Fried rice embodies the ultimate art of transforming leftovers. We’re well aware of the affection people hold for their go-to fried rice types (yes, shrimp fried rice enthusiasts, we’re looking at you). This recipe, a true classic, serves as a canvas for personalization, allowing you to tailor it to your heart’s content. Not only does it accommodate various proteins and veggies languishing in your fridge, but it also boasts a remarkably simple preparation process.
The Ideal Rice for Fried Rice: We all recognize the superiority of leftover rice (especially the long-grain jasmine variety) for crafting fried rice. However, what if you find yourself devoid of this culinary gem? Fear not, for I’ve included a technique used by restaurants to achieve that perfectly slightly desiccated rice texture without enduring a day-long wait. If you seek guidance on Chinese culinary queries, the YouTube channel “Chinese Cooking Demystified” by Steph and Chris is my personal go-to. Their method of parboiling followed by steaming rice yields astonishingly consistent results. The Delish kitchen crew was astounded by the uniform texture of the rice, and I’ve wholeheartedly embraced this method for all my future rice-cooking endeavors.
Infusing Flavor into Fried Rice: Upon perusing this recipe, the addition of soy sauce might strike you. While some may consider this slightly unconventional in fried rice, it’s a preference cherished by many American diners (including the discerning Delish taste testers). Given the absence of meat or seafood in this rendition, and after extensive experimentation, I found that soy sauce contributes an added depth and umami to the rice, resulting in sheer deliciousness. Should you opt to introduce further ingredients to your fried rice, exercise restraint with the soy sauce, adding it judiciously to suit your taste.
A Spectrum of Fried Rice Innovations: As we previously mentioned, this foundational fried rice serves as a blank canvas, awaiting your artistic additions. Craving a protein infusion? Incorporate your favorites—be it shrimp, pork, or chicken; these timeless selections remain classics. Eager to elevate the veggie quotient (or utilize those forgotten fridge occupants)? Fret not—saute them alongside garlic and ginger before folding in the rice. Embrace the unconventional too—draw inspiration from our kimchi fried rice, Thai fried rice, or pineapple fried rice recipes, and unleash your creativity without inhibition.
Have you ventured into crafting this masterpiece? We’d love to hear about your culinary adventure—share your experience in the comments below!
YIELDS: 6 – 8 servings
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 40 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups of long-grain rice (preferably jasmine), or approximately 2 1/2 cups of leftover rice
- 3 tablespoons of peanut or vegetable oil, divided
- 3 large eggs, beaten to blend
- 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 1 (1-inch) piece of ginger, finely chopped or grated, peeled
- 4 scallions, separated into white, pale green, and dark green parts, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons of reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of MSG
- 1/3 cup of frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Step 1: Fill a large pot about halfway with water and bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, rinse the rice thoroughly in a strainer until the water runs almost clear.
Step 2: Boil the rice in the boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain it using a fine-mesh strainer that fits inside the pot. Wipe out the pot, add about 2 inches of water, and bring it to a simmer. Place the rinsed rice in the strainer and create a few indentations in the rice through to the bottom of the strainer using a chopstick or butter knife.
Step 3: Cover the strainer with foil and place it in the pot over the simmering water. Put the pot lid over the strainer. If a lot of steam is escaping, wrap foil or a damp tea towel around the rim of the pot and strainer. You can also use a bamboo steamer or a regular steaming setup that won’t allow the rice to fall through.
Step 4: Steam the rice until it’s fully cooked but still slightly firm, which takes about 15 minutes. It should have a drier texture compared to normally steamed rice. Spread the rice onto a baking sheet and allow it to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate it until you’re ready to use it.
Step 5: Heat a large wok or a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl the wok to coat it. When the oil shimmers, add the beaten eggs and cook, breaking them into small pieces, until they’re fully cooked but not browned, about 1 minute. Transfer the eggs to a plate and wipe out the wok.
Step 6: In the same wok over high heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Toss in the chopped garlic and ginger, constantly stirring, until they become fragrant and the garlic starts to brown, around 30 seconds. Add the white and pale green parts of the scallions and cook, tossing continuously, until they become softened, about 1 minute. Add the rice and immediately toss to combine. Stir-fry the rice, constantly stirring, until there are no clumps and you hear gentle popping sounds as the rice toasts, which takes about 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 7: Add the soy sauce, granulated sugar, salt, white pepper, and MSG. Toss and cook continuously until the soy sauce is absorbed, about 1 minute. Incorporate the cooked eggs, frozen peas, and the dark green parts of the scallions. Keep tossing and cook until everything is warmed through and well combined, approximately 2 more minutes. Lastly, add the butter and continue tossing until it melts, for about 30 seconds more.