Saturday, July 25, 2009

It's crumbly.

Para para shiteru.

Idiot-resistant fried rice

I think most of us are used to fried rice recipes that tell us to cook scrambled eggs and then add as many servings of leftover rice as there are people you need to feed. I used to cook fried rice that way too, and it usually turned out mushy. In this case, "usually" means "about 95% of the time.

I've been using a new method for the past six months or so, and my fried rice success rate is now in the mid 70s. Apparently, what I was doing wrong was

1. Cooking the eggs throughly first

2. Starting with cold rice

3. Trying to cook more than one serving at once

4. Using a nonstick frying pan instead of an iron wok.

Now, those of us with Chinese mothers will probably protest, but, remember, I said "idiot resistant". I did not say "authentic."

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Garlic soy sauce (peeled cloves of garlic tossed in a glass bottle, fill with enough soy sauce to cover, let sit in fridge for a week. Regular soy is just fine, too), bacon bits (like I said, "idiot resistant", not "authentic"), bowl, eggs (one egg for each cup of rice), and, of course, leftover rice. Not shown: chopped green onions, oil, iron wok, and stainless steel ladle.

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Microwave one cup of leftover rice (remember, "idiot resistant", not "authentic"). It should be just as hot as if it were freshly cooked. When that's done, heat whatever else you are going to add to your fried rice, such as diced ham, green onion, canned crab, leftover turkey (I've tried the first three, but I see no reason why the last wouldn't taste good).

In a bowl, beat one egg.

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Line up bowl of beaten egg, hot rice, and other ingredients where you can reach them. Tie any children under school age to their chairs. Heat wok until smoking hot. Add oil. Vegetable oil or sesame oil is good. I used bacon grease. Hey, I said "idiot resistant". Never did I say "coronary artery disease resistant."

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Add egg. Wait 8 seconds, or just count very slowly to eight.

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Most of the egg should still be runny when you add the rice.

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Now, use your steel ladle to vigorously mix the egg, oil and rice together. What you want to do is create an emulsion of rice, egg and oil, with each grain of rice coated with a very thin layer of egg. A wok and a ladle will work better than a spatula and a frying pan, because the curved shape of the ladle against the curved shape of the wok lets you smash apart any clumps that might form. You don't want a non-stick pan you're going to be afraid of scratching. Another thing: trying to cook more than one cup of rice at a time will make it harder to smash clumps.

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If you're not making a racket, you're probably not doing it right.

After you have an even mixture of rice, egg and oil, add the rest of your ingredients. Cook only long enough to mix evenly. Season with soy sauce, salt and pepper. Dump into a dish. Repeat process as many times as needed.

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1 comment:

Annie Cat said...

Looks fantastic! Should I ever feel compelled to make fried rice, I will be sure to use this method.

Huh, maybe after seeing this I'll make sure to make some leftover rice and give it a try.