My fried rice is quick and easy to do -- from now on you'll be making extra rice just for this recipe. Just saute a few veggies, add a couple of eggs with the cooked rice, and flavor with soy sauce.
You can't get much cheaper than a bag of rice. If you live near a Latin or Oriental market, then rice is a lot cheaper than at a typical chain grocery store.
In East Hollywood there is a great Thai grocery store on Melrose Avenue called Bangkok Market. Uncommon produce like lemon grass, bok choy, fish sauce and all types of fresh made noodles are on sale. (I have some Thai noodle dishes in the queue to figure out and share with you.) Click here to see what Yelpers have to say about Bangkok Market.
The main thing is to allow the cooked rice to set a few hours in the refrigerator, so the rice stays firm when reheated. Working with fresh, hot cooked rice can gum up the works. I usually freeze my leftover cooked rice and take it out, when I crave a stir fry. For my recipe below I mixed leftover brown and white rice.
You can make this recipe your own by adding different veggies to saute with the rice. I used frozen peas, carrot, garlic and green onions. I've had other fried rice with a bit of cabbage, chopped broccoli, and topped with a few slices of fresh cucumber as well.
There are as many different and nuanced fried rice versions; my Chinese Fried Rice is a delicious leaping-off recipe. And at the end of this post I have a few different fried rice recipe ideas for you to try out.
Ingredients (about 2 servings)
- 2 cups cooked rice - I mixed brown and white rice. Follow package directions.
- 1/4 cup frozen peas - defrosted (canned are too mushy.)
- 1/2 whole carrot - about a 1/4 cup peeled and chopped.
- 2 green onions - sliced, about 1/4 cup, include green stem. Okay to substitute with regular white or yellow onion.
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic - fresh or from jar.
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oil - for sauteing veggies.
- Pepper to taste - optional. No salt necessary as soy sauce has plenty.
- 1/2 teaspoon sweetener - your favorite, optional. Add at the end, to taste.
First cook rice according to package directions (brown rice takes longer to steam.) Best to refrigerate overnight, or at least a couple of hours. This allows rice grains to set and separate -- so it doesn't get too mushy during stir frying. My recipe uses 2 cups of cooked rice.
Add tablespoon oil to a medium/high heating pan. Add carrot, peas and garlic. Stir fry about 3-5 minutes to desired tenderness. I like my veggies a little crunchy. Add chopped green onion and cook another minute.
Add cooked rice and mix well. Drizzle in soy sauce. Heat though about 2 minutes, continuously stirring to heat up all the rice.
Finally, push aside the veggies and rice to the edge of pan, forming a clear space in the middle of the pan.
Add 2 eggs and lightly scramble. (You could also pre-cook the scrambled egg and add it at this stage.) When egg is almost cooked through and firm, mix it into the rice.
I like larger pieces of egg to show in my stir fry, so I don't break it up too much. Finally add a little sweetener if you want. Mix well and serve hot.
You can add or subtract the amount of stir fry veggies I use. Don't have peas, don't worry about it, add a bit more carrot and onion.
Fried rice is a great accompaniment to steamed veggies. So you can mix in a cup of any favorite steamed veggie, right into the finished Chinese Fried Rice. I used typical carrot, peas and green onion, but you could use any favorite veggie you have on hand like: mushrooms, corn (from can or frozen,) broccoli, spinach, cabbage, cucumber, squash, or even a frozen packaged veggie mix.
If you want protein, then precook a cup of chicken, ground beef, steak, pork or seafood (like shrimp, scallops and krab.) You can just season and stir fry the meat. If you have a favorite teriyaki sauce then cook the meat or seafood in a couple of tablespoons. I like a mix of soy and oyster sauce -- about a tablespoon of each. You can also use leftover roasted chicken you get from any local market.
Fried rice freezes well, so double my recipe and chow down on my Chinese Fried Rice anytime!