Fried rice. For me, it serves a few purposes. It's my Asian comfort food. It serves as a way for me to use up left over roasted meats and small amounts of fresh vegetables that need using up. It makes a big batch that makes eating easy when I have other projects that are going to butt in on my cooking time. It goes together quickly when I really don't feel like doing a lot of cooking for dinner. I figure it's all in there - meat, veg, carbs, spices. What else do you need, I ask ? Enough said.
This batch used up that duck from my previous post, some bacon that needed to be used up, the last of a bag of carrots that needed to be used, and scallions that I always buy and then strand in the veggie drawer. It was delicious when I put it all together. Easy dinner with a glass of wine.
Here's how I did it.
'Clear the Fridge' Fried Rice
1 1/2 c. basmati rice (dry measure)
3 tbsp. peanut oil, divided for stir frying the different additions to the wok
3 eggs, lightly scrambled
2 c. carrots, peeled and chopped small dice (about 3 carrots)
3 large handfuls of fresh Mung bean sprouts, rinsed and drained well or one small can of bean sprouts, drained and rinsed
4 scallions, washed and tipped - sliced into thin coins and green rings
1 1/2 c. frozen peas
1 generous cup, chopped cooked meat your choice ( duck, pork, chicken, beef )
4 strips bacon, fried and chopped into small chunk
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
1/2 tsp. five spice powder
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1/2 c. soy sauce or tamari sauce
Making the Dish:
- Place the rice in a deep heavy sauce pan and rinse at least six times with cool water. The water should be almost clear after washing the rice.
- Cover the rice with water by about 1/2 inch and place on the stove over high heat. Bring to a boil and then, turn the heat to a low simmer, cover and watch carefully. Tilt the lid if the rice wants to boil over. Let the rice simmer down while you prep the other ingredients. When the rice is almost simmered dry, turn off the heat, cover and let it cool a few minutes. Then, remove the lid and let the rice ‘dry out’.
- Fry the bacon in a non-stick pan and when it’s almost crisped, add the meat you’ve chosen for this batch of rice. Turn off the heat under the pan and let the meat get hot in the bacon grease.
- Meanwhile, remove the bacon and chop coarsely. Set on a paper towel-lined plate. Add the warmed meat to the plate and let it drain. Set the fry pan aside.
- Prep all the vegetables and the eggs for the fried rice and have them in separate bowls and ready for the wok.
- Heat the wok over high heat. When it’s hot, add 1 tbsp. peanut oil and swirl it to coat the wok. Add the scrambled eggs and stir fry until the eggs are cooked and broken into clumps. Turn them into a large serving bowl. Return the wok to the heat.
- When the wok is hot again, add 1 tbsp. peanut oil and swirl. Add the carrots and stir fry until they are beginning to soften.
- Add the bean sprouts to the carrots and stir fry for about three minutes. Add the frozen peas and meat (but NOT the bacon). Continue to stir fry until the peas are bright green. Then, turn the veg and meat into the serving bowl with the eggs.
- Return the wok to the heat. When hot, add 1 tbsp. peanut oil and swirl. Turn the rice into the wok and break it up, pushing it around and up the edges of the wok. Leave it to crisp bit on the hot pan (about three minutes)
- Sprinkle the white pepper, five spice powder, and the chopped scallions onto the top of the rice and toss the rice to combine. Sprinkle on the soy sauce, and sesame oil and continue to toss and stir fry the rice.
- Turn the veg, eggs and meat into the rice and toss to combine. Taste and add more soy sauce, sesame oil, and black pepper to taste.
- Toss in the crispy bacon. Turn the heat off under the wok. Serve immediately in big bowls or cover the wok and let rest until you want the rice.
- To re-heat, place servings in big bowls and microwave to desired level of heat.
- I use a Calphalon non-stick wok, so I can use less oil. If you have a traditional metal wok, you may have to use a bit more oil and swirl it higher to cover the complete cooking surface of you fried rice recipe. You know your wok. Act accordingly.
- "Hot wok, cool oil". Heat your wok well before adding the oil and the ingredients won't stick when you add them. Swirl the oil in the hot wok and turn in your stir fry. All will be well.
- Use whatever vegetables you like in this recipe. I tend to make this rice when I need to use up small amounts of vegetables and left over meat from roasts, or whatever.
- Be careful of the saltiness of this dish. Soy sauce, tamari, bacon, and roasted meats have a lot of salt when they are all combined. Enough said.