Fried rice was pretty much a given whenever my family would eat out at Chinese restaurants when I was growing up, not necessarily because it was part of the cuisine’s standard fare, but because it was practically the only dish my parents could be guaranteed that I would eat. Even so, there were usually things I was likely to pick out, such as bean sprouts or mushrooms or, heaven forbid someone order shrimp fried rice – that certainly would not have flown with me as a kid. Or even now, actually. But moving on…
Although I’ve come to enjoy various other Chinese dishes over time, fried rice is still one of my all-time favorites, and it’s a great way to use up the leftover rice I often find lingering in the fridge! This past Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend and I decided to skip braving the crowds (downtown + Friday night + Valentine’s Day + limited parking = noooo thank you) and cooked an Asian-themed dinner for ourselves at home, and since some things never change, that Asian-themed dinner of course included the obligatory fried rice.
- 1 1/4 cups uncooked rice (white or brown)
- 2-3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, divided
- 3 eggs
- 3 medium-large carrots, diced
- 6 ounces snow peas, ends trimmed
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons stir-fry sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup corn
- 1-2 green onions, sliced thinly
- black pepper
- Cook rice according to the package directions. If you are cooking the rice ahead of time, let cool and then place in an air-tight container to refrigerate. If not, spread the rice over a rimmed baking to cool slightly.
- In a large non-stick skillet or cast-iron pan, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Meanwhile, beat eggs with a fork until bubbles form. Pour eggs into the pan and scramble, about 2-3 minutes. Cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside to cool.
- In the same skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots, snow peas, ginger, and garlic, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the snow-peas are slightly tender but still crisp.
- Add rice to the skillet, breaking up any clumps with a fork or wooden spoon. Add soy sauce and stir-fry sauce, and stir the contents of the skillet to combine. Season with pepper to taste.
- Add corn, scrambled eggs, and an additional 2-3 teaspoons oil. Cook until the rice no longer feels sticky or moist, about 5-7 minutes. Top with green onions and serve.
- I prefer to use day-old rice for this recipe, since rice loses some of its moisture overnight, but you can use freshly-cooked rice too – it just may need to cook a bit longer in the skillet to get crispy.
I based this recipe on one from the first cookbook I ever purchased— American Heart Association Healthy Family Meals. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I un-healthified it a little bit, but I didn’t have any egg substitute on hand, and I’m sorry but I’m pretty sure you can’t call it fried rice if it only involves two teaspoons of oil. You can certainly cut back on the oil if you’d like, and/or use cooking spray for scrambling the eggs.
If you’re interested in the General Tso’s Chicken pictured alongside the rice, you can find the recipe here. I highly recommend it!