XO stands for eXtra Old for cognac – a variety of brandy liquor – that has been stored for a minimum of 6 years (from 2016 onward, a minimum of 10 years).
Cognac, named after the town Cognac in France, must be twice distilled in copper pot stills and aged at least two years in Limousin or Tronçais oak barrels.
Since brandy has been used for:
♥ cake & pie toppings
♥ steak sauces
♥ soups such as onion soup
♥ Christmas pudding
♥ XO fish head bee hoon (thick noodle) in Singapore
May I recommend using XO cognac for simple home-cooked dishes like fried rice?
|Since I was using leftover rice for baby Ren – which I purposely cooked softer, my fried rice was slightly soggy.|
For #AtoZChallenge on 2014 April 28 Mon, I lovingly present a recipe of XO fried rice by ServicefromHeart.
|Colorful rice grains of mixed white, red, brown rice|
Preparation & cook time: < 15 minutes
♥ 1 bowl pre-cooked rice, dried & chilled
♥ 2 tbsp olive oil
♥ 1 tbsp sesame oil
♥ 2 cloves garlic, minced
♥ 1 slice ginger, minced
♥ 1 tsp anchovies powder
♥ 1 tsp dark soy sauce (kecap manis)
♥ pepper, to taste
♥ 1 tbsp spring onions, chopped
♥ 2 tbsp XO cognac
♥ 1 egg
♥ 4 scallops (optional)
♥ 1 carrot, diced (optional)
♥ 1 stalk celery, sliced (optional)
♥ 1 tbsp peas (optional)
1. Heat oil using high heat to stir fry garlic and ginger until fragrant.
2. Sauté vegetables (carrots, celery, peas)
3. Add scallops. After a side is cooked, turn them over.
4. Add rice, pepper, anchovies powder, dark soy sauce. Stir to mix well.
5. Coat with sesame oil and XO for a shiny look. 6. Stir thoroughly.
7. Garnish with spring onions.
1. Use cold and dry cooked rice. You want to use firm rice grains because they are easier to separate while stir-frying them. This choice is important to prevent your fried rice turning out soggy or mushy. To remove moisture, you can either (A) air freshly-cooked rice and then refrigerate the rice for a minimum of two hours or (B) use leftover rice from the night before.
2. Use medium to long grain rice such as medium grain of jasmine rice. Choose the sturdy grains that don’t clump together when fried. Avoid short grain sushi rice or glutinous rice, which is softer and tends to stick together.
3. To acquire the smoky, slight burnt flavor, use high heat: a blazing hot pan / wok if possible. Add sufficient amount of oil to prevent your fried rice ingredients from sticking to the surface of pan. While the heat to stir fry our home-cooked version of fried rice may not be as hot as restaurants’ ones, we can pre-heat our pan with a lid before adding ingredients.
4. To ensure thorough mixing of flavors and aroma, cook 1 to 2 servings at a time.
5. To have a crunchy texture, include vegetables like celery or long beans as ingredients.
6. For a stronger taste, you can pre-infuse your oil with ginger and garlic overnight.
7. To prevent the fried rice from turning out mushy or soggy, I prefer to separately cook the egg into a sunny side up or an omelette that can be thinly stripped to garnish on top of the fried rice.
Check also our other #5minutemeal recipes.