Politics and Bacon [Bacon Fried Wild Rice with Asparagus & Pea Shoots]

Let me open by saying I am going to keep this short and sweet. It’s the Canadian Leaders Debate and I’m trying my hardest to focus and take it in.

Because we’re friends, I’m going to level with you. I abhor politics. I know it’s important to be an informed citizen. I know. You need not wag the finger of shame at me. I do vote, and I try my best to make informed decisions. But when it comes to reading articles about corporate tax breaks or costly F-35 fighter jet purchases, I just can’t help but bob my head in an effort to stay awake. So I’m trying to make a valiant effort tonight. Though, since we’re being honest, my writing at the same time as ‘watching’ is probably not the best way to stay focused. But um, I’m trying? Assuming something shiny doesn’t catch my eye, of course. I should also mention that, in my case, ’watching’ can be defined as ‘making fun of outfits, accents, and chuckling about leaders trying to relate with the 20-something generation’. I’m a very responsible Canadian. (Please don’t deport me).

I was so excited to share this dish with you that I don’t even care that it’s another wild rice recipe. I hope you feel the same way once we’re finished here. It’s a perfectly easy, not-especially healthy take on fried rice. Bacon fried rice, actually. Did your heart jump there? Maybe just a little? If not, maybe we shouldn’t be friends. Ok, we can still be friends. But you owe me. I rounded out the recipe with some lightly roasted asparagus and raw pea shoots. The fresh flavour from the asparagus and shoots really helps cut the rich bacon flavour which I loved.

Vegetarians, feel free to use a vegetable oil in place of the bacon fat. Some browned tofu would be lovely in place of the bacon.

This would make a great side dish, but is equally satisfying as lunch or dinner.

Bacon Fried Wild Rice with Roasted Asparagus & Pea Shoots

3 cups cooked wild rice
6 slices bacon, cut into 1” pieces
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2+ tbsp dark soy sauce, based on personal taste
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 egg
1 small bunch asparagus, cut into 1-2” chunks
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 handfuls fresh pea shoots + extra for garnish
3 green onions, sliced diagonally

Preheat oven to 350. 

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the bacon and stir occasionally until crisp. Reserve 2tbsp of the bacon drippings and discard the rest. Let bacon drain on paper towels until ready to use. 

In a roasting pan, add the chunks of asparagus, and a good drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Roast 5-6 minutes, just until it’s bright green but still has some bite to it.

In a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat, add the 2tbsp bacon drippings and diced onion. Cook until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the rice, soy sauce and sesame oil and cook until warmed through. Make a well in the centre of the rice and add the egg. Whisk slightly with a fork and toss with the rice until cooked through, 5-6 minutes. There shouldn’t be much liquid left in the pan at this point. Taste for seasoning and add more soy sauce or sesame oil as needed.

Add in the bacon, asparagus, pea shoots and green onions. Toss briefly until combined and serve garnished with fresh pea shoots.

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