This article was first published March 24, 2021, on the original 'Lavaca & Friends' website. It is one of several articles from that site that we have preserved and moved to the 'LNF Weekly' archive.
Chef John Philpot of Hot Joy likes intensity.
"I love Asian, French cuisine, and I love intense flavors,” he says. "At Hot Joy, the whole experience from the moment you walk in is a sensory overload. From the decor being vibrant, to the music being a little too loud, to dishes packed with lots of spicy, salty, and savory flavors.”
Hot Joy started out as a pop-up within The Monterrey about eight years ago and opened in its own location on South Alamo seven years ago. At The Monterrey, Philpot earned a reputation for innovation, including the use of unconventional ingredients.
He has continued that in his new kitchen. Here’s an example — Hot Joy’s famous Spam Fried Rice.
2 tablespoons of canola oil
2 cups Spam®, small diced
½ cup onions, small diced
3 eggs, scrambled
2 cups jasmine rice, cooked & dried
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
½ cup frozen peas
½ cup frozen corn
¼ cup soy sauce
Heat a 12 inch non-stick pan over medium high heat. Add canola oil and Spam, and cook until golden brown.
Add onions and sweat until softened.
Add eggs and cook.
Once the eggs are no longer runny, add rice and fry until opaque/translucent.
Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant.
Add frozen peas and corn and mix until incorporated and thawed.
Season with soy sauce. Adjust seasoning level to your taste.
Dried rice makes the best rice for fried rice. We air dry our rice for 2 days in our walk-in refrigerator. If time doesn’t allow, order take-out, and air-dry the steamed rice overnight.
At the restaurant, we top the fried rice with Kewpie - a Japanese mayo. Although no other mayo compares, you can substitute with Duke’s. Garnish with sliced green onions and enjoy!
Jane Gennarelli is co-editor of LNF Weekly. She also edits the Lavaca & Friends weekly arts and entertainment newsletter.
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