Crispy Anchovies and Red Pepper Spicy Fried Rice

There really wasn't any particular reason for making this fried rice, except that I happen to have the ingredients:

Leftover cooked rice (about 2 bowls) kept in the fridge from the night before
A red bell pepper I bought on reduced price, cut into small chunks
A handful of dried salted anchovies (ikan bilis)
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon light soya sauce
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
Extra chilli flakes and fresh basil for garnishing

I learned my way of making fried rice from watching my late grandmother cook, when I was a teenager. To keep the anchovies and garlic crispy, I always fry the garlic and the anchovies in a little oil first, then scoop them out to set aside for later.

Or, if I'm really lazy, I'll do that in the oven, using a small baking dish. Frying will take about 2 minutes, but with mess risk; there's less mess cooking in the oven but will take about 8-10 minutes. However, if I'm using the oven for the garlic and anchovies, I can actually do the other frying parts at the same time. So time wise there's not much of a difference.

Then in a wok, fry the eggs with a tablespoon of oil on high heat and quickly cut into small pieces with the spatula. Then add in the red bell pepper and chilli flakes to stir fry for about 2 minutes.

Before adding the rice in, I'll make sure that the grains are roughly separated and not stuck in a large chunk. This can be done easily with a fork. In with the rice, stirring constantly to mix everything together, then add in the light soya sauce and mix well. this would take another 2 minutes or so.

Just before turning the heat off, it's time to return the anchovies and fried garlic to the wok. Just roughly stir them together, and it's ready to serve.

The soya sauce is only to give the rice a little colour and a little lift in flavour. I won't add any salt to it as the anchovies are readily salted.

Egg fried rice is so versatile that it can be cooked with just about anything, which makes it such a great way to finish off leftover food; it tastes really good and the whole process would take just about 10 minutes. What's not to like about it?


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