October 14, 2011

Not My Dad's Rice, But Good Fried Rice Nonetheless

Simple fried rice is the easiest solution when you have leftover white rice - and the quickest dinner!  Fried rice can be made with a variety of ingredients - chinese sausage, shrimp, leeks, peas, corn, leftover pork/chicken or whatever you have leftover in the fridge.

For the actual rice, I find that jasmine rice doesn't work well. I like my rice a tad sticky and typically use a more glutinous rice variety - Kokohuo japanese rice, which you can find in almost every asian grocery store. Looks like they also sell on Amazon, but at an ridiculous price. You can most likely buy for 20-25 in an asian grocery store and it will last for months.

This is a simple vegetarian fried rice with scallions and corn. Serve with some green veggies and it's an easy weekday dinner. Ready for the prep and cooking time? 15-20 minutes max!  Just make sure to prepare/chop all your ingredients before you start cooking since it'll be ready before you know it.

Step three is where you can add in your varied ingredients. If you want to use chinese sausage or meat, cook them first for a few minutes to ensure they are fully cooked/heated through before adding in the veggies since those will cook much faster.  You don't want perfectly cooked meat but overcooked/burned veggies! Increase or decrease the amount of soy sauce you add based on your ingredients. For instance, if you use salty chinese sausage, cut down on the soy sauce. If you use blanced chicken, add a little more.

Vegetarian Fried Rice
Serves 3-4 (pendng how many bowls of rice each person consumes! ;))

3 cups of cooked rice (I used one day old rice)
1 cup of corn (Frozen is fine)
5-6 stalks of green onions, chopped
2 eggs
1/3 cup soy sauce
Dash of seasame oil
*You can also add in a little bit of fish sauce for varied flavoring. If you do so, cut back significantly on the soy sauce to ensure you don't have an over-salted dish.

1. Prepare all your ingredients because once you start cooking, the process goes very quickly. No time to chop this or chop that in between steps. Chop your green onions/scallions into slivers. I used the entire stalk - waste not!  Next, whisk the two eggs together until nice and fluffy. Make sure your corn is out of the freezer. As for the rice, since I typically use one day old rice, I re-heat the rice in the microwave until nice and hot.
2. Heat your pan to medium and add a dash of oil. Quickly scramble the eggs with a tiny dash of salt. Then remove the cooked eggs into a bowl. I like to cook them just a little bit under as it will cook a little more when you add back to the rice.
3. In the same pan, add a little more olive oil.  Then add in the scallion and the corn.  Add a dash of salt to the mixture. Don't skip this step!  This will be the way you ensure the saltiness is incorporated througout the finished rice dish.  Let this cook for a few minutes until the corn is fully heated and cooked. 
4. Turn your heat down to low. Add the hot white rice on top of the mixture and using a flat rice scooper or a flat spatula, start mixing and incorporating the green onion and corn throughout the rice.
5. Add back in the eggs . Slowly add the soy sauce  a bit at a time to ensure you don't put too much at once. Taste and then add more if you need. Next, add a brief dash of seasame oil. Mix to incorporate well. Again, take a quick taste. If you need more soy sauce, add more. I err on adding more soy sauce vs. salt at this point. I like to add in a dash of pepper at the very end to round the flavors out. Serve immediately!

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