June 18th was Father’s Day in 1933.
It was also the day my father was born, which made a certain amount of sense when I was little – why wouldn’t fathers be born on Father’s Day? (My mother was christened that same day in Italy, which is the start of the connections between the two of them…..)
And he LOVED Chinese food.
“Chinese food? What is about Chinese food, Bill? Why Chinese food? How does an Irish boy learn about Chinese food”
Good questions…wish I’d thought of them sooner. Not only was Chinese food the treat of treats, it brought him into the kitchen after he retired.
He had a wok.
Several recipes have markers….but the basic of the basics is Fried Rice.
HAM FRIED RICE
2 Tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons peanut or corn oil, divided
¼ cup scallions cut into ¼ inch pieces
4 cups cold boiled rice
½ cup diced cooked ham
- Mix the soy sauce with the sugar. Set aside.
- Beat the eggs and scramble them slightly in 1 Tablespoon of the oil. Set aside.
- In a heavy frying pan or a wok heat 3 tablespoons of oil over high heat.
- Add scallions and stir a few times
- Add rice and stir quickly so that rice won’t stick to the pan and will be well coated with the oil
- Add the soy sauce/sugar mix, stir well.
- Add the ham and the slightly scrambled egg, mixing and breaking the eggs into little pieces in the rice.
- Serve hot.
NOTES: The rice needs to be THOROUGHLY cold or all you’ll get is a sticky mess. Madame Chu’s note and my experience. Brown rice may be used for a more hippie version, just be sure that the rice is cooked thoroughly.
Cooked chicken or beef may be substituted for the ham.
The original recipe does not call for a wok, but I think they’re a little more common now, so if you got one, go ahead and use it.
The original calls for ¼ teaspoon MSG, which I stopped using years, make that decades, ago. If that departure from the recipe makes it Irish/Chinese fusion, so be it. Call the Food Police. Guilty as charged.
Grace Zia Chu. The Pleasures of Chinese Cooking. Pocket Books, March 1969. p.51.