the ingredients must be assembled and within reach. Not shown is a small pitcher of oil, a little dish of kosher salt, a container of white pepper, soy sauce, and sesame oil. The cooking process of the ingredients is quite fast, so you don't want to have to stop mid-way in search of anything you need (keep two clean bowls for the chicken and the eggs when they are finished cooking).

The procedure for the actual cooking is the aromatic ingredients first (green onions and garlic, but I forgot the green onions so I mixed the garlic with the onions), the onions, then each individual vegetable, the eggs, the chicken, and lastly, the rice.



Pour a few teaspoons of oil into the pan and move it around with a spatula. Add the onions and a sprinkle of kosher salt and white pepper; stir constantly until the edge are getting charred, or all the onions are beginning to turn brown. Remove to a bowl/container.



Repeat the process with the vegetables.



Add oil to the pan, pour in the beaten eggs, and use one hand to keep the eggs moving while using the other hand to sprinkle the salt and pepper on top. Cook just until the eggs are set, but not completely dry. Remove to a bowl and use a fork to break up the large curds.



Stir-fry the chicken just until no pink is left or only a tiny amount remains, then immediately remove from the pan.


Season the rice, then stir-fry until brown or it begins to look charred.


Add the rest of the ingredients to the rice and gently toss. Turn down the heat to medium-high. Pour in about 3 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Continue to toss until everything is evenly coated and the rice looks brown (add more soy sauce as needed). Check for seasoning and make the necessary adjustments.


Place in a large serving bowl (I used a deep-dish pie pan).


Fried rice is extremely easy to make, and it can be made into an all-in-one main meal dish, or a side dish. The add-ins can be varied, as well as any sauces or oils that are added at the end, making the flavor different each time. Be creative!

6 comments:

  1. Looks like a delicious, colorful way to fuel up! :0)

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  2. Yum. Isn't it amazing that the rice acts so differently when it's cold? This sounds like a fabulous simple dish.

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  3. Sooo much more exciting than pasta loading for me :) Thanks for the Fried Rice 101... it's good to see that it really only takes like 6 mins to make, because when you're hungry, you're hungry.

    Did you have the race already? I thought it was on the weekend :)

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  4. sounds like a good way to fuel up to me!

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  5. Oh that looks really good. I'm trying to figure out what to make for dinner tonight and I think this will work just fine!

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  6. VeggieGirl - Rice, rice, it's very nice!

    (Excuse the lameness of that :D)

    Chou - I made this with warmish rice because I forgot to make it the day before, so it didn't exactly behave, grrr...

    Adam - This goes to show that fast doesn't necessarily mean crappy or flavorless food. :cool:

    TTFN - My favorite!

    Mary - I hope you enjoyed it. :)

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Thanks for taking the time to comment. Your thoughts are appreciated! ^,^

~Christina

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