Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fried Rice 101

. photo credit: The Chinese Cookbook

I'm always trying to think of ways to make tasty dinners out of leftovers or odds and ends in the fridge. Anytime I make white rice now, I make extra to use for fried rice because it's a quick meal and an easy way to clean out the fridge. All you really need for fried rice is white rice, eggs, and soy sauce. From there, anything goes. I thought I would share some of the many things you can use to make fried rice so next time you make rice, you'll make a little extra.

White rice, preferably day old *
Eggs, scrambled
Soy sauce

Great flavor adds (pretty essential too in my opinion)

Pork (bacon, ham, leftover pork chop, anything goes!)

Green onion
Squash (just had this in fried rice at Nettletown and loved it)

Additional flavors
Sesame oil - a few drops mixed in at the end
Chili oil - never tried it but I'm sure it would also be good
Sriracha - my husband adds this to most Asian food because he likes the heat

Green onion
Toasted sesame seeds
Egg - fried, cooked over-medium or poached

I make it different every time so I'm hesitant to write out a recipe, but I promised my friend Courtney I'd post it so here's a very rough version of what I do.

Tofu Fried Rice

4-6 T butter
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 T canola oil

3 T shallot, minced
3 T ginger, minced
3 T garlic, minced
3 T carrot, minced
1 cup cooked broccoli (leftover or boiled for 2 minutes)
1/4 cup soy sauce (hard to say an amount because I add a little at a time)
3 eggs, scrambled with a few splashes of soy sauce mixed in

1 package tofu, cut into 1/2" cubes
4-6 cups white rice, preferably day-old
2 T green onion, either cooked in with other veggies or sprinkled on at the end
few drops of sesame oil

Toasted sesame seeds
Eggs for the top

Heat 1 T butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and let cook. Once sauted, remove from pan and set aside. Add 1 T oil and more butter to pan. Bring to heat and add shallots, carrot and ginger. Saute for a few minutes, then add garlic and saute for a few more minutes, until everything is cooked (be careful not to burn though). Stir in broccoli and green onion (if using now versus at the end), then increase heat to medium-high, maybe add a bit more butter and mix in scrambled eggs. Stir to combine and move eggs around until scrambled. Reduce heat to low and add tofu. Season with pepper and a few drops of sesame oil. In a large saute pan, combine 1-2 T canola oil over medium-high heat. Add rice and break up with a wooden spoon, continuing to stir until it's heated. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in 2-4 T butter and lots of soy sauce. (I add a little bit of each at a time until I get the right look and taste. Obviously the more butter and soy you use, the better it will taste.) Then add egg/tofu mixture and stir to combine. Lower heat and let flavors meld. When almost ready to serve, melt some butter in the small saute pan and cook one egg per person until cooked "over-medium". Spoon fried rice into a bowl, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, top with the egg and then sprinkle with a little pepper and splash of soy sauce. Serve with chopsticks and Sriracha for those who like it.

Again, this is a really rough recipe because I never measure or do it the same way twice. It's hard to mess up though if you use good fresh ingredients, eggs, butter and soy sauce. Delish!

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