Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Liebster Award and Not Quite Fried Rice

I have to say, this is pretty cool. One of my favorite bloggers, Mireia from Baking in Spain, gave me the Liebster award.
It's my first blog award so I'm pretty psyched. Here's the way it works:
  1. Link back to the person who gave it to you and thank them. Thanks Mireia!
  2. Post the award to your blog. Yep, there it is!
  3. Give the award to 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers that you appreciate and value (It’s a great way to get to word out there about other blogs!!) Oh my, this was tough.
  4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have received this award. I'll take care of that in a minute.
Without further ado, here are the lovely bloggers I'm passing this award on to:
  1. Jessica of My Baking Heart
  2. Nancy of FitMamaEats
  3. Cher of The not so exciting adventures of a dabbler...
  4. Christy of Confessions of a Culinary Diva
  5. The Baker in Disguise
It's a cool coincidence that Mireia gave me this award this week, and that I'm passing it on to Nancy Oliveira, because this blog post was actually inspired by a recipe at FitMamaEats.

I loved the udon noodles with almond sauce that I adapted from Nancy's recipe so much that I decided to adapt her fried couscous recipe back into fried rice. Sadly, it didn't turn out as great as the noodles: the rice didn't get at all crispy and it was a bit on the bland side. I'd venture to guess that this is my fault, as most of my kitchen fails are.

My theories on why the rice didn't come out as I expected it to:
  • The rice still had too much moisture from the cooking process.
  • There was just too much mass in the wok to heat everything enough to dry out the rice.
  • My flavorings to component ratio was way off. (Translation: too many vegetables for the amount of garlic, scallions, etc.)
The process itself seemed solid enough, though, so I knew I'd try it again.

Next I made an adaptation of Ree Drummond's Pineapple Fried Rice. Similar instructions, similar textural result, although I made the rice hours before the full dish. I think the issue with this was that I added too much liquid.

As a third attempt I cooked up some rice with about 1/4 less water than the instructions called for (so a 4:7 rice to water ratio instead of a straight 1:2), scrambled up a couple of eggs in some garlic canola oil, and tossed in some frozen vegetables and leftover hoisin-miso tilapia and threw it all in a hot wok with some sesame oil and soy sauce. Seriously delicious. Funny how the time I wasn't trying "too hard" was when it came out the best.

Not the prettiest presentation, but it was my lunch last week.

I'm a big fan of using leftover fish in fried rice because I have vague memories of my dad doing it when I was a kid.

Things I learned from this project:
  1. Wet rice will not crisp up in a wok--it needs to be dry to begin with.
  2. You can put almost anything into fried rice and it will taste AWESOME.


  1. Thank you so much Tierney... am honoured and humbled.. and frankly couldnt quite believe it when i read your message.. i actually read it twice to believe it.. thank you for thinking about and mentioning my blog!!! i am soo touched!!! you've really made my day!!! :)

  2. Thanks for the award, Tierney! Fried rice is one of my absolute favorite dishes... I'll have to give this one a try! :)

  3. Congrats to all the winners, the rice looks great!!!

  4. Wow, thanks so much Tierney!! I am so excited and flattered you like my blog :D I love reading about your cooking trials and tweaks...the best recipes often emerge after a few failed attempts, haha. I also loved checking out the other fun blogs on your list. You're so awesome, thx again

  5. Awww, thank you for the award. That is very sweet of you.

    Glad to start getting to know you through TWD!

  6. Thanks so much!! This was such a great surprise to come home to. It's so much fun to read about all your adventures in the kitchen.