It’s dinnertime, you’re hungry, and your fridge is woefully empty- it’s a scenario that we are all repeatedly faced with, no matter how well we try to plan ahead. If you find yourself in this predicament, I’m here to help. You can make an amazingly flavourful and filling dinner with only a few ingredients that you definitely have lying around: it’s fried eggs on rice with soy sauce. I think you’ll enjoy it so much that it’ll become a meal that you actively plan to make, like I do- not just one that you eat when in dire straits.
My friend and old roommate Zaliqa used to make this all the time when we lived together. Last time she went back to Malaysia, she brought back a bottle of delicious slightly sweet soy sauce, which I loved to sprinkle over this dish that I learned from her. Because I tragically don’t have that sweet soy sauce now, I made a somewhat non-traditional sauce mix to try and replicate it, and though it wasn’t exactly the same, it was a pretty close second.
Here’s what you need:
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp hoisin sauce
1/2 tsp sambal oelek
1/8 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup of white rice
1 cup water
1 generous pinch salt
2 tbsp butter
1 small pinch of salt
Cracked pepper, to taste
To make the sauce:
- In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, hoisin sauce, sambal oelek, and sesame oil. Set aside.
To cook the rice:
- To a small pot, add salt and 1 cup of water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat.
- Add the rice, wait 30 seconds, and throw a lid on the pot (or a plate that fits snugly). Turn the heat down to low. Set a timer for 16 minutes and don’t touch it for that whole time- don’t peek and release the steam, just let it go for the 16 minutes. When the timer goes off, taste some to make sure that it’s done.
- Remove from the heat and set aside. Fluff with a fork and cover again until it’s time to assemble the dish.
To fry the eggs:
I love fried eggs, but I can’t stand when the whites aren’t fully set, and I am of the unpopular opinion that yolks should only be a little bit runny. I’m a fan of over-easy eggs but can literally never get them right, but luckily my mom figured out a method that involves no flipping that yields the perfect fried egg: the bottom is crispy, the whites are solid, and the yolk comes out about halfway cooked.
- Melt 2 tbsp butter in a pan over medium heat. It’ll look like a lot but it’ll make sure that the bottom gets golden and crispy without sticking.
- When the butter starts to bubble all over the pan, crack two eggs into the centre of the pan and turn the heat down to medium-low. The eggs will hiss and pop for a minute, but then start to sizzle quietly and steadily. Let the eggs go without prodding or poking for 5 minutes- don’t worry, the heat is low, so they won’t overcook.
- After 5 minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper and check the doneness. If the whites are set and you’re someone who loves a super-runny yolk, use a thin, metal spatula to get the eggs out of the pan. If you like a slightly set yolk, proceed to step 4.
- Grab a pot lid or a large plate. Pour ~1 tbsp of water into the butter in the pan and cover the pan immediately. The steam will cook your yolk gently. Leave it covered for 1 minute, check for doneness, and if you still want the yolk less runny, cover again for another minute. I don’t recommend cooking the yolk alllll the way through because then there won’t be any nice yolk to mix with the rice.