I first met a young, plucky Ehon Chan in a beat-up co-working space in the backstreets of Brisbane's Valley in 2014.
He had recently lost a friend of his to suicide and despite Australia having some of the best mental health support services in the world, a question clung to Ehon: At what point did his friend think it was a better option to suicide than to reach out to friends and family around him?
It spurred Ehon to action (some pun intended), and he roped me in to help create spur:'s first ever campaign "Soften the Fck Up" which challenged Aussie blokes to speak up and take action for their mental health. Little did I realise that that unassuming side project would lead to where spur: is today.
And even as spur: turns 10, I remember the moment I realised that the work we do could literally save lives. I was moderating comments on our YouTube page and stumbled on the following comment:
"This video saved my life 6 months ago. My circumstances haven't really changed, but my perspective has. So, thank you."
It should be stated from the outset that this is a recipe that would make any self-respecting person with Asian heritage shudder. I mean, one of this dish's main ingredients is the British favourite, Worcester sauce. However, even though this fried rice should theoretically be a disaster, it's actually rather delicious and quick to make—especially at scale.
Plus, it's my mum's recipe.
She's an absolute fire cracker of a woman—well, she was until she got sick, that is. A misdiagnosis of early dementia meant the virus that had infected her brain was left to its own devices for far too long. She's still fighting, as we've come to expect of her. However, it's far from a fair fight. It's funny that when you're close to losing something special, the smallest of things take on new meaning. This fried rice is no exception. It was the backup meal she'd cook when she'd get home late from work and have to rummage something up for me and my two sisters with what was in the cupboard. It's the meal that inexplicably became a Christmas staple. It's the meal that sustained me as a student in my college dorm on weekends when I was saving up my pennies to go to the pub.
And it has somehow become the recipe that I'll always associate with her.
There's nothing even close to exact quantities in this recipe. Everything is scalable depending on how much rice you intend to cook and how "loaded" you want your rice to be. Want to double the bacon? Why not! Want to add other ingredients? Go for it! I'm not the boss of you.
· 2 cups of long grain rice
· 1 large brown onion
· At least a few cloves of garlic
· 6 rashes of bacon (short cut, middle, or streaky is fine)
· 6 eggs
· Fair bit of soy sauce (I use gluten free soy sauce or Tamari as I'm a Coeliac)
· Fair bit of Worcestershire sauce (I use gluten free. Did I mention I'm a Coeliac?)
· Cracked black petter
· Sesame oil
· Sesame seeds
1 · Wash your rice under cold running water to get rid of excess starch (it'll stop it from going clumpy)
2 · While the rice is cooking, dice your onion and bacon to your preferred sizes. Also, crush the garlic and finely chop it.
3 · Mum always liked to cook the whisked eggs in a separate pan as an omelette, then cut it into squares to match the bacon. (However, if you're feeling lazy you can just add the eggs into the pan or wok just before adding the rice)
4 · Sizzle the sesame oil, onion and garlic in a large pan or wok (the bigger the better) on a medium heat—we want the onion to soften, not burn. Plus, sesame oil has a super low smoke point.
5 · Add in the bacon (you may want to turn the wok up here) and once it's nicely browning, throw in the sesame seeds and omelette / eggs.
6 · Add in the rice and make sure you keep moving it over the relatively high heat. The rice is already cooked, so the aim here isn't to cook it more, but to crisp it slightly.
7 · Add in the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and cracked pepper to taste (Mum always made sure there was always just a little bit too much Worcestershire to give it a good umami flavour). Keep stirring until you're happy the rice is evenly flavoured.
8 · Serve while hot and sprinkle with sesame seeds if you're feeling fancy.
Recipe shared byLee Crockford
Lee is co-founder and Director of spur: and spur:org.
Recipe attributed to