Fried Rice

(Picture courtesy of Poor Yorick at wikimedia commons.)

One of the simple dishes that I like to make, that many people have never tried because it sounds like foreign cuisine, is fried rice. In the picture above, there’s a lot of ingredients, and that’s how I make it. Restaurant varieties usually have a lot more rice in them than I like.

There is of course a variety of opinion, and I’ll give you a foodie recipe, but the essentials are these when I do it;

1.  Use brown rice, do not salt, make in advance and let cool down. Heat a spicy oil, not standard cooking oil if you have anything more interesting available.

2.  Use a variety of fresh, crisp vegetables. Chop small. This should include garlic and onions, and you should first start them cooking, then add others.

3.  Add a reasonable amount of fresh cooked meat. Shrimp and fish are my preference, but some folks even like spam (not me).

4.  Add in rice, a bit of salt, and soy sauce as you finish. A well whipped egg can go in near the end, but if the pan is too full, not needed.

Now a recipe for those who want to feel more secure than adventurous;

Ingredients:

Servings:  4 Units: US | Metric
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 1/2 tablespoons oil
1 egg, lightly beaten (or more eggs if you like)
3 drops soy sauce
3 drops sesame oil
8 ounces cooked lean boneless pork or 8 ounces chicken, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot (very small)
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
4 cups cold cooked rice, grains separated (preferably medium grain)
4 green onions, chopped
2 cups bean sprouts
2 tablespoons light soy sauce (add more if you like)

Directions;

Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok; add chopped onions and stir-fry until onions turn a nice brown color, about 8-10 minutes; remove from wok.

Allow wok to cool slightly.

Mix egg with 3 drops of soy and 3 drops of sesame oil; set aside.

Add 1/2 tbsp oil to wok, swirling to coat surfaces; add egg mixture; working quickly, swirl egg until egg sets against wok; when egg puffs, flip egg and cook other side briefly; remove from wok, and chop into small pieces.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok; add selected meat to wok, along with carrots, peas, and cooked onion; stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Add rice, green onions, and bean sprouts, tossing to mix well; stir-fry for 3 minutes.

Add 2 tbsp of light soy sauce and chopped egg to rice mixture and fold in; stir-fry for 1 minute more; serve.

Set out additional soy sauce on the table, if desired.

If you put out hot mustard of the restaurant variety you’ll get in asian restaurants, you will please a lot of palates like mine, but warn guests that it is very hot. We’ve used seaweed and spinach, also other varieties of greens, and that’s something I like a lot but might turn off others.

Some fried noodles that are in your Asian section of the market, pre-cooked and packaged, make a very good accompaniment for bread-loving western diners as well.

Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.

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