WINE WITH…Pork Fried Rice
This is simple and satisfying Asian-inspired comfort food. A one-dish meal, it is not very complicated to make, and most of the preparation can be done ahead of time. Because it has complex flavors and textures, the dish adapts surprisingly well to many different types of
wine, from relatively modest, straightforward selections to more refined whites and quite robust reds.
Pork Fried Rice
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon Asian oyster sauce or fish sauce
About 8 ounces pork such as a boneless pork chop
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced shitake mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small carrot, finely diced
1 cup cooked fresh or frozen peas
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 scallions (white part and an inch or two of the green) sliced
5-6 cups cooked rice, re-warmed if it is cold
½ cup white wine
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, sesame oil, oyster sauce, and soy sauce, and set aside. Cut the pork into small pieces (about ½ inch). Place 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large, sturdy skillet and add the pork. Cook it over medium-to-high heat, stirring frequently, until is it well browned. Transfer it to a large bowl and reserve.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet and stir in the mushrooms, cooking them until they are soft and lightly browned. Stir in the garlic and cook for a minute or two, then add the mixture to the pork and reserve.
Place the diced carrots in a small saucepan and add enough water to cover. Simmer until just tender, then drain and add them to the pork mixture. Add the peas.
When you are ready to serve the dish, stir the rice into the bowl with the pork and other ingredients. Add the third tablespoon of oil to the skillet and sauté the scallions for a couple of minutes until they just begin to soften, then add them to the rice mixture. Pour the eggs into the skillet and quickly scramble them until they are just set, but do not let them get hard and dry. Transfer them to the rice mixture.
Over high heat, add the wine to the skillet and stir it until it has reduced to only an inch or two. Turn down the heat and add the rice mixture to the skillet, stirring until the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Pour in the soy sauce mixture and continue stirring, over low heat, until it has been completely absorbed into the other ingredients.
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You might think that an Asian inspired dish like this would be best if paired with sake or beer, but we found it remarkably adaptable when it comes to grape wine. Perhaps it was the soy sauce and mushrooms, both chock-full of umami, but the dish went well with everything from a light Chenin Blanc to a hearty Petite Sirah. The wines we’re recommending have little in common except for all being domestic, so marked by fruit more than earthy flavors. The fact that they proved so convincing as partners for the dish leads us to suggest that the best advice in this case is to choose an American wine you really like, and just dig in!
Questions or comments? Contact us at Talkofthevine@gmail.com