Recreated from The Wolf of Oren-yaro by K.S. Villoso
He returned with two steaming bowls. They were filled to the brim with white rice, topped with scrambled eggs and thick, yellow curry sauce. It was sprinkled with chopped green onions. My first real meal in two days was heavenly. I couldn’t even tell if Khine was a decent cook or not—I was just that hungry. It was a good thing he had included the chopsticks when he gave me my bowl, or I would’ve just dug in with my fingers and made a fool out of myself. I found myself asking for seconds, which Khine readily obliged. I washed it all down with the promised milk tea, which had since grown cold. It tasted faintly of jasmine and toasted rice.
I like to think of rice in K.S. Villoso’s The Wolf of Oren-yaro as a character in its own right; it has quite a story to tell. Affected by seasonal storms, it becomes a subject of debate for ambitious warlords and a thorn in Bitch Queen Talyien’s backside. It has regional characteristics with something to say about diversity in Talyien’s world (‘Oren-yaro rice is grainier than the sought-after fragrant variety grown in the Sougen region’). Served well, it shows how very magnanimous Talyien can be (“If you continue to serve these rice balls for breakfast, you may keep [your head].”) And for a bonus, it comes in several intriguing guises – rice balls, steamed rice buns, rice coffee, herbed rice porridge and as a purple rice cake. Rather graciously, it also lays itself down as a bed on which other food can shine, variously appearing in cahoots with barbecued eels and pickles, soured white fish with leeks and pig’s-ear mushrooms, a hot and sour soup made of beef leg bones, and fish in a black bean sauce. Yum! My favourite, though, is the meal quoted above because it brings uncomplicated delight in the plot and in real life – like Talyien, we all went back for seconds too (and I got to keep my head).
For the curry sauce (serves 3-4):
For the rice (per person):
For the scrambled egg (per person):
To serve (per person):
For the curry sauce:
For the rice:
For the scrambled egg:
Note: My hob has heat settings from 1-6, I cook scrambled eggs on 4.