Fried rice might not scream "brunch" to you, but to Stephen Gillanders, the executive chef of Chicago restaurant Intro, it was a natural fit for their new menu. As its name might indicate, Intro is used to introducing new concepts: the restaurant switches their menu every few months. At the end of February, Intro launched a modern Chinese dim sum brunch. “Traditionally, dim sum is a brunch time meal, so introducing a Sunday brunch menu at Intro was very natural,” Gillanders explained in an email. “It gave us chefs a broader rage to work with creatively, while providing our guests another opportunity to enjoy a different dim sum experience.” Though the chefs were playing around familiar Chinese dishes, like steamed dumplings and egg drop soup, Gillanders still wanted to be sure to incorporate iconic brunch ingredients, like smoked salmon or bacon and eggs.
“Whenever I think of dishes I love eating, I look for similarities in Chinese cuisine to see if there are ways we can incorporate them into the menu,” explains Gillanders. And adding eggs and bacon to rice just made sense. “Fried rice traditionally includes eggs and a pork component so using bacon as the pork component was a natural choice.”
This recipe calls for cold, yet cooked, rice, so it’s perfect if you ordered Chinese takeout the night before. Besides, it’s the bacon and eggs that are the star of this show, not the rice itself. “We don't add soy sauce or any other vegetables to keep it light and focused,” says Gillanders.
But just because this fried rice is simple, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a kick. "I top the rice with some crumbled bacon for a textural crunch and serve the dish with a side of house made sriracha vinegar,” because, Gillanders explains, “I love Sriracha with my eggs, in general, and it perfectly accents the dish.”
Bacon and Egg Fried Rice
- Yields: 2 servings
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Hands-On Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
First, make a Ginger-Garlic Mix.
Prep. Remove the garlic germ and mince. Finely chop the ginger and brunoise. (That's French for cooking down an ingredient in butter to be used in flavoring soups and sauces.) Leave the seeds in the Serrano peppers, and finely brunoise.
Combine. Combine everything in a bowl and mix well Leave to the side.
Then, make the Sriracha Vinegar.
Combine everything in a blender and puree until smooth.
Pass through a chinois, or fine mesh strainer, pushing for a total extraction.
Now, put it all together, and make your Bacon and Egg Fried Rice.
Ingredients for the Bacon and Egg Fried Rice
Prep. Square bacon in ½ inch squares. Beat eggs. Brunoise chives.
Heat pan until smoking hot, add the ginger-garlic mix.
Sauté the mixture on high until it begins to color; then add the bacon and stir-fry until it begins to crisp on the edges.
Add cold rice and sauté until rice is fragrant and begins to toast.
Add scallions and season gently with salt; cook until everything is hot and aromatic.
Ladle beaten eggs and stir until the egg is cooked into the rice.
Plate dish and gently drizzle soy sauce over the rice and sprinkle entire surface with chives. Serve the Sriracha vinegar on the side.