Perfect Fried Rice
This is my recipe for perfect at-home fried rice. I say perfect because my parents both loved it. If you know my mom, you know she can be...very particular about things. My dad said it was better than any fried rice he'd had at a restaurant. You may say, "Of course they told you that, they're your parents!" Believe me, if my parents weren't thrilled with it they simply wouldn't have commented. Enough of that, here's the recipe:
-Oil (I used the vegetable oil I had on hand)
-4-6 Cups of Cooked rice (cooked a day or two prior)
-Veggies of choice
-Pre-cooked Meat of choice, diced (I prefer chicken)
If I were on top of things I'd have a picture of all of my ingredients. I'm not on top of things.
Vegetable suggestions include: peas, mushrooms, broccoli, onions, sprouts, carrots...
For this demonstration I used peas, broccoli & onions.
I will tell you that I finally learned that to make fried rice taste good you must cook all of the ingredients separately. Which is why this is supposed to be made in a wok, so that after cooking one ingredient you can push it up the side of the wok & then cook the next ingredient (or, so I've heard). My wok rusted so I used a cast iron skillet.
Heat the skillet to a low-medium heat. Add a smidge of oil & scramble the eggs.
After the eggs are scrambled set aside on a plate & clean out your pan as best you can (my skillet wasn't well seasoned when I started this).
Add a little more oil (really only a LITTLE, maybe 1-2 teaspoons each time, it doesn't take much!) & add a veggie. If using frozen veggies it's best to let them thaw a bit first. Cook for a few minutes, remove to plate, add a little more oil to the skillet & add next veggie. Repeat this process until you've cooked all the veggies.
After cooking the veggies add a little more oil to the skillet & heat the meat. (it's already cooked, you're just warming it up!) One of my favorite things is how all of the ingredients look on the plate together after cooking. Isn't it pretty??
(You'll notice the onions are in a separate bowl. That would be because my very onion-adverse four-year-old daughter legitimately despises onions. I say legitimately because one time I pureed onions for a soup & she couldn't stand the soup because it "tasted like onions." That is the only exception I give her for food, other than that, the kids eat what we eat. So, I keep the onions separate & add them to the dish after I've taken a portion out for Addison.)
Next up, add a bit more oil to the skillet (perhaps a couple of tablespoons) & add the pre-cooked rice & warm it up.
Here's a note about using "old" rice. If you don't have old rice on hand cook the rice you need for the recipe. After cooking, spread it onto a cookie sheet & put the cookie sheet in the freezer for thirty minutes or so. This will help dry the rice out a bit & it will taste better in the dish.
Also, brown or white rice? It doesn't matter. Both work very well for this dish.
After stir-frying the rice add soy sauce to taste. I have no measurements on the soy sauce. Just remember, you can always add more but you can't take any out. So, start slowing & add a little at a time.
After mixing in the soy sauce to the rice add in all of the other ingredients. Add more soy sauce if needed & thoroughly mix everything together so that the flavors are well blended.
This is a little more time intensive then adding everything into one pot, but, cooking each ingredient separately is really what gives fried rice that excellent flavor!