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Recipe provided by Hetty McKinnon

Serves 4

This bowl is a snapshot of how our family ate growing up. Pared back flavours of ginger both dominant and delicate, permeating each simple dish in a bold yet subtle way. Ginger fried rice is my comfort food in every sense – my mum made this for me whenever I was feeling unwell; the dish is particularly good for settling a restless tummy and is also a proficient hangover cure. Ginger is a hugely nostalgic ingredient for me – it is the smell I associate most with my mother, a smell that was always present on her hardworking hands. It is a smell that brings me much comfort in the kitchen.


1 iceberg lettuce (about 750 g)

1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce

€2 teaspoons hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

¼ teaspoon sugar

extra-virgin olive oil or sunflower oil

2€ cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

4-6 eggs

4 shallots, finely chopped

€2 tablespoons sesame seeds (white, black or both), toasted

sea salt and white pepper

+ Ginger Fried Rice

extra-virgin olive oil or sunflower oil

5 cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

925€ g (5 cups) cooked cold brown rice

sea salt and white pepper

+ Substitute

iceberg lettuce: cos lettuce, cabbage

hoisin sauce: vegetarian oyster sauce, kecap manis, soy sauce

omit eggs for vegan


To remove the core of the lettuce, take a sharp paring knife, run it around the core and then gently pull it out. Remove the outer layer of the lettuce and discard. Now tear the lettuce into large chunks. Wash the leaves and allow them to dry in a colander.

In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari or soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sugar and a pinch of sea salt and white pepper.

Heat a large frying pan or wok over medium–low heat, add a drizzle of oil along with the ginger and garlic, and cook for 30 seconds. Increase the heat to medium, add the lettuce and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, until the lettuce is wilted. Pour the sauce over the lettuce and stir-fry for a further  60 seconds. Take care not to overcook, as you want the lettuce to retain some crunch. Remove from the pan and set aside. Once the pan is cool enough to handle, rinse it out and dry.

For the ginger fried rice, reheat the pan on high heat and add a good drizzle of oil. Toss in the ginger and cook for 30 seconds, then add the cold rice and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes, until the rice is heated through. Season with sea salt and a small pinch of white pepper, then remove from the pan and set aside.

Wipe the pan clean once again and place over a medium–high heat. Add another drizzle of oil and add one egg to the pan (cook one egg at a time). Season the egg with a touch of salt and immediately cover with a lid. Cook until the white is just set and the yolk is to your liking. Repeat with all the eggs.

To serve, scoop the ginger fried rice into individual serving bowls and top each with the stir-fried lettuce and a fried egg. Scatter with the shallot and sesame seeds and season with a little sea salt and white pepper.


This recipe and more delicious recipes from Hetty McKinnon can be found in: Family by Hetty McKinnon, publishing by Plum, RRP $39.99, photo credit Luisa Brimble