Soul Food


Well…at least my kind of soul food. This is my version–handed down, modified, personalized–of the Japanese-American and Hawaiian staple: fried rice. I usually¬†cook extra rice for a weekend meal, then use the leftovers to make this for a quick weeknight dinner. Kids love it. And so do grownups.

Our version is pretty simple: I dice up some good thick bacon and cook until crisp. Then remove the crispy bacon bits and reserve in a bowl for later use. Add¬†diced yellow onions to the pan and cook until translucent and slightly browned. Remove and store in the bowl with bacon bits. Remove most of the bacon fat from the pan, leaving a couple teaspoons in for flavor. Add enough steamed rice (we like a mix of Lundberg Brown & Wild and Japanese white rice, cooked ahead of time) to fill the pan. Sprinkle with garlic salt, black pepper and a bit of soy sauce to taste. “Sambal” chile paste is pretty good, too. Stir until thoroughly mixed, then allow rice to crisp on the bottom. For me, it’s this crispy, chewy texture that really makes it awesome. Turn occasionally. Add cooked bacon, onions and some mixed frozen veggies (cooked ahead of time) to the pan.

Served with a couple of over-easy eggs and wholewheat sourdough toast, I could eat this every week. In fact, that’s what we’ve been doing for several weeks in a row. Or now that I think about it, we might be going on several months. And I’m already looking forward to next week’s batch.