You know those mornings: nausea, world ending ‘I’d rather get Tazered’ nausea, when the presence of light is like staring at the burning sands of Dante’s seventh circle of hell and your tongue feels like the cat slept in your mouth. Yes, you have a hangover and you feel like there is no cure for it. Well, I might just have some ideas to help… Based on the rice dishes of my youth, this is an adaptation of a Malay and Philipino breakfast which marries rice, eggs and chilli in many different forms. It is a dish of profound comfort and restorative power. It has no prejudice, it can be vegetarian, or not, as the situation requires, and can be eaten early in the day or late in the afternoon, sitting upright or reclining as the circumstance dictates.
‘I once collapsed into a massage chair with half an hour of pure oxygen at an airport in South East Asia… it got me on the aircraft’
Cold, cooked rice is the ideal, either from the fridge or freshly cooked and allowed to sit, a cloth draped over the sieve to steam and dry it out a little (It is not my business to judge, but anyone who cooks the rice the night before, in expectation of this breakfast, might wish to examine their drinking habits).
It is kill or cure and I up the quantity of chilli in direct proportion to the quality, quantity, or mixture of what I drank the night before. Is it hair of the dog, or hair of the pack of wolves?
75-100g of Basmati rice per person, dry weight, cooked and cooled 2-3 slices of dry cured streaky bacon per person 1 fat clove of garlic per person ½-1 tsp dry chilli flakes A few shakes of soy sauce (Kikkoman for choice), to taste 1 egg + 1 egg per person
Slice the bacon into lardons and fry in a generous saucepan with a little olive oil until brown and crispy. Add garlic and chilli flakes and allow to fry on a medium heat for a couple of minutes.
Add rice and get every grain covered in the lovely garlicky, bacon and chilli oil. Crack an egg into the rice and stir to mix in thoroughly then season with black pepper and soy sauce.
In a separate pan heat a tablespoon of olive oil and fry an egg per person. Slip onto the rice and take to the table, another shake of soy sauce, and if you are up for it, a finely chopped fresh green bird’s eye chilli scattered over the top takes this to the ultimate. Bacon can be replaced with spring onions or mushrooms for a vegetarian.
With a double strength, heavily spiced Bloody Mary, spritzed with fresh lime just before drinking, or a pot of Calvados coffee on the side, you will be taking the first nervous steps towards recovery.
OTHER TRADITIONAL CURES
Pickled plums (Umeboshi), Japan. Oooh, pucker up. Tripe soup, Romania. Are you insane? Pouline, Canada. Chips with gravy and melted cheese curds. Hmmm, add some Sriracha for me. Green tea, California. Nah! That’s for gym bunnies. Prairie oyster: Brandy, Worcester sauce, Tabasco, red wine vinegar and a raw egg. Make mine a double yolker with a large shot. I once collapsed into a massage chair with half an hour of pure oxygen at an airport in South East Asia…it got me on the aircraft. Dialysis. Unfortunately, a waste of NHS resources.
Chris does cookery classes and workshops from The Kitchen in Dartington. More details at chrissherville.com
This month in his quarterly column chef has some foodie suggestions to tackle the morning after the night beforeCHRIS SHERVILLE