Friday's Fried Rice

The one rule that trumps all other rules when making fried rice is “You gotta keep ‘um separated.”
I first attempted homemade fried rice while living in Japan and it was a nasty experiance. There was a rice surplus after school lunch so a few of us teachers took home the leftovers.
A few hours later I was standing in my matchbook of a kitchen hacking away at a corn studded, gluttonous mass, of rice. Each prod with a spatula sent it skidding around the frying pan. It wasn’t breaking down and it wasn’t melding with the broccoli spears and carrot rounds I had included. It was a hot mess and adding soy sauce did nothing but change the color.
That night I had an asparagus, bacon, potato pizza delivered.
Since then I’ve worked on my technique. Most importantly each component must be fried separately and combined at the end. This recipe it great for an end of the week fridge clean out because you can use almost anything. Just be sure you begin with that three-day-old rice because it works best. You also have to use small bits of vegetables and meat if you want that molded Chinese restaurant look.
Now go and turn that crusty old rice into something worth fighting for at the dinner table.

Vegetable Fried Rice
3 tbs vegetable oil
¾ tbs sesame oil
½ small onion (about ½ cup chopped)
1 cup frozen vegetable medley
2 ½ tsp fresh ginger (minced)
2 ½ tsp garlic (minced)
1 egg
2 cups (cold, cooked rice)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 ½ tbs honey (optional)

Before you begin be sure to have all ingredients prepped. This a quick cooking process.
Put half of the vegetable oil in a cold frying pan. Place the pan over medium/high heat adding the chopped onion.
Cook onion until lightly browned (about 4 minutes).

Add frozen vegetables and ginger then sprinkle with salt. Add garlic. Cook veggies until warm and tender (3-4 minutes).
Remove veggies from the pan and set aside.

Crack egg into the hot pan and scramble. Put aside with vegetables.

Add remaining vegetable oil and sesame oil to the hot pan. The pan should sizzle when splashed with water. Add rice, using your hands to break up any large chunks. Stir fry rice for about 4 minutes.
Return egg and vegetables to the pan adding soy sauce and blending well.
From this point you’re on your own. You’ve eaten fried rice one hundred times. Taste what you have and adjust by adding more oil, soy sauce... I like to put honey in mine for a bit of sweet.

Fried Rice on Foodista


  1. That's the trick to fried rice! Cooking each item separately! Finally, now I know why my fried rice is not any good. I have some leftover rice that I think I am going to turn into fried rice for dinner tomorrow. Thanks!

  2. Devon: Fried rice is the one thing I cook well. I use long grain boiled rice. The next step is to put it in the fridge...When cooking fried rice, it has to be cold. I usually give it several hours instead of days.

    The next step is difficult. Peanut oil instead of vegetable oil. But peanut oil is funny with regards to quality. You don't want too much of a peanut flavor, but you want enough peanut flavor to give the fried rice a slight nutty flavor.

    The soy sauce is also critical, but once you start adding it in, you kind of have to go by taste and color.

    The Chinese make a Sticky Rice that I like. It's highly glutinous and sweeter than regular white rice. But when it's steamed in a Lotus leaf, (I think its a tea leaf) it has a nice tea-like flavor.

    Sticky rice isn't consistent though. I've had it at some places and have been disappointed.

  3. Velva, separation makes all the difference. I hope to see fabulous results on your blog someday.

    Ripama, your point about cold rice is right on. Thanks for bringing it up.

    Fried rice is like French toast to me. It’s a preparation that takes an ingredient past its prime and turns it into something fabulous.

    I have had that Chinese sticky rice and while I loved the leaf wrapped presentation, the grainy residue left by the leaves was not so nice.

  4. Yummy! I love making my own fried rice!

    And now I have that Offspring song in my head :)

  5. I love making fried rice when I clean up my fridge on weekends.I get to use all the different veggies or leftover meals we have and make it into something delicious!Great post!I'd love to guide our readers to your site if you won't mind.Just add your choice of foodista widget to this post and it's all set, Thanks!