2. Second, make the fried rice. Heat a medium to large wok over high heat. When the oil begins to sizzle, add the mushrooms, and cook, stirring constantly, until softened, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook until just golden.
3. Add the rice, breaking it up with your fingers as you toss it into the wok. With your spatula, keep moving the rice around the wok. At first it may stick, but scoop and toss the rice and soon it will be more manageable. Good fried rice should have a faint seared-in-the-wok taste. Cook for approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato, fish sauce and soy sauce. Stir-fry for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
4. Mound the rice onto the center of a platter. Sprinkle with fresh coriander. Around the rice, place a row of overlapping cucumber slices, scallions, tomato and lime wedges. The lime should be squeezed on the rice as you eat it.
5. Pass the fish sauce with hot chilies - the salty hot taste of the sauce brings out the full flavor of the rice.
© 1998 by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. Seductions of Rice: A Cookbook. Artisan, A Division of Workman Publishing, Inc.