I cannot pronounce Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s name. In the South we are used to Bubbas and Juniors. We are used to women who have two first names, like Clara Dean Finley and Mary Lyon Verlen. We are not used to French people with German-sounding last names. But I like his fried rice.
The first time I had his ginger-fried rice, I didn’t know it was his. It was at a chicken-cooking class in Maryland and the teacher’s wife made it. What is this? So exotic. So delicious! So simple, actually. White rice with ginger, garlic and leeks. Fried egg on top so the yolk runs into the rice and creates a luscious sauce. I made a mental note to ask for the recipe, but I forgot about it.
Until. Until! I was reading my beloved People magazine and there it was on Page 110. Hugh Jackman’s favorite fried rice. It was the same recipe. I made it. Mark did not go for the fried egg on top. His loss. It really makes the dish.
A word about leeks, which are a star in this recipe. If you’re not used to leeks, you might actually be a little scared of them. They look like giant green onions and are, in fact, part of the onion family. They are very dirty because they have lots of layers. The only part you use is the white and green stalk. And once you slice them, you would be wise to soak the slices in a bowl of water and let any remaining dirt fall to the bottom.
8 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons minced ginger
2 cups sliced leeks
4 cups day-old cooked white rice
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
4 large eggs
Heat 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a small skillet. Add 1 tablespoon each of the garlic and ginger and fry until golden brown. Remove and drain on a paper towel.
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat in a large skillet and add the remaining garlic and ginger. Saute for about 30 seconds and add the leeks. Continue cooking until the leeks soften. Add the rice, chili powder, sesame oil and soy sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a small skillet. Fry the eggs sunny-side up.
Place the rice on a platter, top with the eggs and sprinkle with the browned ginger and garlic.