I’ve been craving Chinese food lately… Specifically, fried rice. We have a really good Chinese place in town, but I’m not patient enough to wait until we have time to actually go out to dinner. Good thing I can make my own, and it’s super easy!
Leftover white rice is typically used to make fried rice. I actually prefer using brown rice in mine, but either works.
Since I don’t usually prepare far enough in advance, I cook my rice in the morning and refrigerate it until it’s time to start dinner. You have a couple of options here. If you use white rice, a rice cooker is the way to go.
Use one measure of rice, about 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil, and I add chicken broth to just over the one measure line on my rice cooker. If you don’t have a rice cooker, just follow the cooking directions on the package of rice.
If you’re using brown rice, try this method from Pinch My Salt. I’ve managed to pull off perfect rice every time…Not even one grain sticks, even though you let it boil for 30 minutes without stirring. I use a box of chicken stock (32 ounces = four cups) instead of water and I add a little sesame oil because I think it adds to the flavor.
When your rice has cooked and cooled, put it in a container and toss it in the fridge until you’re ready to start cooking.
To make the fried rice, you need:
Leftover rice (see above)
Oil for frying (I use canola)
1 small – medium sweet onion, cut into largeish chunks (no need to be all pretty about it!)
2-3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 small can water chestnuts, drained
2 eggs, beaten with a splash of milk
About 1/2 to 3/4 cup frozen peas and carrots
To begin, heat a couple of tablespoons in a pan (I used my trusty cast iron skillet) over medium to medium-high heat. You definitely want a HOT pan for this.
Add onions and garlic and sauté briefly before adding the cold rice and water chestnuts. Stir, then add soy sauce and sesame oil. I usually add about a tablespoon of soy sauce and a teaspoon of sesame oil to start. I like to let it sit for a couple of minutes while I beat my eggs, but be careful if you do…letting it sit for too long will mean burnt rice. Yuck.
Give it a good stir and make sure the rice is evenly hot. Scrape everything to one side of the pan and pour the eggs into the empty space. Just like when you’re scrambling eggs for breakfast, let them sit for a minute or so to cook on the bottom, then gently fold and stir to scramble them. Once the eggs are done, stir them into the rice and add peas and carrots. I like to cover the pan to allow them to steam for a couple of minutes. Once the veggies are cooked (but not mushy!), check for seasoning and add more soy if needed.
Last night we had it with pineapple chicken. It was delicious, and we have leftovers. Happy dance!