Friday, October 1, 2010

Fried Rice Is Nice

The Man is Filipino American and unless we're eating pasta, he wants rice with his dinner. And generally that means he wants freshly made rice, not leftovers. Almost every night our electric rice cooker is in use and he cooks at least 2 cups each time. Two cups DRY, that is, which expands to 4-5 cups cooked.
Incidentally, when making rice you should use twice as much water as rice, but he prefers to use less and the rice is usually dryer than it should be. I have my sister-in-law and Nanay's agreement about that, and the Man knows it--they both told him so in front of ME!
He's gone up to 1 1/2 cups of water per cup of rice, but that's as far as he'll go. Sigh....

This means that there is almost always a lot of leftover rice in the fridge. We do reheat some--the girls and I are fine with that--but one of the best uses for it is fried rice.

Restaurant fried rice can be extremely fatty because of the amount oil used in the cooking. At home, you can control the oil--you really only need a few spoonfuls--and make it a lot healthier. Fried rice doesn't really get fried much anyway--the brown color comes from the soy sauce.

The girls like this best with pork, but you can use beef or chicken if you've got leftovers of that instead. You can vary the vegetables as much as you like. The egg is optional. And this makes a great school lunch carried in a heated thermos.........

Fried Rice

2-4 cups of leftover cooked white rice (you can make fresh rice, but cold cooked works best for fried rice)
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen carrots OR fresh baby carrots cubed
1/2 cup chopped onion,fresh or frozen
1-2 Tbs cooking oil
1-2 cups chopped cooked pork or beef or chicken
soy sauce (reduced sodium if possible)
1 egg, beaten (optional)

Measure out the frozen peas and carrots and let them sit in a bowl of cold water as you prep the other things..
Use a deep skillet or a dutch oven and put just enough oil on the bottom to cover the pan.
Heat the oil and toss in the onions and the carrots. Stir and cook until the frozen vegs give off water or until the fresh ones soften a little, then add the(drained) peas and corn. Continue stirring and cooking for several minutes.
Add the meat and stir for another minute.
Add the rice,breaking it up with your fingers or a spoon as you add it. Stir to mix with everything else.
Add a small amount of soy sauce--just enough to color the rice. Don't overdo it--you can add more to taste later. Stir.

Egg Topping (optional)
Spray a small skillet with cooking spray or add a little oil to the bottom. Add the beaten egg to the pan and cook until the bottom is set, then flip it and cook the other side. (You could fold it omlette style too, whatever works for you). Place the cooked egg on a cutting board, roll it into a tight roll and use a knife to slice it crosswise into small slivers (this is called chiffonade).

Serve the fried rice topped with egg slivers. Add extra soy sauce to taste.

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