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The World on a Plate

Passport & Plate - Rice-less Fried Rice with a Middle Eastern hint

Australia | Friday, 6 March 2015 | 5 photos

2 x gourmet sausages (any variety will do - try different ones to create variations on this recipe)
A handful of bacon lardons
2 X eggs
1X hot chili
1 X clove garlic
1/3 cup of Bulgur wheat
1/3 cup of green or brown lentils
1/3 cup of soya flakes
1/3 cup red Quinoa
A splash of lemon juice, preferably fresh
A dash of soy sauce
A sprig of parsley or mint for garnish


How to prepare this recipe
1. Cook the bulgur wheat in a small pan of boiling water for five minutes then set aside.
2. The lentils and quinoa can be cooked together. Rinse with cold water, then place in a saucepan and heat to a rapid simmer, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook uncovered for 25 minutes. This prevents them from becoming mushy. Set aside.
3. Pour half a cup of hot water over the soya flakes and leave in a bowl for 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Cook sausages in a frying pan the usual way until half cooked, then dice into small chunks and stir fry with the bacon lardons.
5. Dice the garlic and chili together and add to the pan, along with the grains. Stir fry for 5 to 10 minutes.
6. Push the mixture to one side of the pan and crack the two eggs into the space. Quickly stir with a spatula to break the eggs and fold in with the contents of the pan.
7. Squeeze in a little fresh lemon juice.
8. Splash a few drops of soy sauce on top as you serve.
9. Add the sprig of parsley or mint as a garnish.


The story behind this recipe
I have long been a traveller. Ever since my mother saved her pennies and whisked my grandmother and I off from our insular Australian lives on a three-generation family backpacking trip through Europe when I was 11, I have had a fascination with the way other cultures live their lives. People often ask whether I have a favourite place and I always answer "No." There's not one single place I could choose as a clear winner. Every place I've been has brought me new experiences and I've learnt something from every one of them.

On that first trip I was an incredibly fussy eater. I loved Germany for it's meat and potato diet and I could cope with the pasta in Italy. Everywhere else I ate plain, unadulterated meat and French Fries. My mother despaired. Then at 22, I moved to Japan. I wanted to fit in and be culturally sensitive, so I ate everything, including some things so fresh that they were still moving. I dabbled with cooking and started experimenting with herbs and spices. Since that time, I have lived in Korea, Dubai, Vietnam and now the UK. Not because of any job, but because I wanted to. I've travelled across the globe and I still don't have a favourite place. Nor do I have a favourite dish. Instead, I blend, taking inspiration from one culture and introducing it to another in a kind of borderless fusion.

My rice-less fried rice has a touch of the Middle East, with its use of grains. The lemon juice is stolen from Lebanese lentil soup, where a dash of the juice turns an ordinary soup into something spectacular. The eggs crept in from Chinese egg-drop soup. The chili leapt out of the spicy dishes of Korea. The soy sauce originated in Japan. The sausages are an adaptation of chorizo from Spain, and the bacon is a legacy from a full English breakfast. The garlic is my own. Each mouthful takes me around the world. It is a multinational journey on a plate and a physical representation of where I've been. It will change depending on where I go next. And so will I.

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