Fried Rice 101

The Recipe

(Or at least some guidelines for making tasty fried rice)

The basic recipe feeds 4 fairly well. Add extra meat and some vegetables and it can easily stretch to 6. The measurements, outside of the rice ones, are very flexible, feel free to improvise.

Part 1: The Rice

4 Tablespoons butter
1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups chicken stock
-Or-
2 cups water + 2 chicken bouillon cubes
Salt & pepper to taste
Optional:
Soy sauce
Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce

As I stated earlier, pre-cooking of the rice is key to the success of your fried rice. This section is the one that I feel is most important as the rice is the very foundation of the dish. Duh!

Measure 4 tablespoons of butter and slowly melt it in a sauce pan, one that has a cover. To that, add 1 cup of long grain white rice. Mix the rice and the butter together until the rice is coated thoroughly. Leave the pan on low heat, don’t turn it up yet. Measure 2 cups of cold chicken stock or water + 2 chicken bouillon cubes and add it to the rice. Turn the heat up until the mixture comes to a boil. While waiting for this, you can add some flavor elements. I like using some soy sauce, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, some Tabasco sauce, salt, pepper, maybe some garlic. Some things that will liven the flavor up. Mix it all together thoroughly as the whole thing heats up. When it comes to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, give the mixture a moment or so to stop boiling to prevent any boil over. Set your timer for 20 minutes. When the timer goes off, move the pan off the burner and let it set for about 10 minutes before removing the cover. Then after removing the cover, let the rice cool to about room temperature and place in a bowl suitable for refrigerator storage. As you put the rice into the bowl, break up clumps so they don’t stick together too much. Refrigerate overnight.

Part 2: The Vegetables & More

¼ cup each of green bell pepper, red bell pepper, yellow pepper, and orange pepper

1 medium sized white onion, finely chopped
¼ cup julienne carrots
½ cup sliced water chestnuts
2-3 green onions, chopped
5-6 slices of cooked bacon, finely chopped

In this section you have some flexibility, ingredientwise. Remember, this should be a feast for your eyes as well as your taste buds and belly. That said, I like using green/red/yellow/orange bell peppers, a medium-sized white onion that has been finely chopped, a ¼ cup or so of julienned carrots, some drained/sliced water chestnuts, a couple of chopped green onions, 5 or 6 slices of slow-cooked bacon that  has been chopped finely,

Part 3: Cooking It

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
½ cup frozen mixed vegetables (I like corns/peas/carrots/beans combo myself)
¼ cup cold water
2 eggs beaten together with ¼ cup of milk

Now the fun starts. Using a medium-sized nonstick skillet over medium high heat, pour approximately 2 tablespoons of cooking oil into the pan. Allow the oil to heat until it starts to shimmer. Cook the garlic in the oil until the aroma just starts to hit your nose. Then, put your veggies, the raw ones; onions, peppers, & carrots in and let them begin to cook. Season them with salt and pepper. After the onions have started to become translucent, turn the heat up a tad and add the rice. Make sure the rice is clump free. Once it is in the pan, mix all the cooked vegetables and rice together. Then evenly spread the rice around the pan. Let it cook for about 4-5 minutes, without stirring. You want to let the rice develop some color and stirring will inhibit those efforts. Once the rice has some color, feel free to add some soy sauce to the mixture, stir it throughout, it will permeate flavor through the rice that way. Add water chestnuts, the green onions, and the bacon. Once those are mixed in, take the frozen mixed vegetables and stir them in thoroughly. Add about ¼ cup of water and mix it through. Once you see some steam start to billow from the pan, cover it, wait 3-5 minutes and test the veggies, make sure the raw ones are all fully-cooked; the frozen ones should be hot throughout.

Now clear a small area in the middle of the pan. Add the beaten eggs to the pan, let them set up just a little then mix them in through the rest of the rice and vegetables. Once they are cooked, remove from heat and serve immediately.

You can use pre-cooked shrimp, leftover pork, chicken, or beef in this as well. If you do, fry it at the same time as the garlic in the Cooking it stage. Cook until the meat develops some browning on all sides, and then continue with the vegetable portion of the recipe.

I hope this recipe helps, let me know if you try it.

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