Today's recipe is based on a comfort food from my childhood. Although we called this a rice egg in our house, it is really just an omelet filled with rice. Many restaurants serve their own version topped with catsup, but we always soaked ours in soy sauce. This is still the way I prefer to eat it, albeit with a lot less of this sodium-filled condiment than I used as a child! My favorite addition to the basic steamed rice filling is sesame spinach, a simple dish of spinach marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. And just recently, thanks to a happy accident (I clumsily poured too much oil into the sauté pan), I have discovered the joys of an oil-poached omelet, which keeps the bottom from browning too much while the top of the omelet cooks. I am not especially skilled at making omelets and often tear the egg when folding it, but since this is only a single serving no one else has to see my creation, and all I care about is the taste, which is always perfect!
Oil-Poached Rice Egg with Sesame Spinach
1 bag (6 oz.) spinach
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp. water
2 T. vegetable oil
1/2 C. leftover steamed rice (I prefer brown, but grew up eating white)
Make a slit in the spinach bag and microwave the bag for 1 1/2 minutes to steam the spinach. Place the spinach in a container with a lid. Add the next three ingredients, cover, and shake the container to mix the ingredients. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles gently when added. Beat the eggs with the water and pour into the hot oil (the oil should just cover the egg). Cook for about a minute until the bottom is firm but the top is still a bit runny. Cover half of the omelet with the rice, then add as much sesame spinach as you like (unless you really like spinach, there will be about one more serving left over). Fold the omelet in half, cook for about 30 seconds, and then slide onto a plate. Top with soy sauce and serve. Serves 1.
Note: Any leftover sesame spinach makes an excellent side dish. If you have a fair amount left over, you can add some slivered roast beef (or sautéed shrimp or scallops) and a sliced scallion, allow to marinate for about an hour, and serve over rice for a delicious light meal.
You will also have oil left over in the pan when the egg is done. For a special treat, fry a couple of slices of good bread in this oil. The first side into the oil will soak up most of it, so lightly butter the top of the bread slices while the bottom is frying, then flip to fry both sides. Plate with the omelet for a delicious meal hearty enough to serve as dinner!