In a city I'd never made it to before a couple of weeks ago, Moscow; there are some utterly brilliant people, the most amazing sights and some of the most wonderful magical ingredients still to be properly discovered outside the region. Among the fantastically shaped bottles, jars and sachets which I'm now lucky to have at home, is a great big bottle of tkemali.
Tkemali is the name of the wild sour plum which gives the sauce its name, and I'm to believe is Georgian in origin. It's a ketchup like condiment, and has everything going on from pungently tangy to tart, sweet and sour, but above all else, its insanely addictive now I've opened my bottle.
Fried rice pops up at home an awful lot, and every time it comes out just that little bit differently, I guess the nature of what's at home and kicking about in the fridge will always dictate as such. This time of the year it has to be glutinous rice though, makes the whole thing more sticky and warming, perfect as winter begins to take shape (21°c and blue skies here today)
fried rice, bbq pork, tkemali
For the glutinous fried rice
500g glutinous rice, soaked overnight
50g shredded dried cuttlefish, cleaned
3 Chinese dried sausages, sliced
8 large mushrooms cut into cubes
1 bunch of spring onions, chopped
4 tblsp garlic oil
2 egg omelette, shredded
25g fried peanuts
1tbsp dark soya sauce
1tbsp oyster sauce
Clean and drain the soaked glutinous rice and steam for about 35-45 minutes. Sprinkle water into the steamed rice every 15 mins and continue steaming. Fluff up the rice after 25 minutes and continue sprinkling water till the rice is soft. You can pinch some rice and try if it's soft enough, if not, just continue to steam.
Remove from steamer and set aside. In a wok, pour in the garlic oil, then put in the dried shrimps and dried cuttlefish and fry them till aromatic, add the mushrooms, Chinese sausages and sauté for several minutes on a medium heat.
Now add in the steamed glutinous rice and seasonings and keep frying till everything is well mixed with the seasonings.
Taste and add more salt if necessary. Toss in the chopped spring onions, shredded omelette and fried peanuts to finish.
Serve with the barbecued pork, and a heavy handed hit of tkemali and your work for the night is now complete.