After all the shopping, preparation and cooking, Thanksgiving is over and everything has returned to normal (except, perhaps, our waistlines). If you hosted or even attended the holiday meal, it's a pretty sure bet that you've got some leftover turkey in your fridge at this very moment. Not to fear: at this time of year, food publications all over the country are printing recipe after recipe designed to make use of the excess bird: some more traditional, some less so. The recipe I'm sharing today definitely falls into the latter camp. Now don't get me wrong: my favorite Thanksgiving leftovers are, most certainly, of the traditional ilk. My personal choice has always been, and always will be, a sandwich of turkey and cranberry sauce on rye (the only appropriate bread for a Jewish Thanksgiving gathering). But I have to admit that after eating one, two or three of these beauties and still being left with turkey to use up, my tastebuds start to crave something a little less familiar and a little more exciting.
Such was the position I found myself in earlier today. With stomach grumbling, I opened the fridge door and noticed two items: a Ziploc bag of sliced turkey meat generously gifted to me by my grandmother, and a small container of white rice that I had prepared earlier in the week before going out of town for the holiday. Instantly I had it: fried rice. Leftovers, basically, were created for fried rice: I've talked about it on here before, and I'm sure I will again. That's because once you've got a standing supporting cast of Asian condiments like soy sauce, sesame oil and chili paste on hand, the glory of fried rice can be yours at almost any moment: nearly any kind of protein, no matter how it was originally seasoned, or any kind of cooked vegetable, can be cut up and thrown into fried rice, and it will taste good. Take my word for it. Or go a step further and try this recipe yourself.
Turkey Fried Rice
Makes 1 serving
1. Cut a small portion of leftover cooked turkey meat into a small dice. Set aside.
2. Defrost a generous handful of frozen peas or frozen mixed vegetables by placing them in a bowl and covering with hot water.
3. Mince 1 - 2 garlic cloves and cook in vegetable oil in a large wide skillet or wok set over a medium flame.
4. After 2 minutes, add a serving of leftover cooked rice. Heat through, adding soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha or chili paste and Chinese preserved vegetables, if available, to taste (about 1 teaspoon each).
5. Drain the peas and add them to the pan. Add the turkey meat to the pan. Stir frequently to heat everything through.
6. In a small bowl, beat 1 egg. Add it to the pan, stirring constantly, to break up and cook the egg. Taste the rice for seasoning and serve with a handful of chopped fresh cilantro.