Pork and vegetable fried rice

No matter who you ask, one of the first Chinese dishes anyone has any exposure to is fried rice. It is a quintessential Chinese dish! So many different varieties too, truthfully. For me, it always starts with cooking a thin layer of egg, then breaking it up and stirring in my already-cooked rice into that. Wok-fried vegetables and other seasonings follow, and you have a quick and straightforward meal. Now I am not going to try to bullshit you and say that this is my mother or my grandmother’s recipe. It isn’t. This is strictly mine. So if anyone wants to say that it is not authentically Chinese, well, hate to break it to you, but neither am I. For the fried rice, we have minced pork belly, basic vegetables(carrot, shallot, celery), egg, garlic, mushroom soy, and to be Californian, I also folded in kale. It is a simple but straightforward recipe that hinges on the quality of the ingredients.

Makes 4 servings:
1 slab of pork belly, skin-on
2 cups cooked white rice
3 eggs
2 carrots
3 cloves of garlic
3 shallots
2 stalks of celery
4 stalks of kale
3 tablespoons mushroom soy sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
a pinch of salt
Nasturtiums and borage to garnish

Start by removing the skin from your pork belly. Bake the skin in the oven at 400 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes, until crispy. With the rest of your pork belly, trim and remove all of the layers of fat. Throw the fat into a wok on low heat and allow the fat to render and season your wok simultaneously. With the rest of your pork belly meat, mince finely and toss with the soy sauce. Peel your carrots and shallots and brunoise them. Brunoise the celery as well as the kale stems. Julienne the actual kale leaves. Lastly, mince your garlic into a fine paste. Once all of your pork fat has been rendered, pour and reserve your excess liquid fat from the wok into a bowl, and drain the crispy fat on a paper towel, seasoning that with some salt. Sweat out your vegetables, garlic, and pork belly in the wok first, minus the kale stems. Once the vegetables are softened and your pork belly is cooked, pour them into a bowl. Lightly line the work with more pork fat. Crack your eggs into the wok and heat them on low heat, stirring them just slightly and allowing them to caramelize on the bottom. Stir into the eggs, while the top side is still raw, your rice, stirring the wok on medium-high heat to allow the eggs and rice to cook together. Add in your mushroom soy sauce, sesame oil, and your sweated out vegetables and pork, and allow that to all cook together until your rice has been warmed through and all of the ingredients are integrated. Toss in your kale leaves and allow those to steam and wilt in the rice as well. Divide into bowls and top with the minced up crispy pork fat and crispy pork skin. Garnish with the nasturtiums and borage for a fun touch.

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