The Chinese hate to waste anything. To throw away food is unconscionable. This is a lesson my mother taught me very well and, to this day, even in effluent and, I must say, wasteful America, I cannot bring myself simply to discard left-over food.
Fortunately, the wok is most useful when it comes to making the best of left-overs. The trick is to create tasty, nutritious meals by means of the wok stir-fry technique. Here I take bits of leftover cucumber and corn and blend them with spicy embellishments. You will enjoy a tasty treat and feel virtuous as well. Remember that your cooked rice should be very cold before you put it into the wok. If you want a vegan version, simply leave out the eggs.
Cook the rice according to the Steamed Rice recipe at least 2 hours in advance or the night before. Allow it to cool thoroughly and then put it in the fridge.
Combine the eggs with the sesame oil and salt.
Heat a wok or large frying-pan over a high heat until it is hot. Add the oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the onions, salt and pepper and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Then add the beaten eggs and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the rice and continue to stir-fry for 3 minutes. Finally, add the cucumber, corn and chilli oil and continue to stir-fry for 5 minutes. Turn on to a warm platter and serve hot or cold as a rice salad.
© 1996 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.