If you are one of the many people who have a scientifically unsubstantiated intolerance to MSG, you should leave this post for a bit (and come back later). Not only does this recipe contain MSG, but your time will be better spent reading up on the xenophobic roots of MSG’s bad reputation. Don’t worry, this recipe will be here when you get back.
I was anti MSG too. If Bravo has taught me anything, it’s that feelings are more important than facts. This is especially true in the context of food. When science wasn’t enough to change my mind, the discovery that adobo comes in a packet brought me around with a quickness.
I know, your mom’s adobo is better, but your mom’s adobo won’t work for this recipe and it definitely won’t be done in the time it takes to watch Untucked (without commercials).
Extra Crispy Adobo Dirty Rice
3 cups leftover rice
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 packet of adobo seasoning
3/4 cup water
1 clove garlic diced
1 small onion chopped
1-3 jalapeños chopped (seeds removed)
Pinch of salt
2 tbs soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 lime cut into wedges
In a large wok, brown 1 lb. of ground beef. Sprinkle 1/2 packet of adobo seasoning on top of browned beef and add 1 cup of water. Cook on medium high heat, stirring periodically until water is completely evaporated, leaving lots of delicious fond (caramelized brown bits) in the pan. Put cooked beef in a bowl and wipe out all but 1-2 tablespoons of leftover fat from the wok, being careful not to scrape out the fond. Fond is culinary gold and should never be wasted.
Put onions and jalapeños in the wok with a pinch of salt and cook on medium high heat, scraping up the fond with a rubber spatula. When the onions start to turn translucent, add garlic and cook till fragrant, about one minute.
Dump rice into the wok, toss with onion mixture, and spread into a thin layer, pushing the rice up against the side of the wok. Turn the heat up to high. Sprinkle with soy sauce. Cook until rice forms a crisp layer on bottom. Toss again and spread rice into thin layer. Cook until rice crisps. Add cooked beef, juice of 1/2 lime, and cilantro. Toss, spread, and crisp once more.
Serve with lime wedges.