Andrew Jones, 41, grew up in Union City, a small city in the middle of the East Bay area, in a Hispanic and Filipino neighborhood. He spent his summers in Hawaii with his Aunt Trudy who introduced him to Asian cooking from all over the world, everything from seaweed to Spam, which is very popular in Hawaii.
Here is one of his favorite dishes that he developed while in prison:
Andrew’s Sweet & Spicy Rice Bowl
1 bag of rice from the canteen
1 Top Ramen soup
1 bag of spicy pork rings if you can get them. If not, regular pork rinds will do
1 bell pepper
1 half of a medium onion
1 meat log or summer sausage
1 Chinese sausage
4 large jelly packs (the ones they give out with the lunches)
3 packs of syrup (these are on the trays when you get either pancakes or french toast)
3 tablespoons of Sriracha hot sauce
1 pinch of garlic powder
1 pinch of dried onion flakes
2 pickled jalapenos
- Mix rice and Top Ramen. Break up the Top Ramen into small pieces. Place into a bowl, add water, set aside and let cook. Discard Top Ramen seasoning packet.
- While rice and Top Ramen are cooking, pour pork rings in a plastic bag, breaking them up into small pieces. Add bell peppers sliced into small strips. Add jelly, syrup, sriracha, and garlic squashing them all together. Let sit till jelly and syrup soak into pork rings.
- Split the rice and Top Ramen mixture into 2 bowls. Press down on the rice till it resembles sticky rice. Cut both the meat log and Chinese sausage into small pieces. Place in a small plastic bag, then place in boiling water in your hot-pot.
- Slice the onion into small strips.
- Take the minced meat and the bag of pork rinds, divide in two and place on top of the sticky rice.
- Place the sliced onion strips on top of each bowl, then sprinkle the onion flakes and jalapeno slices. Serve and enjoy.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.