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A Simple Side Dish for Any Time – Homemade Fried Rice

30 Jul

Most people love getting takeout Chinese food for dinner once in a while. I know we do it about once a month and there are always standard favorites that we like to get with the meal. Egg rolls are always a given and Michelle and Sean love to get wonton soup, but one thing the whole family loves is the fried rice you can get. While I like all of the fried rice I am always partial to pork fried rice myself. There is something about the taste of the rice with the bits of pork that is just perfect for a Chinese food meal. I have made fried rice before at home and while it never quite comes out just like takeout, it gets pretty close. Of course I don’t have a commercial kitchen, stove and overhead vents to do everything they can do, so I have to make do with what I have. When we had some leftover pork from dinner the other night I decided to use a piece and try this fried rice recipe from Sam Sifton at New York Times Cooking. Of course, this recipe doesn’t have any pork in it originally, but it also doesn’t have some of the other vegetables I added to it to make it a well-rounded dish of vegetables and rice.

Homemade Fried Rice

3 tablespoons neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed

1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, cored and roughly chopped

2 carrots, peeled and finely minced

1 tablespoon minced garlic, or to taste

1 cup peas (defrost if frozen)

1 tablespoon minced ginger, or to taste

3 to 4 cups cooked white rice, cooled

2 eggs, lightly beaten

¼ cup Shaoxing wine, or water

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

½ cup minced cilantro or scallions

Put 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or a large skillet, and turn the heat to high. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion, pepper and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables to a bowl.

Drain the peas if necessary and add them to skillet; cook, shaking the pan, for about a minute, or until the peas are hot. Remove them to the bowl with the other vegetables.

Put the remaining oil in the skillet, followed by  the garlic and ginger. When the mixture is fragrant, about 15 seconds later, add the rice, breaking up any clumps with a spoon as you go along and tossing it with oil. When the rice is well coated, make a well in the center and break the eggs into it. Scramble the eggs, then stir them into the rice.

Return the vegetables to the skillet and stir everything together to integrate it all well. Add the wine or water and cook, stirring, for approximately 1 minute. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil, then taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Turn off the heat, stir in the cilantro or scallions and serve.

I added some pork into the dish after the vegetables were done and before the rice, cooked to heat it through for 2 or 3 minutes since it was already cooked, and then removed it from the pan and continued the steps. You could just as easily do the same with chicken, beef, shrimp or anything else that you like. I added in some leftover veggies as well like corn and broccoli because it helped to make the side dish one that was then filled with vegetables and rice, meaning I just needed a protein to make the meal. I loved all of the great flavors from the dish with the eggs mixed in and the sesame oil seems to add the perfect touch right at the end to the rice. This is a great way to make use of all of those leftovers you may have in the fridge and just aren’t sure what to do with them. I served this with some steak for a complete meal but really, if you add enough chicken, pork, shrimp or other protein to the rice it can be a one dish dinner all on its own.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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