In his debut cookbook, Soul, chef Todd Richards eschews any notions as to what soul food should be and presents his interpretation of the cuisine. Influenced by the cuisines of different cultures he experiences, Richards embraces today's global pantry to create dishes such as collard green ramen and sea urchin with smoked tomato broth and West African spices. "Todd's idea of Soul food isn't 'supposed to be' anything but delicious," Sean Brock states in the book's introduction. Instead, the recipes presented are a reflection of his ancestors, upbringing, experiences and creativity as a cook.
Get the recipe for his ginger and collard green fried rice below.
Ginger and Collard Green Fried RiceExcerpted from Soul by Todd Richards. Copyright © 2018 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation. New York, NY. All rights reserved.
Soy sauce has become a universal ingredient that provides exceptional flavor to dishes. As with most any ingredient, there are inexpensive substitutions for the real deal. Authentic soy sauce is fermented and aged over time, and there is no substitute for time. The time required for premium soy sauce to brew and age is essential to its quality. It makes all the difference in this classic fried rice with a soulful infusion of collard greens.
1 bunch young collard greens (1/2 pound)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 duck egg or extra-large chicken egg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, smashed and very thinly sliced
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about 2 teaspoons)
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
2 cups cooked white rice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño chile, very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
Red pepper flakes (optional)
1. Fill a sink with cold water. Place a cutting board nearby. Stack 4 collard green leaves on top of each other. Remove the stems with a sharp knife and trim 2 inches from the bottoms of each stem. Cut the stems into 1/8-inch pieces. Cut the leaves into 2-inch squares. Repeat with remaining leaves. Rinse the leaves and stems in cold water. Drain.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a medium sauté pan or skillet over medium. Break the egg into the pan, and cook 4 minutes, gently shaking the pan occasionally to ensure the egg does not stick. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Turn the egg, and cook 2 more minutes. Transfer to a plate, and keep warm.
3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in the sauté pan over medium. Add the shallot, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallot is translucent. Add the collard leaves and stems to the pan; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in the vinegar. Stir in the soy sauce and mirin. Stir in the rice, and cover. Simmer until the rice is heated through, about 2 minutes. Uncover and drizzle with sesame oil. Remove from heat and let stand 2 minutes.
4. Transfer the fried rice to a serving bowl. Cut the fried egg into 1/8-inch-thick strips. Top the rice evenly with the egg strips. Garnish with the scallions, jalapeño slices, sesame seeds, lime wedges and red pepper flakes, if desired.
To Drink: Sauvignon Blanc, sparkling wine, Champagne, Chardonnay, rosé, Gamay, Pinot Noir, amber beers, IPAs or hard ciders
Serve with: Grilled seafood, grilled meats, poultry; spicy or citrus dishes
Photo by Victor Protasio.