The first time I tasted garlic fried rice, I thought, “HELLO BEAUTIFUL, where have you been all my life?” The Maharlika-Jeepney crew, a local Filipino restaurant group, ran a pop-up in downtown Brooklyn. In addition to being very happy to eat it, I remember feeling a little cheated. It was as if my life had been retroactively diminished by not having eaten this simple, five-ingredient vegan side dish before.
Was I being dramatic? Hello?!?!?!—DRAMA is my middle name! It was like finally meeting the man or woman of your dreams at senior-citizens’ home and wishing you’d met way earlier. You know you’re going to stay together the rest of your life, but wish you’d met in kindergarten. Yes, I realize if I met him that early on, it might not have worked out. However, if I’d eaten garlic rice in kindergarten I’d certainly still be eating it and we would have had so much more time together…. SOB!!!
This recipe makes perfect use of leftover rice of any kind—perhaps not sticky rice, but you could use quinoa, buckwheat or another already cold, cooked grain that you want to use up. Whatever you use, make sure it’s cold, not just cooled.