We have a dish in the UK, found in all Chinese Takeaways, called Special Fried Rice (or variations on the name). Americans may call it something different (though on checking, I found that you don’t), and anyone of Chinese ancestry may not even recognise it as Chinese cuisine. However, like Chicken Tikka Masala, it is now part of British life.
I made a version of it last tonight. It features the three inch end piece of a wrinkly courgette, a half red pepper with a couple of black spots on it, last week’s mushrooms, some green beans I found while looking for the courgette and, finally, some prawns with freezer burn. Yes, It’s a bit like my soup recipe – loads of imperfect ingredients in a random order – but you add rice instead of blending it all. It has garlic, mango chutney and chilli in it. It was going to have chilli jam, lemon juice and soy sauce, but I seem to have used the chilli jam, the soy sauce bottle turned out to be empty and the lemon, which was actually just a half lemon, proved to be too far gone even for me. I’m hoping to fool Julia into thinking I actually used a recipe.
I just had a look at recipes and find that Americans do have it, and that they use SPAM in it. As Number Two Son’s partner is from the Philippines I know about SPAM (a food I haven’t eaten for 50 years), so I wasn’t too surprised. However, I was surprised to find that they add MSG. I didn’t even know it was possible to buy it, let alone that you would want to add it.
Naturally, my mind then drifted onto the possibilities for a literary twist to end the post. Something along the lines of my life being like Special Fried Rice – a random mix of imperfect ingredients that isn’t really Special, just leftovers with a sheen of marketing. But I decided that was too cynical, even for me.
The photos? I have one, unattractive, photo tagged “rice” but these were in the same month so I used these.