Decades ago, when my mother was learning to cook non-East Indian foods, she’d often create fusion versions of the family’s favourite dishes. It is in fact her cooking style that inspired my own fusion style in the first place. One of my favourite dishes of hers was something that I call Oktoberfest Fried Rice.
As with all the dishes my mother made, my versions are fine but never as tasty as hers. Her’s was hearty and rib-sticking, perfect for a cool Fall or Winter night. It started as a way to use up leftover meats. She’d take the leftover roast beef (usually Thursdays), any roast ham (often on Wednesdays), then add chicken, mushrooms, Oktoberfest-style sausage chunks, and some hot peppers (usually halapenos), plus typical fried rice ingredients. She’d make enough to feed the family for 3 or 4 days. And in those days, I used to be able to eat 2 or 3 platefuls in a sitting. It was always a satisfying meal, with the hot peppers contrasting the rib-stickiness of the rice.
- Wok is preferred but a large non-stick frying pan will do.
- Second frying pan to make omellette.
- The white steamed rice should be prepared the previous night, or at least cooled for a few hours. Fluff it up with a fork while it is hot, to prevent clumping when it has cooled. [If it’s too clumpy when you cook the next day, break it up with a wooden spatula.]
- The original version of this recipe is very spicy and uses halapeno peppers. This is optional, but if used, add at the same time as the onions and mushrooms.
- 2-3 tbsp of cooking oil (canola, vegetable oil), used in two batches.
- 1/2 – 1 oktoberfest sausage, cut into thick, bite-sized discs, then cut in half or quarters.
- Any leftover meats (ham, roast beef, turkey, chicken, nem nuong bbq pork sausage), shredded or diced into bite-sized pieces.
- 2 tbsp onion, diced
- 1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 mixed bell peppers, small diced (optional)
- 1 small halapeno or other hot pepper, sliced (optional). Remove the seeds if you don’t want too much heat.
- 1/8 green peas, thawed (optional)
- salt and black pepper to taste
- white wine to deglaze
- 1-egg omellete, made thinly, shredded into bite-size ribbons (about 1-2 inches long).
- Crushed red pepper flake (optional)
- 1 cup rice, cooked. If rice is in clumps, break up with a wooden spatula, not a fork.
- 1 stalk green onion, sliced finely on a bias.
- Heat the wok or a very large non-stick frying pan with 1-2 tbsp of cooking oil.
- Add the raw meats and saute for 1-2 minutes. Then add any leftover/cooked meat and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add onions and mushrooms and saute for 1 minute. If these veggies stick, add a very little bit (1 tbsp) of white wine to deglaze. Let the wine evaporate almost completely before continuing.
- Add another tbsp of cooking oil. Swirl it around the pan and let it heat up, about 1 minute.
- Add bell peppers, halapenos, and peas (if desired), and saute for 1 minute.
- Add shredded omelette and toss.
- Add salt & black pepper to taste. Add the red pepper flake, if desired.
- Add rice and break up with a wooden spatula, if necessary. Toss to distribute all the ingredients throughout the rice. Do not leave the rice on the heat for more than 1 minute.
- Turn off the heat. Add green onions and toss to mix.
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