Fried rice with Piri Piri prawns
As an African who has lived most part of his life in Europe it mazes me how much fried rice has so easily tailored itself to not only African tastes but also to European and other tastes. I suspect this world takeover has a lot to do with the ease with which this dish is prepared and the availability of the main ingredients for a basic fried rice. It is one of the very few meals in the world where leftover rice is a must and if you eat rice as much as my household does then you’d know that there is always a day or two old rice either waiting to be unceremoniously thrown out or cleverly used in preparing a sumptuous fried rice meal. Mind you leftover vegetables and and meat can all be thrown into a wok of fried rice. Fried rice is also one of those versatile meals that pairs perfectly with meat, chicken, duck and others.
Our’s (strictly speaking egg fried rice) today is paired with piri piri prawns, the recipe of which can be found here – grilling piri piri prawns. No self respecting party in countries like Nigeria, Togo and Ghana goes ahead without the ubiquitous (egg) fried rice. This and other West African twists to the original Chinese fried rice is what this recipe is about. There is no need for Chinese spices, soy sauce or oyster sauce. Instead these are replaced with optional typical West african spices and peppers.
My favourite part of cooking fried rice is when the rice (which should be cold so it fries and not steams) hits the wok (which should be very hot) and the flavours start combining together to release their aroma to fill the kitchen. I can’t emphasise this point enough. Fried rice needs to be cooked on searing heat to get that flavour that no spice or ingredient can provide. That is when I know I have an immaculate meal “brewing”!