FEATURE: Cooking With Anime - KIZNAIVER Fried Rice!

Fried rice is an excellent team-building food--start COOKING WITH ANIME with KIZNAIVER's shrimp fried rice!

by Emily Bushman


Hello! I’m Crunchyroll’s newest (and only?) food blogger. My name is Emily- nice to meet you! ☺


Anyone else come back from a crazy weekend at Fanime in San Jose, CA? I had such a great time there! I’m in full post-con recovery mode, though I can’t let it last long. It’s back to the grind for me, working, teaching, and being a student for grad school. Thankfully, everyone at Fanime really inspired me to work harder, and so I’m excited to share with you all tons of new and delicious recipes from my favorite anime, both older and from the new season. Let’s get into some food from one of the first anime I saw this season.


I was pretty surprised at the start of KIZNAIVER. Trigger shows are always a bit of a surprise, and this one was no different. The art, colorful and rambunctious, was a stark counterpoint to the dark nature of what it means to be a KIZNAIVER. I mean, yeah, you get a cool squad, but you’re bonded through pain and suffering. Not exactly the best, most heartwarming team experience, is it? Though I guess the overall intention of the experiment is noble.

 

I have to say, I wasn’t exactly expecting the show to turn so dark and mysterious so quickly, but the second Katsuhira started to question the life of a cicada, I knew the scene would either be a symbolic theme of the show, or a direct pathway to revealing the main character’s teenage angst. In this case, I think that initial scene touches on both. What is interesting to watch are the dynamics of the group as they struggle to grow and learn together, which brings me to the recipe this week. Mainly: the team-building shrimp fried rice they are forced to eat.


Every good team needs a team-building activity (…right?)! Let’s re-create the fried rice from episode four. This recipe is really simple, and a great way to use up left-over rice! Also a great thing to eat with friends as you binge-watch anime (at least, my friends enjoyed it ☺)



The Ingredients


A few notes about the ingredients. As you can see in the reference image of the rice above, the fried rice is served over a whole cooked fish. Being poor, and disliking whole fish, I opted out of this portion of the recipe. Feel free to include the fish if you would like to get it as authentic as possible. I also skipped the lettuce garnish, mostly because I forgot to buy it. To include this, simply buy a nice, ruffled head of lettuce, rinse and dry a few pretty leaves, and line the plate with it before piling the rice on top.


-5 cups of cooked rice, cold and preferably a day old (seriously, it helps if the rice is dried out a bit)

-1 yellow onion

-1/2 pound of baby shrimp, cooked

-4 eggs

-1/2 cup peas

-1/2 cup soy sauce

-1 tsp sesame oil

-4 tbs vegetable oil

-Salt and pepper

-Ketchup for decoration


Make the Fried Rice!

Start by heating the oil in a LARGE skillet/ wok over medium-high heat.



As that’s heating up, dice your whole onion. Cut ends off, cut in half, marvel at the many layers, think about Shrek, try to forget Shrek, and then quickly peel and chop onion up into small, bite size pieces.



Dump onion in and sauté in your heated pan for about 3-5 minutes, or until onion is softened.


Then, dump in the rice and toss with the onion to combine. Let cook, scraping bottom of the pan frequently to prevent rice from sticking, about 5 minutes, or until rice crisps up a little and is heated through.



Add in soy sauce and toss to combine together.



As that heats up, crack eggs into a bowl. Season with a good few shakes of salt and five or six grinds of pepper. Whisk together until eggs are scrambled.



At this point, I kind of messed up. I poured the egg in over the rice, but since it didn’t have a lot of contact with the pan, it cooked into the rice instead of forming larger chunks of egg. So, clear a space in the middle of your rice. Pour the egg into the cleared space, and stir it around with your cooking utensils, until it is no longer runny and chunks of egg have formed. You’re basically making scrambled eggs. Below is a picture of what NOT to do. It still tasted fine, but didn’t get the look of what I was trying to replicate.



Once egg has cooked, stir through to combine, making sure to scrape up crunchy bits of rice stuck to the bottom of the pan as you go. Add in your cooked shrimp and peas. Stir to combine everything, and allow to cook another 5 minutes or so, until shrimp is heated through.



Lastly, mix sesame oil through the rice. Taste the fried rice at this point! If it seems a little boring, add more salt and stir through to give rice more flavor. The secret to great-tasting home-cooked food: salt. Seriously, you’d be surprised at how good food can be if you just season it properly. If you never salt your home-cooked food, try adding some and marvel at the difference! Careful though- taste-test as you go to avoid over-salting. There’s no coming back from that.


Finally, pile your rice verrrrry carefully onto your serving dish!



Pull up a reference picture of the kanji, and carefully draw out the characters on the top of your rice to match it perfectly to what they eat in KIZNAIVER. To help with control, I squirted my ketchup in a plastic baggie, snipped the tip off, and used that to have more accuracy.



And this is the final result!



Oh man, this dish was sooo good! I really recommend it! It’s easy to make, and not very expensive. For me, the half-pound of shrimp was the most expensive, and it was about $6, but this fed me for a week, even after I let two of my friends help me eat some of it. I think it would serve 4 very hungry people, or 6 moderately hungry individuals. Or 1 very poor college student, like me, for a good week.


Anyway, I hope you liked this post, and I really hope you can try to make this yourself! If you do, please take pictures and share them with me. Please comment with any questions or suggestions of what you’d like to see next, and you can find more anime-inspired recipes at yumpenguinsnacks.wordpress.com. Have a great day!

 

Let us know what you think about Emily's first creation here on Crunchyroll! What famous (or not so famous) anime dishes would like to see her recreate on COOKING WITH ANIME?

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