Fried rice with Asian spices

Egg fried rice with turmeric, cumin, soy sauce and sesame oil, recipe of Auntie Wong

Ingredients

  • 3 cup of cooked basmati rice, fluffed
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 frozen peas, blanched, drained
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking oil

Method

  1. In a frying pan, scramble the eggs with generous amount of cooking oil, break up the eggs in chunks; add the rice, break up the rice with a spatula; drizzle the dark soy sauce and sesame oil over the rice, mix well; add peas, mix well; add turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper, mix well
  2. Stir fry the rice until aromatic, approximately 3-5 minutes.

My memories of Auntie Wong

I first learned how to use Asian spices from my best friend’s late mother whom I dearly called Auntie Wong.

Growing up in Malaysia, Auntie Wong was an acrobat in a circus, and later became a self-trained dentist. ‘How do you install a denture for an old lady without a single tooth,’ she laughed,’ luckily I was young and good looking then, I asked male dentists for helps and was never refused’.

Auntie Wong migrated to Australia in early 1980s with her three daughters. She ran a small take away shop in Glebe, an inner Sydney suburb, selling Malaysian fast food. To supplement the limited income from the shop, in the evenings she made spring rolls for catering companies. My friend Mei, the youngest daughter, helped with the spring rolls while she was still in primary school.

Some years later, Auntie Wong saved up enough money and bought a studio apartment. Auntie and Mei lived there for many years, sharing a bed. In their tiny but always welcoming home,  Auntie Wong cooked me many heart-warming meals. The smell of delicious food filled the small space, and what a wonderful place it was.  My favorite dishes were the Singapore meat and bone soup, noodles with salmon XO sauce, and fried rice with Indian spices.

Besides being a fantastic cook, Auntie Wong was an amazing woman with many talents. Once a circus acrobat in Malaysia, she was retrained as a dentist. ‘It was so difficult at the beginning,’ she said, ‘there was this old lady with no teeth, and I could not figure out how to attach the denture.’ She grinned, ‘lucky that I was young and good looking at the time. I had lots of helps.’

Here is my version of a spiced fried rice  – simple, aromatic and satisfying, with fond memory of Auntie Wong’s kindness and love. 

Egg fried rice with Asian spices
Egg fried rice with Asian spices

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