Japanese Garlic Fried Rice and Pork Belly, Radish & Carrots Miso Soup

Everybody loves fried rice!! There are no hard and fast rules for ingredients to be used in fried rice. You can throw in whatever vegetables you have lying around. You can add some meat or seafood or skip it if you like. The best part is, all it needs is about 10 minutes preparation and another 10 minutes of cooking.
Miso soup is a great pair with garlic fried rice. I know a lot of us love miso soup with tofu and sea-weed because that is what we get in Japanese restaurants (in Thailand) and I promise to put that up on the blog in time. But my Japanese friend, Yoriko Miyamoto, insisted that the most homely version of miso soup is the one with pork belly and strips of vegetables. If you are a vegetarian skip the pork belly, the soup tastes just as yummy even without any addition of meat.

In my recipe for Japanese garlic fried rice & miso soup however I will not be using the traditional Japanese ingredients because I received a lot of requests to use easily available ingredients instead. This will obviously result in a recipe that isn’t quite as authentic but just as delicious, promise!

For the Rice

Ingredients:- (serves 2-3)
· 1-2 tbsp unsalted butter
· 4 cloves garlic (crushed)
· ¼ cup white onions (finely chopped)
· 1 small carrot (finely chopped) – optional
· Salt (adjust accordingly)
· 1 spring onion (finely chopped)
· 2 cups previous day’s cooked rice
· 3-4 tbsp soya sauce or shoyu (Shoyu – Japanese soy sauce is easily available in all supermarkets across Thailand)
· ¼ tsp white pepper

1. Heat oil in a wok.
2. Add garlic and fry until lightly brown.
3. Add onions and toss for a few minutes then drop in the carrots along with any other vegetables you have prepared (except the spring onions). Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables are crisp.
4. Pour in the 2 bowls of rice and use a heavy metal spoon to mix all the ingredients in the wok well.
5. Season with soya sauce, white pepper and salt. If required, add in some more soya sauce according to your liking.
6. Garnish with spring onions.
7. Serve with miso soup for a traditional touch.

For the soup – Miso soup is traditionally prepared in a Japanese fish stock using fish flakes called katsuo-o. Dashi or ready dried stock (both vegetarian and nonvegeterian ones) is available in large supermarkets and Maxvalue in Thailand, if you can get your hands on these ready dashi go for it as it will definitely give an authentic touch to your soup. If not, feel free to use your choice of home-made stock.

Ingredients:- (serves 2-3)
· 1liter vegetable /pork stock or japanese dashi in 1litre water
· ½ cup radish (cut into long thin strips) · ½ cup carrots (cut into long thin strips)
· 60gms pork belly
· 3-4 tbsp *miso paste (this is an essential ingredient and is available in MaxValue and other big supermarkets all over Thailand)

1. If you are using dashi, in large pot boil water and the dried dashi together. If not, heat your stock in a large pot till it boils.
2. Add in the radish and carrot. Turn heat to medium and let the vegetables cook till soft.
3. Add in the pork belly and let it simmer for another 2 minutes.
4. Turn off heat.
5. Scoop out some soup in a soup spoon from the pot. Hold this in your left hand. With your right hand, take 2 table spoons of the miso paste and put mix in the spoon full of soup. Dissolve the paste until the soup looks hazy. Then pour this mix back into the pot.
6. Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly. If you need to add more miso paste, repeat step 5.
7. Serve hot.


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