I’ve shared fried rice before, only that time there was chicken involved, and this time I turned to whatever the farmer’s market would supply me with. I came home with a mesh bag full of sugar snap peas, baby bok choy and beautifully twisted garlic scapes. I’ve always been fascinated by the garlic scapes, shooting up in the spring from what will be garlic bulbs in the fall. I did little jumping jacks in my head when I saw them, and now I have to figure out what to do with the 10 I have left, waiting for their calling.
My kids were particularly hungry before dinner this day, possibly because I’d worked an hour or two later than usual and it was already past when we’d be cleaning up for dinner, but nonetheless, they were underfoot. Rather than kick them out of the kitchen or send them out in the backyard, I opted for putting them to work. At our house, if you’re in the kitchen, you’ve volunteered yourself. You will automatically be given a job to do, no matter your age. Even our youngest can get involved, and at 22 months, we tend to give him stirring and tasting responsibilities.
Snapping the tops off the peas was the perfect job for a three-year-old as long as someone was helping her. Alone, she wandered and got bored.
She also found that she could snap them open, which became much more fun than removing stem pieces, but she got the job done eventually while I worked on giving the baby bok choy a good and thorough rinse.
Kjell was really excited to use the knife to (roughly) chop up the garlic scapes. He was very proud when he got done with them and showed me his pile of pieces and hung around to watch the rest of the steps and help with adding the ingredients to the wok at the right time.
While my kids are getting some of the vegetables ready, I have time to mince the garlic and the ginger.
Into the wok first goes the oil (canola in this case) and the ginger and garlic. Once the ginger and garlic hit, have the vegetables ready. They need to follow immediately afterward. You could also, you know, stick the garlic and ginger up on the side there so they don’t hit the oil just yet.
Add in your vegetables. All of these need about the same amount of cooking time, so there’s no need to stagger them going into the pan unless, you know, you like soggy peas or something. I’m sure you don’t like soggy peas.
Continuously stir them while they’re in there so that everything cooks evenly.
After about five minutes, add in the rice that you cooked earlier in a handy little steamer that you’re borrowing from your neighbors until you decide which one you’re going to purchase to replace the one that finally died after 8 years of constant use at your hands.
Turn the heat to high and add in a bit of sesame oil, soy sauce and rice wine. Stir and toss in the wok to combine and continue frying until the rice is heated through.
Season with a bit of white pepper and sprinkle with sesame seeds and you’re ready to eat.
While the kids and I handled the rice duties, Ole just happened to be marinating some beef and grilling it right alongside us. (Recipe coming soon.)
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups cooked jasmine rice
2 cups sugar snap peas
6-7 garlic scapes or spring onions, chopped
2 cups baby bok choy
2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine
sesame seeds, if desired
white pepper to taste
In a large wok heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic and sauté for 20 seconds. Turn heat up to high and add in peas, bok choy and garlic scapes, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes until vegetables start to soften.
In a small container combine sesame oil, soy sauce and rice wine. Add cold rice and sauce to the wok. Fry on high heat, stirring frequently until rice is heated through. Season with white pepper and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.
Makes 4 meal-size servings or 6 sides.