Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fried Rice

Driving home from work today I was thinking about dinner: Ok, let's see. I could just pull something from the freezer, but the leftovers are really piling up in the fridge. We have lots of lasagna leftover but we just had that last night. What about a salad, like a deconstructed version of the lettuce wraps? I don't know about ground meat in a salad, though and we're out of cucumber. I really want to use that leftover turkey in something. Pasta? No. Quesadilla? No. Hmm, what do you eat with Chinese food..... Rice? Yes, Fried Rice!

And that's how this dish came to be.

The method I like to use comes from an old Chinese cookbook my mom has. Since I don't like eggs, I naturally hate the little pieces of egg in your typical fried rice, and they're impossible to pick out or eat around because they're so damn small. But this recipe has you beat the eggs and add them to the pan after the rice. So instead of scrambling, the eggs coat the rice and give it almost a cheesy texture. However, if you're into eggs and want those big pieces in your rice, beat them lightly in a small bowl and add them to the pan before you add the rice, scrambling them like you would for breakfast. Then, just add the rice and continue with the recipe, but omit the eggs from the sauce mixture later.

I've decided to just use my iPhone at night instead of my digital camera so I can pass off my pictures as "artsy" instead of just "crappy." Is it working?

Fried Rice
Yield: 3-4 Servings

1 cup uncooked rice, brown or white
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ginger, minced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3-4 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp rice vinegar
2 cups cooked meat
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 cup frozen peas
9 oz box frozen vegetables

1. Cook rice according to package instructions, but replace half the water with chicken stock.
2. Spray a high-sided skillet liberally with cooking spray. Place over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add onions and cook until edges are lightly browned. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Add cooked rice to the skillet and stir to avoid it from sticking. Lower the heat to medium. In a small bowl, mix together eggs, 3 Tbsp soy sauce, sesame oil, and vinegar. Pour over rice mixture, stirring continuously, scraping the bottom of the pan periodically to prevent sticking.
4. Lower the heat to medium and add the meat, spices, and then the frozen veggies (no need to thaw). Continue to cook until the veggies are heated through, stirring occasionally. Taste and add additional tablespoon of soy sauce if desired.

Recipe Notes
  • You can use any kind of cooked meat you like; shredded chicken, cubed ham or pork, any ground meat. Or you can use tofu or omit the meat altogether to go vegetarian.
  • If you're using leftover meat from these, the Chinese five spice powder isn't necessary.
  • You can definitely use fresh veggies instead of frozen, but you'll need to par cook them first. Just add them to salted boiling water, for 1-2 minutes depending on the vegetable, and then plunge them in an ice bath before adding to the rice.


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