So….I’ve been hoarding this recipe for 8 months.
I didn’t mean to, I promise. I just kept waiting for the right time or for inspiration to hit me on what to write about it or maybe for lightening to strike to make me finally post about this dish, which is one my favorite things I’ve made in the past year.
I’m sure the waiting-8-months to post this doesn’t give you any kind of clue about how much of a procrastinator I am. Someone please give me a deadline for all the backlogged posts I have waiting.
This dish is one I made just after I got back from my trip to Memphis last fall to visit my sister and her husband. Instead of a regular dinner, we made our own little food tour around the city – drinks and appetizers at one bar, shared burger and sides at another restaurant, and finished with a few more appetizers and sides at another place in town.
If you want to do the same “tour” we did in Memphis, this is what you’ll need:
– A beer and meatballs from Bar Dog
– Local beer, deviled eggs, and the burger with bacon from The Local
– Fried avocado with olive tapenade and the duck confit fried rice with egg from SOB (plus – they bring popcorn to your table. genius).
I’m pretty sure I need to do a mini food tour like this in every city I visit – it was the best way to sample lots of restaurants and different foods while not spending all of my money on one huge dinner AND we weren’t stuffed at the end of the night. Just enough food. Lots of bites of the best things at each place. And walking in between. Best idea ever.
And while everything I had in Memphis has stuck with me (I still dream about those barbeque nachos), the one dish that really stood out was the duck fried rice at SOB.
First, it was duck fried rice. Perfectly cooked. And I actually saw SOB on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives just before the trip so I knew one secret ingredient in the rice.
Allspice! Allspice is the secret in this dish – it’s what makes it, totally. The flavor is incredible – a mix of sweet and savory, salty and tangy, and covered with rich egg yolk when you slice into the top to dig in.
Anytime I’ve made fried rice at home, I have never thought to put allspice in the mix, but it’s been in every version that I’ve made since that trip. And this first batch was definitely my favorite.
It may not be duck confit, but the flavor from the allspice brought me right back to Memphis.
Also, for fried rice, it’s best to use cold, already cooked rice – the texture is better and it absorbs more of the flavors of the dish that way. But, if you don’t have cooked rice leftover, you can definitely make some rice before you start on the beef and veggie part and have it set aside to cool a little before mixing it in.
Spiced Beef and Leek Fried Rice
Makes: 4 – 6 servings
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 leeks
- 6 scallions
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 3/4 tsp allspice
- 2 cups cold, cooked brown rice (or any rice you have)
- eggs, for topping
- Pour the olive oil into a large skillet or wok and place over medium heat.
- Halve and slice the leeks, then toss them into a bowl of cold water and swish around to remove the dirt. Let the leeks sit in the water for a minute while you slice the scallions.
- Remove the leeks from the water and add to the oil in the pan. Stir in the scallions and let them cook in the oil for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are softened.
- With your spoon, move the leeks and scallions to the edges of the pan and crumble the ground beef into the middle of the pan.
- Cook the beef, breaking it up with your spoon, until it’s full browned, about 5-7 minutes.
- Toss the garlic and ginger to the pan and stir everything together. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, allspice, and rice to the pan and gently mix everything together. Let the mixture cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes until the rice is heated through and everything is combined.
- While the rice mixture is cooking together, cook your eggs in a separate pan, on low heat until they’re how you like them (I’ll be doing a post soon on how I cook my sunny side up eggs!).
- Divide the rice between your plates and top each serving with an egg. Serve warm.