Fried rice was originally developed in China over 1400 years ago, and is an extremely popular dish in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and is the national dish of Indonesia. It consists of rice that has been stir-fried in a wok or frying pan and is mixed with other ingredients such as eggs, vegetables, seafood, or meat.
Although all fried rice can trace its origins to China, many other cultures have adapted their own style of fried rice such as Spanish paella, or Peruvian chaufa.
Fried rice made at home is typically made from ingredients leftover from previous dishes, allowing for unique creations with every preparation.
With that enticing introduction, this week Chef Elsa Tamayo guided us on the great adventure of making fried rice. It was a multisensory experience with the rich smell of onions and garlic, the coconut aminos in the air, and the delicious meat. Our students blanched vegetables, worked the hot pan, and prepped the food. The result was a great lunch that we all enjoyed.
I find joy in seeing our students’ passion for cooking and creativity. As part of our life skills program, cooking really allows each of the student’s personalities to bloom. I love their internal motivation, and perseverance to learn the different steps involved.
In order to both accommodate and set up activities to develop motor skills, we used thongs to transfer meats and vegetables and gloved hands to separate and transfer rice. With everything hot and bubbling safety is a big focus. We want our students to gain confidence in the kitchen and it starts by being safe. Knowing what to touch, what not to touch, what requires oven mitts, etc. Practice makes progress and fried rice made for very tasty progress.