Okay, so this is my first attempt at creating a new page and menu category. I hope this works out. If not, no biggie, I can always try again.
So here we go….This recipe was born out of a need to find something to cook for dinner. We didn’t have a lot of food in the cupboards so that left me with few options – I could either spend money on grocery shopping or go buy some fast food. I didn’t like either of those options so I decided to see what we did have available on hand. Fortunately we had some fruit and a little bit of ham and lots of rice. And viola, this stir frye was born.
As you’ll notice in the picture we had a good variety of fruit on hand. Most of the fruit was cold because we like to chill it in the refrigerator. It tastes much better that way. There’s just something about cold fruit….mmmm. And I really liked the juxtaposition of the hot rice and ham with cold fruit. It makes for a wonderful lunch dish.
I started by slicing the strawberries and kiwi and then placing them back in the refrigerator to keep chilled while I prepared the rest of the dish. Next, I created the sauce, and what a sauce it turned out to be! I used Prune Juice for the base and then added soy sauce, molasses, pineapple juice and rooster sauce (chili sauce), honey, and Tiger Sauce (actual brand name). I let that simmer for a long time and while that was cooking, I began on the rice. The rice started out by being steamed for twenty minutes and then was set aside. As the rice was steaming, I diced up the ham and cooked it on medium util it was just turning brown.
Be sure to keep stirring the sauce so that everything melts nicely and gets incorporated. Now what you don’t see in the picture (besides the rice) is the cabbage. I shredded about a quarter each of green and red cabbage.
After the rice was done, I took some of the sauce and poured just enough to cover the bottom of the frying pan and then I placed the rice in the frying pan and did a mock stir frye with the ham, cabbage and spinach. (I would recommend cooking the rice a day in advance like the pros do as the rice really performs better when you do.)
My wife got two plates ready and took the fruit out of the refrigerator so we could assemble the dish and we were off. We laid down a cup of the stir frye and added some fresh spinach on top and then laid out the fruit as shown above.
It was a really nice treat. And the contrast of cold and hot played well. It came together like a dream. I couldn’t be more proud of this dish. It is well worth the effort and we’ve used the sauce on many, many occasions.
- 2 cups fresh spinach (destem them)
- 1 1/2 cup green cabbage – shredded
- 1 cup red cabbage – shredded
- 1/3 cup red bell peppers – julienned
- 1/4 cup baby carrots – thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup smoked ham – diced
- 1 cup canned mandarin oranges
- 1 cup kiwi – peeled and sliced
- 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
- 1/4 cup strawberries – sliced
- 2 1/2 cups rice
For the sauce:
- 2 cups Prune Juice
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Tiger Sauce
- 4 tablespoons pineapple juice
- 2 tablespoons clover honey
- 1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
- 2 tablespoons rooster sauce (chili sauce)
- Prep the fruit and put in the refrigerator to chill.
- Slice the cabbage, the carrots and the red pepper.
- Place the rice in a steamer for twenty minutes
- While the rice is cooking, turn the stove on to medium and in a small sauce pan add in the Prune Juice, Soy Sauce, Tiger Sauce, and Molasses. Stir well. When the rice is done cooking set the sauce to simmer and add in the Pineapple Juice and Honey. Again, stir well
- Dice the ham to about 1/2″ cubes.
- With the sauce simmering, place a skillet on the largest burner and set heat to medium. Toss in the ham and 1/2 cup of sauce. Turn and heat through. When the ham is done, set it aside.
- Okay, take some rice and place it in the skillet. We are going to do like a stir frye so raise the heat to medium high. What you want to do is give the rice just a hint of crispness. You may add some more sauce if needed.
- After the rice is to its desired tender/crisp self, add most of the cabbage, and all of the red pepper and ham. It should be enough to make two servings. (save some cabbage for use later.)
- While the stir frye is heating, quickly remove the fruit from the refrigerator. Keep turning the mixture until the cabbage is tender. Then when you are ready to plate it, add the Spinach and just a little sauce. Get ready for the presentation.
- Arrange the chilled fruit along the edge of the plate, alternating colors (red, green, orange and yellow) Fill the plate with as much fruit as you think you would like. Take some of the raw cabbage and sprinkle onto the plate. This adds lots texture and variety to a cool summer dish. Go out to your patio and enjoy!
And that’s all there is to it! I know, I know it’s a bit of work, but believe me it is well worth it. If you love stir fry’s and/or you love having lunch outside on the patio you’re going to really love this.