Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Fried Rice: Step-by-Step with Pictures!

I received a request to share my fried rice recipe, written for a kitchen beginner. There are a lot of subtleties for making awesome fried rice, which would make it a lot easier to teach in-person; this step-by-step is the next best thing. I'm going to shout a bit in this post, but listen to me if you want your rice to fulfill your every hope and dream!

TWO KEY THINGS YOU MUST HAVE:

  1. LEFTOVER rice (at least one night in the fridge, ideally a few days old). If you try to make it with fresh rice it will be mushy. 
  2. A BIG-ASS non-stick pan. Don't try to be a cowboy with cast iron or some other shiz.
I am serious--if you are a beginner, DO NOT PASS GO without fulfilling those requirements or you will be disappointed and frustrated and never try cooking again.

For rice I recommend a long-grain Thai jasmine rice, but other types will work.

If you don't have a GOOD non-stick pan, I recommend Swiss Diamond. If you are concerned about carcinogens or whatever tin-foil hat bullshit you ascribe to, these high-quality pans do not contain PFOA and they are highly resistant to chipping or scratching. Seriously--I bought a whole bunch of fancy (useless) stainless/aluminum pans, but 80% of the time I use my 13" Swiss Diamond nonstick.

INGREDIENT LIST

REQUIRED INGREDIENTS
  • 6 c. leftover long-grain rice
  • 3 green onions, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3-4 Tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 3-4 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1-2 tsp. chili-garlic sauce

OPTIONAL INGREDIENT IDEAS
If you want to get fancy, you can add more meat (I recommend pre-cooked/leftovers) and/or vegetables. Also, if you are not a pussy, add some fish sauce. I like to buy large packs of ground pork and cook them all up, then freeze in small containers so I can add them to ramen or fried rice to make heartier meals. The sweet Chinese sausage pictured is AMAZING in fried rice, especially shrimp. If you want to add cilantro, stir in at the very end before serving.

My favorite additions:
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Leftover chicken
  • Ground pork 

STEP-BY-STEP

Whatever you add, cut it up into evenly sized pieces about 1/2". Do not add more than 1/3-1/2 c. of any one ingredient. You want to have significantly more rice than ingredients, so exercise self-control!

Heat your pan up good and hot so the oil is shimmering and about to start smoking. This will give your rice yummy crispy edges and keep it from getting mushy. Don't skimp on oil--assure yourself with the fact that your favorite Chinese restaurant is probably using 2x the oil.

Gently break the rice apart and stir every 1-2 minutes for 15 minutes or until some of the rice starts to get light brown and crispy. BE PATIENT.

Oooh yeah...that's some good flavor and texture developing--I am so glad I was patient!

Move the rice to the edge of the pan while you cook the other things. This allows it to keep crisping, while keeping the vegetables from over-cooking. I recommend using pre-cooked meat to keep the process simpler.

Lower the heat to medium and stir the vegetables while they cook in the center of the pan. The time this takes will depend on how much veggies you are adding, but should take 3-7 min. If you are using fish sauce, add it at the same time as the veggies to flavor them and allow the pungency to cook off.

NOTE: I like to add half of the green onions at the beginning and half at the end, so they are not all super raw, but still give good flavor.

Once the veggies are cooked to your satisfaction, stir them into the rice. Sprinkle with the oyster sauce and chili garlic sauce and stir in.

Add the things that just need to heat through briefly, like pre-cooked meat and frozen peas. Check the seasoning--if it is not salty enough, add more oyster sauce. Push everything to the sides of the pan again.

Pouur the beaten egg into the center and scramble it as it cooks. It's OK if it combines with some of the rice. Keep scrambling it and chop it up into small pieces with the spatula and mix into the rice.

Give everything a good stir and ta-da!

1 comment:

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