The Food Desert Project: Giardiniera Fried Rice with Sardines

The Food Desert Project: Giardiniera Fried Rice with Sardines

Since this project relies so heavily on preserved foods, it’s sometimes difficult to come up with summertime recipes.  I’ve been toying with finding a way to reproduce kimchi because Korean-style fried rice is delicious year-round, and I suddenly realized that the closest counterpart I am likely to find in the food desert is not sauerkraut but giardiniera.  While it lacks the shrimpy goodness of a nice, fresh kimchi, giardiniera has the same crunch and brightness – and can have a spicy kick if you choose.

I’m also always trying to find another way to work with canned sardines, and thus, this recipe was born.  I hope you like it as much as I did!

Ingredients (serves 2)

0021 cup cold pre-cooked rice (yesterday’s leftovers are best)
1/4 cup of your favorite giardinera, lightly rinsed and drained
1 can of sardines (I used unsalted water-packed) drained
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 egg
Soy sauce to taste
Cooking oil (any light, flavorless oil will do)

Chili flakes to taste

005Pour about a tablespoon of cooking oil into your cast-iron skillet or wok over high heat.  As the pan comes to temperature, break your egg into a bowl or cup and whisk it well.  Pour it into the oil and tilt the pan to spread it around; you want to have something like a thin crepe.  Allow the eggs to set completely and then scoop them out and set them aside on a plate.

007Continue heating the pan to sizzling (add a grain of rice or two to check.)  Add the rice, garlic, ginger, and sesame seeds and stir once or twice to combine.  Make sure you have some air space between the clumps of rice.  Add the giardiniera and the sardines, breaking the fish lightly into large chunks.  Continue stirring until some of the rice browns slightly.

Cut your omelette into strips and stir it back into the rice with a few dashes of soy sauce and a sprinkle of chili flakes.  Enjoy!

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