Conditioning…

I have two friends in the US, Opal and Jennifer, and both of them are vegans…and despite the fact that most of what I blog about are far from being vegetarian, they do drop by and comment regularly. I guess they may be able to get some ideas from my posts and create their own versions – if I’m not mistaken, I know that Opal does cook some non-vegetarian delights for her daughter and her father but she does not eat them herself.

Well, I’ve blogged about all my different versions of fried rice before and the other morning, I decided that I would like to try one that would be 100% vegetarian – no egg, no dairy products…

Vegetarian fried rice 1

These were the ingredients that I used…

Vegetarian fried rice - ingredients

- four cloves of garlic, sliced, a spoonful of my missus’ blended chili, spring onions, chopped, a bit of pumpkin, diced and also a tomato (there was only one left in the fridge), cut up as well, four shitake mushrooms, sliced, stems removed…and sweet soy sauce.

I fried the garlic in a bit of oil in a heated-up wok till lightly brown before adding the pumpkin. I fried it for a while as I guess it would take a little bit of time to cook. Then, I threw in the mushroom and the tomato…

Vegetarian fried rice - step 1

…and fried everything together for a bit.

Next, I added the rice, the blended chili and the spring onions as well as a bit of the soy sauce…

Vegetarian fried rice - step 2

…and mixed them all thoroughly.

After frying for a bit, till all the grains of rice had loosened and come apart, I dished it all out onto a plate and served…

Vegetarian fried rice 2

So, was it any good?

I would say that I liked all the flavours that I could taste from all the ingredients used…but I was not all that fond of the sweet soy sauce that I used. I think the next time, I would just use our regular mushroom soy sauce that we always use in all our cooking. You may add a pinch of msg, if you like, but I have been doing away with that in most of the things that I cook these days except perhaps, when there are not many ingredients from which the dish would derive its taste from.

I thought that was nice, a welcome change, though personally, I would prefer my usual stronger-tasting versions but I suppose where all our eating habits are concerned, it all boils down to behavioural conditioning  or in simple terms, getting used to it. In my growing-up years, whenever there was any leftover fried rice, my mum would just fry with sliced shallots (and of course, people in those days used lard in their cooking) and add an egg, salt and msg – so very simple and yet, we enjoyed that so very much…at the time but after adding all kinds of stuff to my fried rice over the years, I guess I have conditioned my taste buds to much stronger tastes than before.

I sure wouldn’t mind cooking this again…and maybe, I can experiment with other ingredients to see what may be compatible with the dish. Personally, I would very much prefer buttons to shitake…

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26 thoughts on “Conditioning…

  1. Your vegetarian fried rice is so healthy and beautiful. Look at the colours and your appetite will grow! I ordered these fried rice from vegetarian shops and they tasted so bland and looked boring. I must show this blog posting to the chefs here.

    Oooo…you’re just being kind. They can do wonders at those vegetarian shops – char siew that is not char siew but looks like it, chicken wings, burgers…you name it, they have it….just that they’re their vegetarian versions, no meat.

  2. Try capsicum or zucchini or aubergine next time! :D

    This time around, I used sweet tasting veg – pumpkin & tomato. I’d love to try stronger tasting veg like leek or celery or chives, and beans too – sweet peas would probably be nice. Not a fan of capsicum, especially the green ones – in Hokkien, we say, “Chao chay”, the green smell. Zucchini hasn’t got much taste nor aubergine.

  3. kicap manis ada ikan….blend chilli ada belacan……how how??

    Kicap manis ada ikan? Didn’t know that. Not nice, anyway – will just use our regular mushroom soy next time.

    My missus’ blended chili, no belacan – just pounded chili with calamansi lime, maybe a bit of garlic added…that’s all. You add belacan to your blended chili?

  4. I also prefer button mushroom than shitake. I guess the mushroom will replace for the chicken taste. Correct? :)

    Yes. In fact, we do cook mushroom ginger soup and eat with mee sua, in place of chicken. Very nice also.

  5. I heard if really pure vegetarian, no garlic too.. But your fried rice (always) looks good.. I think I will pre-steam the pumpkin for a while first, before frying..
    Ooohh, my version of (very) simple fried rice is: fried rice with just egg & luncheon meat. Haha..

    Yup. I understand that vegans do not take garlic because it does not quite agree with their digestive system or something like that. Yup, you can do that with the pumpkin but in that case, you may want to add it last then as it may get too soft and mushy and get horribly mashed in the frying. Hmmm…not that simple, my mum’s simpler than yours…no luncheon meat. :D

    • Well…Garlic is a plant…so technically it’s still able to be consumed in the vegetarian and vegan diets BUT I do know of some within the diet who choose to NOT consume it…but like you said…it’s due to digestive issues, mostly.

      Yes, that’s what I heard. Somebody also told me that the smell will come out strong through a person’s sweat and they felt it would not be very pleasant.

  6. Ooh, I like this one. I’d say definitely no to the MSG and I’d change the white rice to brown or red for more nutrition and a slightly nutty flavour and texture.

    I don’t mind brown or red rice. Many people don’t seem to enjoy it. I’d get that from my in-laws when they get any from somebody – freshly-harvested, locally-grown. Very nice but nobody seems to want to eat it. Much healthier than polished rice, of course.

  7. Love the colourful combination of the ingredients. Veg fried rice looks healthy & yummy. Never have veg fried rice, maybe should try frying one day. I prefer using normal soy sauce to sweet soy sauce too for fried rice.

    Yup, so far I’ve not liked anything I cooked using it – thank goodness I only bought a small bottle to try. Loved it with Indomie mi goreng though – guess it’s only good for that…plus the bumbu provided to go with it.

  8. You know what? Your fried rice is so colourful and it does look very tasty indeed! Really good looking plate of fried rice there and I think I will like it a lot :)

    Really nice with the sweetness of the pumpkin and the taste of the tomatoes…plus the mushrooms. Wouldn’t mind cooking it like this again if there’s any leftover rice…and if I’ve the ingredients. Would probably add an egg though – I missed that. Old habits die hard. Hehehehehe!!!!

  9. good morning arthur! :) I think I will have to change my diet to a vegetarian diet soon, getting too fat recently! hehe.

    Have a good day ya

    You too! Exercise, young man, exercise. You may lose weight initially, change of diet, but it will all come back. Have to hit the gym to keep fit and slim.

  10. Not tempted…baru masak belacan fried rice LOL

    Exactly what I had this morning too! This was from sometime ago – sharing something suitable for my vegan friends.

  11. Your fried rice always a looker! Have you tried frying brown or red rice? I love the texture, not to mention healthier! We only have unpolished brown rice (sometimes mixed with red rice) at home. The kids are used to it from young. I know some people are not used to the texture, finding it too dry and coarse but we love it. 😀

    That’s why my in-laws will not eat when they have any – and they’ll give to us. I love it…but I’ve never actually gone and buy. My missus not so fond of it as well.

  12. Pumpkin fried rice. Wow…..I never like pumpkin but grew to like it now. I find them sweet and delicious.

    I love pumpkin…and my daughter too. We also love sweet potatoes.

  13. It certainly looks delicious!

    Oh yeah, I almost forgot about the mushroom soy sauce that you mentioned coz we seldom use it over here but it really does taste nicer!

    Yes, we prefer it to the usual soy sauce but according to my missus, there are imitations – not so nice but I wouldn’t know. She’s the one buying it all the time.

  14. Beautiful fried rice. Must taste yummy too.

    You have a blessed Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

    Same to you. Yes, it was good – I sure would try again soon, maybe different combinations. Love experimenting and how things turn out right in the end.

  15. despite having no meat in this, your recipe looks positively scrumptious. hmmm, i wonder if it’s feasible to add avocado into fried rice … i’d love an avocado fried rice with pumpkin bits :D

    Oooooo…that would be gorgeous! I love avocados…but at around RM10 EACH here, I think I’d pass. :( Sobsssss!!!!!

  16. i ordered nasi goreng vegetarian at a mamak stall before and they added cabbage and chili padi, i do likey the crunchiness from the cabbage add a lil’ texture to the rice. but most of the stall would add frozen vegetables which i loathe :(

    Yes, I don’t like those either…and mainly because of the peas. Something’s wrong with the ones these days – they stay as hard as stones no matter how long they’re cooked.

  17. The food looks great! I love seeing color within food. A few days ago, I prepared something similar but I did add some chicken breast. I’d say the condiment in that dish. I took pictures, but have not had a chance to upload and post about that meal which I made for my daughter. It’s been busy, making costumes for the Passion Play.

    At times you can learn a lot from others, even if their way of eating differs from your own. Yes, my daughter is not vegan. She was until she was perhaps eight, but she was introduced to animal products at school and wanted that at home also. Even now, it’s not top priority in the meals I prepare for her, or the occasional ones she prepares for herself. Yes, I occasionally cookd for my father also, when my mom is working or travels to visit my brother and his family.

    I do eat garlic regularly, it has a lots of great health benefits and it’s so good for you. I don’t have any issues with digestion whether I prepare it in meals or juice a bunch with my savory dark leafy green drinks.

    You do? I don’t know but the Asian vegans don’t eat garlic. Initially I thought it had something to do with their religion but later, one told me that it would not be good for their system. I don’t know – I love garlic, use it a lot in my cooking – not so much ginger but ginger’s good too.

    Yes, like I said in the post you do cook non-vegan stuff for your family, that I know from reading your blog – I’m beginning to enjoy the flavours of the ingredients used a lot more now, not so much the seasonings added like before, very nice.

    Yes, I did drop by your blog – so I know you’ve been busy. Hope the Passion Play went well. Happy Easter to you and your family.

    • I, too, consume Garlic. I really like it for flavor and feel it has amazing benefits for those who are able to consume it. I do know some people have a hard time digesting it tho. Since it’s a plant based food and not an animal product it’s still technically veg*n :)

      It has lots of health benefits. Perhaps like everything else, it needs getting used to. I was never allergic to crustaceans but these days, I have to go very slow on them. If I have a feast of those things, I would start to itch.

  18. Thanks so much for the shout out on your blog! This dish sounds very nice! I really LOVE the addition of the pumpkin! Neat! I made a Faux Fried Rice last week – there may be a few other things as of late you might find interesting. Sorry it’s taken me until now to see this and comment! It’s been a weird and busy week or so around these parts :)

    Ok, will hop over soonest to have a look at yours. I’ve been out of town, just got back last night so your timing is good. I should be settling back into my old routine…

  19. Oh yes! I did just re-read this

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jain_vegetarianism

    It does mention root veggies as a no-no for religious reasons…as well as onions and garlic are considered ‘tamasic’, as they are believed to have a quality of darkness, lethargy and a putrid smell.

    Oh? So there is a religious reason after all. Interesting. I didn’t know that – my friend who came from a family of vegetarians owing to religion told me otherwise. Maybe it varies and this did not apply in her religion.

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