Monday, April 29, 2013

Chinese Fried Rice with Shrimp and Venison Kielbasa

Pittsburghers will probably find this surprising, but I was well into my twenties before I had even heard of kielbasa for the first time, let alone taste it. That momentous "first time" was at a holiday gathering with R.'s family in the Pittsburgh area well before I moved here, and I remember liking the juiciness of the kielbasa and the tanginess of the sauerkraut that went along with it. It took me awhile, however, to realize the prominent place that kielbasa holds in "Pittsburghese cuisine," if there is such a thing.

Now that we are locals ourselves, it seemed fitting to have some of our venison made into kielbasa. We brought some along to a Steelers game tailgate back in December, but I was wholly disappointed by the dryness of the sausage - it was nothing like the juicy stuff I remember from that family holiday party!

While the venison kielbasa did not resemble what I know to be kielbasa, it did remind me a little bit of lap cheong - a Chinese sausage that's smoked and also very dry. (That's about where the resemblance ends, though.)

I decided to pull out an old Chinese fried rice recipe that my dad gave me eons ago and tried it with sliced venison kielbasa substituting for lap cheong. It worked out well, adding a rich layer of flavor to the fried rice.  I'm not sure we'll be getting venison kielbasa again, but if we do, this is what I will be making with it.

Venison Kielbasa
Venison kielbasa

Chinese Fried Rice with Shrimp and Venison Kielbasa
Chinese Fried Rice with Shrimp and Venison Kielbasa

Chinese Fried Rice with Shrimp and Venison Kielbasa
Chinese Fried Rice with Shrimp and Venison Kielbasa

  • 1½ cup long-grain white rice
  • ½ lb venison kielbasa
  • ½ lb shrimp, peeled
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup frozen green peas
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • ½ lb fresh pineapple chunks
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil, divided (may substitute with canola oil or corn oil)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp Chinese soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (optional)
  • Sriracha sauce (optional, but highly recommended)
  • Fermented bean curd (optional; available in jars at Chinese supermarkets)
  1. Cook rice in rice cooker or according to package directions. Let cool before frying. (Better yet, cook a day ahead to let the rice dry some before frying.)
  2. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Place kielbasa in a pan and cover with aluminum foil. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until done. Slice kielbasa using a serrated knife. Spray a skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium high, and cook each side of the kielbasa slices for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Cook green peas according to package directions.
  4. Wash and season shrimp with salt and pepper. In a wok or a skillet, fry shrimp in 1 tbsp peanut oil for about 3 minutes. Remove shrimp from wok/skillet and drain excess liquid.
  5. In the wok/skillet, add 1 tbsp peanut oil, and fry ¾ of the eggs under high heat; chop them with a spatula as you fry. Add salt to taste.
  6. Lower heat to medium, add rice and cook. Add 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp sesame oil, and salt to taste.
  7. Add kielbasa, shrimp, green peas, scallion, pineapples, and the remainder of the eggs. Mix well and fry for 3-5 minutes.
  8. Serve with Sriracha sauce and/or fermented bean curd.
Yields 4-5 servings