Monday, January 3, 2011

Best Fried Rice, Ever

Mmmm. I'm still savoring the dinner we ate tonight. It was an impromptu thing and based entirely on leftovers, as fried rice should be. I adapted a Food Network recipe to make it healthier. Their method of cooking each ingredient family separately (and using copious amounts of fresh ground pepper and ginger) were both key to making this my best effort at fried rice yet. In the past I've sort of sauteed everything together in stages (here you'll saute and remove, saute and remove until everything is cooked separately, then just quickly reheat all together).

I had a few cups of white basmati rice in the fridge (don't even think about making fried rice with freshly cooked rice; it'll be way too wet) as well as half a flank steak from the fajitas we had a night or so ago.  The flank did have a rub on it (chili, brown sugar, garlic) which I'm sure lent a little something extra to the rice.  Anyway, I absolutely recommend the one-two punch of fajitas one night this week followed by fried rice a few nights later. Just don't forget to make the rice in between so it has time to sit in your fridge and do its thing.

Pinched Fried Rice
Print recipe only here

Serves 4 as a light entree

3 T canola oil
2 cups cooked, cubed beef, chicken or protein of your choice
1 smallish onion, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 green onions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2-3 cups cold cooked long-grain rice
1/2 cup cabbage, thinly sliced - OPTIONAL
1/2 cup bean sprouts - OPTIONAL
salt and fresh ground pepper

Prep all ingredients. Cube the meat, dice all veggies. Whisk eggs in a small bowl. Reserve everything.

Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add chicken or beef and cook for a couple of minutes until lightly browned. Add the onion, celery, garlic, ginger, and green onion and saute for 2 minutes or so.

Transfer contents of the skillet to a large bowl and reserve.

OPTIONAL - Saute the cabbage and bean sprouts in the same skillet (you may add a teaspoon of oil) for 3-4 minutes. Then reserve in the bowl with everything else.

Return the pan to the heat and add one more tablespoon of oil. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Stir the eggs constantly until almost set but still moist, then transfer egg to the bowl with the meat and veg. Break the eggs up so there are no large clumps.

Return the pan to the heat and another tablespoon of oil. Add the rice to the pan and break up any clumps. Season with salt and pepper and stir. Then, allow the rice to cook undisturbed until its gets slightly crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Add reserved meat, veggies and eggs to the skillet and heat thru. Taste for seasoning and serve. 

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