When you have the foresight to store any leftover steamed rice in your refrigerator, you've got plenty of fried rice fodder for the next morning. Cold leftover rice is ideal for turning into fried rice since the rice grains can be easily separated—all the better for a fluffy fried rice.
But sometimes (many times, actually), I don't have this refrigerator foresight at all and leave my leftover rice in my rice cooker. The next day, instead of cold, dried-out grains of cooked rice, I have room temperature sticky rice—which wouldn't make for a good fried rice at all.
So what to do with leftover, room temperature steamed rice when you've got a hankering for fluffy fried rice? Fry up the leftovers as a crispy rice cake instead, as shown in this cool video by Chow.com's John Birdsall:
John actually learned that leftover rice trick from his Ilocano mother-in-law. And although my family is also Ilocano, I've never seen or heard of this awesome technique before. The sheer diversity of Filipino cuisine never ceases to amaze!
So when I recently peeked into my rice cooker one morning, I remembered that Chow video and was inspired to replicate it. But because I happened to have a can of Spam in my cupboard, I made just a couple of minor changes to the technique. Rather than frying the rice in a bare non-stick skillet, I actually added a bit of oil and browned a smashed garlic clove in the oil. I added this extra step simply because I wanted to replicate the flavors of garlic fried rice (Sinangag) in this rice cake.
After the garlic browned, I removed it from the pan, then fried a slice of spam in the oil. After the spam was nice and crispy on both sides, I then added the leftover rice to the pan and did as the video instructed—formed the rice into a flat disc and fried until both sides were brown and crisp. Finally, I fried an egg sunny-side up.
I placed the crispy rice cake down on a plate, then topped it with the spam, followed by the egg. The resultant dish is a nice change of pace to a traditional Spamsilog (spam, fried egg, and garlic fried rice). If I ran a Filipino diner, I'd probably call this dish Spamsilog on a Shingle.
Spamsilog On A Shingle
Oh, and a final squirt of Banana Ketchup, or Sriracha, or both, will brighten up this breakfast/midnight snack considerably.