Not to be confused with sinigang, or sour soup, sinangag is a simple yet satisfying garlic fried rice. Often served as a breakfast staple, sinangag makes good use of day-old rice that is past its prime having lost its fresh-cooked stickiness. When marinated meat (tapa) is paired with sinangag and a sunny-side up egg (itlog), the trio is a classic breakfast combination that has morphed into tapsilog in Filipino vernacular. Longsilog replaces tapa with longaniza (sausage). Tocilog uses tocino (sweetened pork) and bangsilog, bangus (milkfish). Then there are the American flavors of baconsilog and cornedbeefsilog, inevitable additions to the Filipino-American breakfast.
Garlic Fried Rice (Sinangag)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups (725 ml) cooked day-old long-grain rice
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a 10 to 12-inch (25 to 30-cm) nonstick skillet or wok over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, cooking and stirring until lightly toasted to a golden brown. Add the rice and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until each grain is heated through and lightly fried. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the rice onto a platter and serve hot.
Variation: Salmon and Garlic Fried Rice. Leftover salmon makes a terrific addition to the classic garlic fried rice. If you’re using canned salmon, completely drain any canning liquid before using. After toasting the garlic in the oil, add 11⁄2 cups (175 g) cooked flaked salmon to the skillet and sauté for 1 minute. Add the rice and cook until warmed through and lightly fried. Season with salt and pepper.
This sinangag recipe embraces the basic flavors of garlic and rice without distraction from common additions of soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger, scallions, or shallots. Using long-grain rice is an important factor in achieving a fried rice that is perfectly fluffy and separated. Medium and short-grain rice tends to be moist, even after a day or two, which leads to sticky clumps of fried rice.
Reprinted with the express permission of Tuttle Publishing, a member of the Periplus Publishing Group.