Fried rice is addictive. And once you learn how easy it is to make, it quickly becomes a regular in the weeknight dinner rotation. I generally try to make it a tiny bit healthier by making it with leftover brown rice, which I also prefer because of it's nuttier texture and chew. However, if I have a takeout container of white rice sitting in the fridge, I'm not going to throw it out. Nope. Into the frying pan the rice goes and out comes a delicious, spicy, crispy bowl (or two) of fried rice.
This is also my super-speed dinner solution. Take last night. I was meeting friends for dinner by the Isar, which means a cobbled-together-bring-whatever-you-have-you-are-responsible-for-yourself dinner. The easiest thing is often just to grab a sandwich from a local bakery or some quick take-out from a cafe or fast food joint near the river, but it took me just as little time to throw together this fried rice. Easy peasy (haha pun intended. I'm such a dork).
Springtime Fried Rice
The most important thing when making fried rice is to have a really, really HOT frying pan or wok. The cold grains of rice need to start sizzling as soon as they hit the oil. The other most important thing - in my humble opinion - is to add egg. It's just not right without it. So you need to throw in an egg or two at the very end, pushing the rice up the sides of the pan, and scrambling the egg in the center of the pan and then quickly mix it with the rice after pulling the pan off the heat.
1 -2 cups leftover, cold brown rice (preferably at least one day old)
1 carrot, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 -1 cup fresh peas (frozen will do in a pinch)
3 thin slices of prosciutto, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 inch section of ginger, minced
2 Tbsp vegetable oil + more for scrambling the eggs at the end
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1. First, prepare all of your ingredients. Frying rice is a quick process, so you want to have everything measured out, sliced, and ready to go.
2. Make sure to dice the carrots and onions very tiny- each cube should be about the same size as a pea.
3. Heat about 2 Tbsp of the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium.
4. Once the oil is hot, toss in the diced carrots and onions, and let soften and cook for 4-5 minutes.
5. Add the peas, prosciutto, garlic, and ginger. Turn the heat to high.
6. Once the pan is sizzling hot, but before the garlic burns (always watch out for garlic! It gets brown very quickly), add a Tbsp of sesame oil to the pan, and throw in the cold, leftover brown rice.
7. Cook the rice, only stirring occasionally, until it starts to get crispy. You may notice the carrots or onions starting to singe a bit and that is perfectly okay.
8. Once the rice has cooked (usually 3-4 minutes), push the rice to the edges of the pan, drizzle in a little more vegetable oil in the middle, and crack and egg or two into the middle of the pan. I usually take the pan off the heat because it is already very hot and I don't want to overcook the eggs. Scramble the eggs in the center of the frying pan, then mix it in with the rice, dispersing eggy bits throughout.
9. Add in about 1 Tbsp soy sauce- more if you like it, but watch out for making the rice too salty. Add in as much chili paste as you can stand.
10. All kinds of additional toppings such as sliced green onions or sesame seeds can also be sprinkled on top. Or try adding some fried shrimp, tofu, or chicken.