hello, i just saw a post about using zucchini instead of pasta for lasagna, and was wondering if that would actually work? the pasta helps to hold it together by absorbing most of the liquids, wouldnt it just fall apart? would eggplant be a better sub? it looked delicious but it also looked like it would fall apart the second my fork would touch it.
Making Sardines Fried Rice
After 13 days of sharing a bathroom with six others, a diet consisting of falafel breakfasts with chai, a platter of biryani or bukhari rice and curry lunches and a whole chicken freshly pulled off from the rotisserie, its juices seeping through the brown paper bag its put in, with chai, and dinners that are sometimes looked over, for we opted to pray in the courtyard of the المسجد الحرام where veiled ladies will throw at your lap small packages of dates of all known varieties - on some days they’re sticky and sweet, covered in sesame seeds and on some day, my personal favourite, those not yet fully ripe and has a pleasant bite with just enough sweetness as to not make you rush to the beige barrels of cold زمزم , walking 2km to and from the المسجد النبوي in the heat, I can safely say that there is no place like home.
Still, it is bittersweet to leave a place each with its own charms - Makkah with its bustling reverie that is truly a city that never sleeps. Madinah with its dream-like mosque with minarets that practically glow in daylight (not to mention the sliding domes and butterfly wing-like canopies that automatically expand during the scorching heat).
This is nothing new, but it is a nod to something we ate during our trip. 6 days into our eating habits we realized that drinking gallons of chai, eating simple carbohydrates and an opulence of protein can be a bit boring. So we opened a can of sardines in oil, emptied the contents into a frying pan with a buckload of chili peppers, waited for it to reduce and ate it with plain, steamed hot rice. A few slices of cucumbers and tomatoes were served on the side. It was simplicity at its best with a nutritional value to boot and so, so satisfying.
Today, nursing a head cold with mugs of mint green tea, I decided I wanted to eat this fiery concoction to flush out my system. Use sardines canned in oil and not in sauce if you can, because that way you can modify the spices and flavors to your liking. Having said that, if you happen to have a preference for sardine canned in sauces, then by all means use them. Use as little or much peppers as your palate can handle.
On a last note, tonight is the peak of the April Lyrids, if I’m not mistaken. Anyone watching the skies?
SARDINES FRIED RICE (serves 3-4):
[ 1-2 tins of sardine in chili oil, or in any sauce you like + 1-2 red hot chili peppers + 1/2 of a small tomato + 1 small onion + 2 cloves of garlic + a 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger + 1 teaspoon lemon juice + 2 cups cooked white rice that’s been left overnight + 2 tablespoons soy sauce + 1 teaspoon sugar + any vegetables you like in fried rice - I recommend some peas, carrots and bell peppers + eggs + fresh parsley or spring onion for garnish ]
Chop any vegetables you’re planning to use into small, equal pieces. In a food processor, pulse the chili pepper, tomato, onion, garlic and ginger until you have a coarse paste. Set aside.
In a large nonstick pan over medium-high, heat a 1/2 tablespoon of the oil that comes with the sardine (if you’re using sardines canned in sauce, use a 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil) and saute the pulsed ingredients for 1-2 minutes.
Add in the tinned sardines and break it up with your spatula. Stir fry until the sardines pieces browns and become a bit toasty, about 5-10 minutes. Add in sugar and the vegetables you’re using. Stir fry for 1 minute until vegetables just soften before adding the cooked rice. Give it a stir and add in soy sauce and lemon juice. Toss and work the rice so that the grains are evenly coated in the sardine mixture.
Cook until rice is dry and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fry some eggs and serve rice with over-easy eggs, chopped parsley or spring onion, a splash of chili oil and a lemon wedge on the side.