Many moons ago, my colleague Noor Murad worked at Spice Market in New York, which has since sadly closed its doors. This rice dish, conceived by its genius chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, is as simple as it is delicious, so we’ve left it more or less alone. It’s a good idea to make more of the fried ginger and garlic than you need here, because it’s lovely sprinkled over salads, rice dishes and grilled meat. The excess will keep for up to two weeks in an airtight container at room temperature (ie, not the fridge).
2 tbsp olive oil
25g piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
⅛ tsp aleppo chilli
30g unsalted butter
1 large leek (or 2 smaller ones), trimmed, cut in half lengthways and then into 2cm-thick half-moons (250g net weight)
250g packet pre-cooked jasmine rice (or leftover cooked rice)
1 spring onion, trimmed and finely sliced
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 large egg
1. Put a tablespoon of the olive oil, the ginger and garlic in a small, nonstick frying pan on a medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15-18 minutes, until the mixture is crisp and golden. Stir in the chilli, then transfer the mixture to a plate, spacing it out so it can crisp further.
2. Meanwhile, put the butter and a teaspoon and half of the olive oil in a large frying pan on a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the leek and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until soft and lightly coloured. Turn the heat to high and add the rice, stirring to break it up and spread it out over the whole cooking surface. Leave to brown in places, stir again, and repeat for four to five minutes, until the rice is heated through and well browned. Stir in the spring onion, soy and sesame oil, and turn off the heat.
3. Put the remaining olive oil in a small, nonstick frying pan on a medium-high heat. Once hot, crack in the egg and sprinkle lightly with salt. Top the white of the egg with the ginger mix, sprinkling it evenly all around, and cook for about three minutes, until the white is set and the yolk runny. Transfer the rice to a bowl, top with the egg and serve warm.