People don’t believe me when I tell them this, because they assume that it’s going to be something more elegant or sophisticated or complicated. When I lived in Thailand, this was one of the few dishes that would make me feel better if I was under the weather, or just hit the spot when I wasn’t feeling particularly adventurous.
Maybe it goes back to the first experience of the only “exotic” meal we had when I was very young. Like every small town on the prairies, we had the local Chinese restaurant. Every special occasion found us eating chicken balls, chop suey, and sweet and sour pork. As I learned after moving to Southeast Asia and living with a family from mainland China, this was a far cry from the real thing.
The one dish that then and now does most closely resemble the original, is the same dish I make often and is my solid go-to comfort meal.
Fried rice. Though traditionally it is mostly rice with a bit of meat, aromatics and soy sauce (an inexpensive way to feed a lot of people), I’ve evolved mine into a full meal with veggies and protein. I have dozens of variations of it from Thai to Chinese, Japanese to Vietnamese, Indian to Mexican, Indonesian to Cajun. Keeping containers of it in the freezer, it’s the best fast food.
And it’s really easy to make with whatever you have on hand – vegetables, eggs, cooked meat, rice (or barley or quinoa or millet). To make it a meal, just make sure that quantiatively you have twice as much vegetables as rice and then about 1/3 the amount of meat as rice. That will give a nice balance. Try the recipe here, and create your own. Share your recipes if you like – I’m always up for trying new combinations!