So I had a request from one of our readers a couple weeks ago to do a post on fried rice. Fried rice is like a lot of dishes, in that everyone makes their own version. Ingredients can vary, and that’s ok. In fact, it’s encouraged! The goal of this post is not to give you a recipe for fried rice (though I will give you the recipe I used). The goal is to give you a few tips so you can make awesome fried rice, and play with the ingredients from there, making it your own.
A couple tips. First, fried rice is best when you use day-old rice that has been chilled in the fridge over night. You can use fresh rice, but it all turns out a bit more sticky and, in my opinion, not as good.
Second, cook the eggs first, separately. I have a brother who lived in China for a couple years and, before trying to make my own, I asked him for his recipe. He not only gave me his, but also the recipe from a lady he knows who is a crazy-awesome Chinese cook. In his recipe, you crack the egg straight into the rice and cook it that way. In hers, you cook the eggs first. I tried both and, sorry bro, cooking the eggs first inched ahead (though the other was good, as well). The eggs came out more fluffy and didn’t mess with the texture of the rice, so precooking the eggs took the trophy or me.
From there, everything is pretty straight-forward. Here’s what you need:
This recipe makes enough rice to feed 6-7 adults as a side dish
• 8 or 9 loosely-packed cups of cooked, cooled rice
• 6 eggs, beaten thoroughly and cooked, then chopped into tiny pieces
• 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
• 5 green onions (scallions), chopped
• 1 large stalk of celery, chopped
• 1 lb of bacon, chopped and fat trimmed mostly off
• 1/4 cup soy sauce (Tamari gluten-free, for us)
• light olive oil
For my fried rice, I like using a good quality non-stick pan. Be sure to use only wood or nylon utensils, to not scratch the coating.
Heat your pan on medium low heat, then add your bacon and cook for a little. You’ll need to gauge how much fat renders out (since we trimmed the fat), because if you don’t have enough oil you’ll need to add some. You only want enough to sauté the vegetables – maybe 1 tbsp total (between rendered bacon fat and added olive oil). Once the bacon has cooked a little, add any olive oil if needed and then add your shallots, celery and green onion. Sauté for a couple minutes, then add your rice, soy sauce, and a couple grinds of black pepper. Stir around frequently and let everything heat up. If your rice seems too dry, add water 1-2 tbsps at a time, and stir around to bring it back to life. After a couple minutes of tossing and cooking, add the eggs and toss again. Remove from the heat and cover for a few minutes. Serve.
The result is the perfect side to your favorite Chinese dishes, and even the not-so-Chinese ones. :)
And there it is. For our reader Lindsey F, and really anyone else, I hope you found this useful and I hope it gives you the basis to make some great rice. Again, don’t feel locked by my recipe. If you’re uncomfortable, follow the recipe your first time and see how it turns out. I’m sure once you see how incredibly easy it is, you’ll be more than comfortable experimenting with it.
Cheers, all. Have a good day. :)
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