Wednesday night pop quiz. What makes fried rice the color of… fried rice? Any guesses?
Seriously. Soy sauce. What?
For years, I always ordered fried rice at Asian restaurants because I just love the flavors, the crisp texture, and the itty bitty pieces of egg scattered throughout the rice. But what I don’t love is the lack of vegetables. Usually, the pieces are miniscule, and I’ve all but given up on ordering chicken or shrimp fried rice because most places are pretty skimpy on the good stuff.
However, I always thought that there was some secret “special ingredient” that restaurants added to fried rice that was so complicated and mysterious that I could never recreate it at home. Boy, was I wrong. Soy sauce is all that’s needed to create delicious, restaurant-style fried rice at home. My world was rocked the day I learned I could make a healthier, lighter version of fried rice, full of the good stuff, whenever I pleased. It’s so easy, and I typically have many of the ingredients already so it’s just a snap to make for a quick weeknight dinner. I’m excited to play around with this recipe more and find some new variations. But for now… here’s the classic!
What are your favorite additions to fried rice?
- 2 cups cold cooked brown rice [prepared the day before from 1 cup dry brown rice]
- 2-4 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2-4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 medium carrots, diced small
- 1/2 cup shelled edamame [I used frozen]
- 1/2 cup peas [I used frozen]
- 1 egg, beaten
In a large skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add rice to skillet and stir frequently to coat, approximately 4-6 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together 1 tablespoon sesame oil and 2 tablespoons soy sauce in a small bowl.
After rice is warm and has incorporated the sesame oil, mix in the vegetables. Cook thoroughly, until carrots are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Then, add sesame-soy mixture and stir quickly to mix in. The sauce should steam.
Push rice to sides of the pan, leaving a hole in the center of the pan. Pour egg into the hole and quickly scramble it, breaking the egg apart. Then mix egg with rice and vegetables, taste, and season with additional soy sauce and sesame oil to taste.