So, a few weeks before Chridtmas was the last time I’ve eaten Chinese food. Possibly ever. On this occasion, I had orange chicken over white rice, a favorite of mine, an egg roll and some beef teriyaki skewers. The weird thing was, within an hour I was sort of nauseous. Not like, I’m gonna be sick nauseous, it was more just this feeling of disgust with eating battered, fried chicken parts drenched in that sticky-sweet-and-spicy sauce. I couldn’t even think about it without my stomach turning over. Needless to say, I was not pleased and haven’t ordered Chinese since. (Not that I eat it often in the first place.) It still kinda feels like I had this big fight with Chinese takeout and we broke up. And I have a feeling I won’t be calling anytime soon.
A few months ago, however, I found a recipe for fried rice in Bon Appetit. It was a recipe that was a little out of my league and was provided by the magazine’s editor, Adam Rapaport. I check his note in every issue and, while this one was not what I was looking for, it was a challenge. It inspired me. I had my mind set. I would find a way to create delicious fried rice somewhere between soy-soaked Japanese hibachi and dry Chinese takeout. My mission had been decided and it didn’t take long to figure out, which was an awesome personal victory. The best part is, you can alter this to be low-sodium or even eliminate the soy sauce if you are super salt concerned.
Please note, before reading, that the method/instructions for this recipe are slightly advanced, but detailed. Keep in mind that the fried rice process happens rather fast and that it’s OK if it takes a few tries to really nail it. With this particular recipe, I have included some tips and struggles I experienced throughout the process.
RIFS Homemade Fried Rice
2 tbsp. grapeseed oil
1 c. cooked jasmine rice
1/4 c. broccoli florets
1/4 c. celery and carrots, peeled and chopped
1/4 c. sweet onion, diced
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 large eggs
1 tsp. raw sugar
2 tbsp. chicken broth
Methodology & Instructions:
1. Heat grapeseed oil in a cast iron pan over high heat. (Be very careful using a cast iron pan at this heat.)
2. Cook broccoli, carrots and celery, tossing vigorously, about 1-2 minutes. *If you like to keep frozen broccoli on hand, like I do, do make life easier, DO NOT put frozen broccoli directly into the pan. You will get spattered with hot oil. Do not make the rookie mistake I made.*
3. Add egg and stir/scramble vigorously until nearly fully cooked, about 30 seconds – 1 minute.
4. Add rice. Stir into mixture and then pat down into pan for 30-45 seconds at a time to crisp and dry out rice grains without burning. In between, stir together vigorously. Repeat process for 5-6 minutes. If rice doesn’t show signs of browning, continue a bit longer.
5. Add soy sauce. Repeat pressing and stirring process for 1-2 minutes.
6. Add sugar, onion, salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp. of each). Repeat pressing and stirring process until onion softens and becomes translucent, 1-2 minutes.
7. Pour chicken broth around edges of the pan, press and stir until broth evaporates.
8. Serve. Optional: Top with torn cilantro.
Serves 2 people as a side dish.
Until next time,
❤️ Food Snob