A simple rice dish that is full of flavor — Sinangag (or Filipino Garlic Fried Rice) is excellent with fried or grilled meat and fish. You think it’s just good for breakfast? Nope, you can serve it any time of the day!
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Do you want to know what’s a typical breakfast in the Philippines? It’s either pandesal or this, garlic fried rice.
Generally served with fried dried fish, cured meat, and fried eggs, sinangag is now commonly enjoyed for lunch or early dinner.
If you’re worried about the garlic in there, don’t be. It’s not an overpowering dish. Yes, it’s got crispy garlic and garlic-infused oil, but they are subtle flavors.
So, give it a try!
Ingredients to prepare
- Oil – sunflower oil, canola oil, or any vegetable oil that’s got a neutral taste is excellent for sinangag.
Olive oil is not ideal because of its flavor. Even the mildest ones will impart some flavor to the rice.
- Cooked rice – definitely at least a day old because they have less moisture in them.
Start by heating the oil in a large wok, skillet or aluminum pan. Set the heat to medium-low.
Add the garlic right away (photo 1).
Spread the garlic evenly and continue cooking; adjust the heat to medium (photo 2).
Mix frequently, and once the garlic turned into a darker, golden color (not burnt!), remove about a teaspoon for garnish later (photo 3).
Add the rice and adjust heat to medium-high. Mix to combine.
Add salt plus pepper, and mix (photo 4).
Continue cooking and frequently mixing for about 10 to 12 minutes. You can adjust the seasoning during this time as well.
Take the pan off the heat.
Transfer into a plate and garnish with the remaining crispy garlic and chopped spring onions.
Top tips to remember
- Do not wait for the oil to become hot before adding the garlic. It helps to cook it slowly; it also makes it easier not to burn the garlic this way.
- Make sure that the cooked rice is dry, not sticky or clumpy. It’s the key to making great fried rice.
- Use your hands to separate the rice grains, sort of like squeezing them with your fingers; again, this can only work if the cooked rice is dry.
- Taste and adjust seasoning before taking it off the heat.
WHY IS LEFTOVER RICE BETTER FOR FRIED RICE?
Leftover rice is drier than just-cooked rice; hence, it will give you that perfect chewy-but-still-firm-fried-rice texture.
Newly cooked rice will generally result in soggy fried rice because there’s too much moisture in it.
WHY IS THERE NO SOY SAUCE?
Soy sauce is never used in sinangag.
Admittedly, some might like to add a small amount to give the fried rice some color — that’s fine, but that is not the traditional way.
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Filipino Garlic Fried Rice (Sinangag)
- 5 cups rice, cooked & equivalent to 1 cup uncooked
- 3 & 1/2 tbsp oil
- 10 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp spring onions, chopped & only light parts
- salt and pepper, to season
- Add oil on a large wok or skillet; set heat to medium-low.
- Add garlic and spread evenly. Adjust the heat to medium and continue cooking until garlic turns darker, regularly mixing to ensure that it does not get burnt.
- Take about 1 teaspoon of the browned garlic and set aside for garnish later.
- Add rice and adjust heat to medium-high.
- Mix to coat the grains evenly with the oil. Add salt and pepper.
- Continue cooking for about 10 to 12 minutes, intermittently mixing to cook it evenly.
- Adjust the seasoning before taking the pan off the heat.
- Transfer into a serving plate. Top with the saved crispy garlic and chopped spring onions.
- Use neutrally flavored vegetable oil like canola or sunflower. They work better for fried rice than olive oil.
- Add the garlic with the oil right away. It helps in not burning them, as well as infusing the oil longer with garlic flavor.
- Use dry cooked rice, with separated grains. Clumpy or sticky ones will not work well.
- Do not forget to taste and adjust seasoning before taking the pan off the heat. It helps to do this repeatedly since there is a lot of mixing involved.