One of our favorite sides in French-Vietnamese cuisine is com do — a beautifully bright red stir-fried tomato rice often served with rotisserie or roasted meats. It’s quick and easy to make, and it’s a great way to use up leftover white rice!

NomCat tip for the ingredients:

1) The Rice: You definitely need the long grain Vietnamese jasmine rice to get the proper texture. The Japanese botan rice (and its equivalents) will be too sticky and sweet. Whichever rice you would use to make fried rice will be perfect. Either cook it in a rice cooker with a bit less water than you would normally use, or use leftover rice from a day or two before so that it will be dry enough to not clump when sitrfrying.

2) The Seasoning: Maggi is maggi-cal! It’s darker in color than soy sauce and has a deeper flavor than just plain saltiness. It’s a critical flavoring agent for making and eating com do. You should be able to find it in any Asian grocery store and even in the “Asian” goods section of chain grocery stores as well. If given the option, spring for the higher priced (and higher quality) variety imported from Germany. It’s worth the extra few dollars. :) For additional info, hop over to our follow-up post!

We mentioned com do in our post about herb roasted rack of lamb.

Maybe they should rename it to com cam (orange rice). By any name, it’s a delicious side dish!

Ingredients:

3 cups of cooked white jasmine rice

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 clove garlic, minced

Olive oil (about 1-2 tablespoons)

Maggi Seasoning Sauce (for flavor and color – a few good shakes will suffice)

Salt (or garlic salt) and pepper to taste

If cooking the rice shortly before making com do, be sure to leave the rice cooker lid open after it “clicks” finished so that the steam will escape and allow the rice to dry out a bit. In a deep pot (you’ll want room to toss the rice without losing any), heat the olive oil and minced garlic over medium-high heat. Just as the garlic is starting to brown, add all of the rice. Toss to evenly distribute the oil-garlic mixture. If you are using leftover rice, you will need to increase the time for this stage to allow the rice to warm up. Add the tomato paste and stir vigorously to coat the rice. You should not have any white or dark red splotches; all of the rice should take on an even orange-red color. Season with salt, pepper, and Maggi. Let it sizzle on high heat for a few minutes if you like your com do a little crispy. Enjoy!

Our Thanksgiving dinner, prepared by the NomCats

NomCat tip:

If you have leftover tomato paste, scrap the contents of the can onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Fold the plastic wrap to create a little bundle. Place in a plastic bag and stick it in the freezer. The next time you need to use it, just break off a piece, wrap up the rest, and put it back in the freezer. This preserves the shelf life of the opened tomato paste much better than leaving it in the can (which can make the tomato turn rancid in just a few days).