Monday, September 22, 2008

Fried Rice

I would have to say that my husband is an aficionado of fried rice. When we eat out, if fried rice is on the menu, then he'll be ordering it. Where I consider fried rice as more of a side dish item, to him it is a main dish. He is happy with a plate full of fried rice and a beverage. Done.

That being said, we have tried many fried rice recipes. He has loved them all, but this final version is my favorite. For me, it is a nice balance between simplicity in preparation and flavor. Really, fried rice is quick and easy to prepare and there is no reason to use the fried rice seasoning mix when it's just as easy to do the real thing!

Another reason why fried rice is great, is because it's a flexible recipe. Do you really like carrots but not peas? Then add more carrots and omit the peas. Do you have only white or yellow onions and no green ones? Just fine. Do you have some ground pork leftover from making potstickers? Throw that in too! This is a large recipe. I would say it makes 6-8 servings. We are able to eat it as a main dish one evening and it leaves several servings for G's lunch the next day.

Fried Rice

2 cups uncooked long grain rice (not minute rice!)
2-3 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
3 eggs
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1/3 cup diced onion ** (see note)
3/4 cup frozen peas.
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 tsp chinese 5 spice powder **(see note)
2 Tablespoons butter
salt & pepper to taste

Cook the rice according to the package directions (I use my rice cooker). Let the rice cool.

If your sesame seeds are not already toasted, place them in a dry skillet over medium heat. Toast for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until light brown in color.

Beat eggs in a small bowl and scramble in a large skillet over medium high heat. As they cook, break the eggs into smaller chunks. Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan, melt the butter. Add the onion, carrots and peas. Immediately top with the cooked rice. Do not stir for about 1 minute, to allow the peas to heat through a little. Then toss veggies and rice together and continue to cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring often. Add soy sauce, 5 spice powder, toasted sesame seeds, and scrambled eggs. Toss to combine all ingredients. Taste, and add salt, pepper and more soy sauce if you desire.

**note: I prefer to use either diced white onion, or diced green onion (or a mix of both - whatever I have on hand!) For the chinese 5 spice powder, there are recipes online to make your own blend, or this can also be found at most grocery stores. Also, this may be omitted. My original recipe didn't include the 5 spice powder, but I would add a little garlic powder instead.

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