Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fried Rice

When I make rice I like to cook a big batch.  It takes as long to make as a small batch, and the leftover rice comes in handy.  I use it in soups and stews, mix with a bit of soy sauce to make rice balls, or better yet -- fried rice!

Fried rice is so quick to make, and uses only a few ingredients.  A little green onion, an egg or two, and a few cups of day-old (at least) rice sauteed in some oil with a sprinkling of soy sauce.  That's all you need.

I like to add diced carrot and yellow onion, and some peas when I make fried rice, but you could also add corn kernels, asparagus tips, zucchini -- whatever you have on-hand.  Fresh or frozen vegetables work equally well but I prefer using fresh (with the exception of peas), and frozen vegetables would certainly make the preparation quicker and easier.

Make sure you have all the ingredients ready because this dish goes together very quickly.  Put the cold rice into a large bowl and, using your hands, break up the rice clumps.  I like to wet my hands with cold water to help keep the rice from sticking.

Heat your pan over medium heat.  A wok is ideal, but a big fry pan works just as well.  First scramble the eggs in a little oil and transfer to a small plate.  Wipe out the pan, and you're ready to continue on.

If you're using fresh vegetables make sure they are diced fine, and saute in a couple teaspoons of oil until softened.  I used canola oil but any neutral flavored oil will do.  Then add any frozen vegetables and cook for a few minutes until they are warmed.

Drizzle about a tablespoon of oil before adding the rice, and stir until the grains are coated.  You may need to add more oil if the rice is too sticky but be careful because it can become too oily very quickly.

Once the rice has warmed, add the scrambled egg and stir to break up the egg into smaller pieces, and then add 1 to 2 tablespoons of soy sauce (to taste).  I used a dipping sauce made with soy sauce, Sriracha, agave, and sesame oil.  You could also add oyster or fish sauce if you'd like.  Mix in sliced green onions, and serve.

In our household this recipe was enough for two servings with a little left over for my breakfast.  I dissolved a spoonful of white miso in a half cup of hot water, and then poured it over the warmed rice.  It was tasty!

Fried Rice:
makes 2 to 3 servings.

2-3 cups rice (at least a day old)
2 large eggs
1 carrot, finely diced
1/4 medium onion, finely diced
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 green onions, white and green parts thinly sliced
1-2 Tbsp oil
1-2 Tbsp soy sauce

Heat wok over medium heat, and add a teaspoon of oil.  Scramble eggs, remove to plate, and wipe out wok.  

Add another teaspoon of oil, and cook carrots and onion until softened.  Add frozen peas, and continue cooking until peas are warmed through. 

Add a tablespoon of oil, and then add rice (which has been broken into individual grains).  Stir to coat grains with oil, adding more if needed, and continue stirring until rice is warmed through (about 3 minutes). 

Add scrambled eggs, and stir to break eggs to small pieces.  Add soy sauce to taste.  Stir in green onions, and serve.  

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