Chefs Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski give readers a closer look into the best-selling dishes from their acclaimed San Francisco restaurant in State Bird Provisions.
The magic of fried rice is not just that the grains are resurrected by a little hot oil but, if you ask me, that they’re improved as they’re infused with flavor and crisped in spots. The general technique aside, this dish detours through the rice-loving country of Italy, celebrating the glory of porcini mushrooms in three forms—sautéed, raw, and as rich aioli.
- The day before you plan to serve the fried rice, put the rice in a large mixing bowl and add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Use your hands to stir the rice, then empty the water, fill the bowl again, and repeat the process until the fresh water looks clear after stirring, about three times. Drain the rice well in a fine-mesh sieve, letting it sit in the sieve for about 10 minutes.
- Combine the rinsed rice and 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp water in a rice cooker and cook according to the manufacturer’s directions. When the rice is cooked, use a spoon to fluff it in the rice cooker, allowing steam to escape. Transfer the rice to a small baking sheet, spread it out in a thin, even layer, and let cool. Store, uncovered, in the fridge overnight. If the rice dries out now, it will end up fluffier and less clumpy later.
- Warm the olive oil in a sauté pan over high heat until you see wisps of smoke. Add the onions and ramp bulbs to the pan, sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions color and soften slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown in spots, another 2 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and let it bubble, stirring occasionally, just until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes more. Set aside until ready to use, or let cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Combine the kombu, ginger, garlic, lemon peel, rosemary, and water in a small pot. Set over medium-low heat and warm until small bubbles begin to rise from the bottom but before they break the surface of the liquid, 10 to 12 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Sprinkle in the katsuobushi and, if necessary, gently stir with a wooden spoon so it’s completely saturated. Let steep for 10 minutes, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve, lightly pressing on the solids. Discard the solids.
- Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Combine the butter, shallot, and garlic in a medium sauté pan. Set over high heat and let the butter melt and froth, swirling occasionally. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring and scraping often, until the shallot is translucent, about 2 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and ½ tsp salt to the pan, season with pepper, and stir well. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are cooked through, about 2 minutes. Pour in 2 Tbsp of the water, let the liquid come to a boil, then stir and scrape the pan until the liquid glazes the pan, about 30 seconds. Immediately transfer the pan’s contents to a baking sheet and spread out to help cool quickly to room temperature.
- Scrape every last bit of the mushroom mixture into a food processor. Add the egg yolk, vinegar, mustard, Tabasco, porcini spice powder (if using), 1 tsp salt, and remaining 2 Tbsp water. Process to a very coarse puree. With the processor running, add the grapeseed oil in a thin, steady stream. Scrape the sides of the processor and process for another 5 seconds or so. Season with additional salt, pepper, and vinegar.
- Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- In a small food processor or spice grinder, pulse or grind the mushrooms to a fine powder, occasionally stopping to stir if necessary.
- Put the allspice in a mortar and pound to a fine powder. Add the peppercorns and pound to a fine powder. Add the salt and sugar and pound to a fine powder. Add the porcini powder and stir well.
- Transfer to an airtight container and store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 month.
- In a small bowl, stir together the dashi, shiro shoyu, and sherry vinegar. Set aside.
- Warm 1 Tbsp of the grapeseed oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat until you see wisps of smoke. Add the 4 ounces porcinis, sprinkle with ½ tsp salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the porcinis soften and just begin to brown, about 2 minutes.
- Add the rice and remaining 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil, sprinkle with ½ tsp salt, and stir everything together, breaking up any clumps of rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is heated through, fluffy, and slightly crispy in spots, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the ramp greens, stir well, and cook just until they wilt, about 30 seconds.
- Add about half of the dashi mixture, stir well, and cook for 30 seconds more. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the remaining dashi mixture. Season with salt.
- Transfer the fried rice to a serving dish. Top with a few of the onions and ramp bulbs, reserving the rest for another purpose. Add the aioli in a few dollops. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, porcini powder, sprouts, and the very thinly sliced porcini. Serve right away.
Reprinted with permission from State Bird Provisions, copyright © 2017 by Stuart Brioza, Nicole Krasinski and JJ Goode. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.