Fried Rice: Better Than Take-Out
Fried rice has never been a dish that amazed me. At least not from a restaurant. The best I can ever remember having is from a Hibachi restaurant. It’s just always so much better.
As Good as it Gets?
At a certain point after trying so many little Chinese restaurants and their fried rice, I got fed up. I just kept thinking that fried rice has to be better than this. All the flavors, sauces and techniques used in Chinese cooking and yet I’m left with bland and boring fried rice? Not good enough, Chinese restaurant.
I came up with my own version, and to be honest, it’s way easier than I thought it would be. There do seem to be a few things that you have to abide by to get good flavor.
The first is all about the rice. It’s has to be cold and dry. Basically, refrigerator leftover rice is what you want. I have a ginormous rice cooker that I got for Christmas that I use to make my rice in. Whenever we have a dish that is served over or with rice, I make like three times what I need…
JUST FOR FRIED RICE.
And then I’m all “oh guess we have to have fried rice one day this week.”
About the rice cooker, IT’S A GAME CHANGER. It’s not hard to cook rice on the stove if your cool with watching it. But you almost have to stand there and watch it. This thing takes literally all of the guess work. “X much rice and Y much water, close, push button, await beeping.” Perfect rice, done. But mind does soooooo much more than that and I’ve barely used any of the cool functions. It slow cooks, steams and even sauté then simmers. It’s like a slow cooker, rice cooker, and electric saucepan all in one. Grab ya one below. They’re inexpensive and worth WAY more than every penny, especially if you’re feeding a family.
You can grab one here: Aroma 8 Cup Rice Cooker
Anyways, cold rice is the first step to making sure you’re fried rice is tasty.
The second is a super hot pan. It literally can’t be too hot starting out. And it needs to be just as hot when you add each ingredient to really get your flavors to come together and for the ingredients to cook quickly.
Third no fail step is veggies and eggs. Your fried rice needs body and these two things definitely help make that happen. I hardly ever put meat in my fried rice, so I LOAD mine up with two cups of mixed veggies, (usually frozen for the ease), and 4 eggs. Adding these two ingredients separately is a must and seasoning the ingredient as you add them is a must too. I don’t go too crazy with the salt because of the soy sauce in the dish, but I do use some in the beginning stages.
Finally, the last quintessential piece of the fried rice puzzle (to me at least) are the sauces/seasonings. I’ve played with it a lot, even made spicy fried rice with pineapple, but I’ve narrowed it down to the necessities. Soy sauce, hoisin and Worcestershire. These three bring a nice Asian flavor with tons of umami, and even give the rice a nice texture.
THIS IS NOT CHINESE RESTAURANT FRIED RICE.
It’s not dry or crunchy, it’s a little saucy and sticky, but not mushy with sauce. It has a great color and tastes amazing. My kids freaking love it so much. I can never make enough, and as easy as this is to throw together, you can make a lot at a time.
Just make sure you have a nice big skillet like the big Tfal Nonstick that I use. One of my favorite things about it is how it has a small hands opposite of the long one for picking up the skillet when it’s full.
Grab one here: Tfal Jumbo Saute Fry Pan w/ Lid
This dish is super cheap and super easy. Don’t miss out on something fresh and delicious that you can start cooking for your family and yourself. It’s EASY!
- 4-6 cups cooked rice, preferable leftover and refrigerated (amount depends on number of eaters)
- 2 cups frozen mixed veggies (2 cups fresh of choice, diced small and evenly)
- 1 medium onion, diced small
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 eggs (or more if using more than 4 cups rice)
- 1/4 cups soy sauce plus extra
- 1/4 cup hoisin (or teriyaki)
- 1-2 tbsp Worcestershire (a couple of good splashes in “my” book)
- salt and pepper
- Start with at least a 12″ non stick skillet. Heat 2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil over high heat until it’s just starting to smoke. Add onion a hefty pinch of salt and saute until soft and translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and go another 30 seconds.
- Push everything to the side, and add your frozen mixed veggies right to the skillet. Saute those (without onion mixture) for 5-7 minutes or until thawed and cooked slightly.
- Stir the onions and mixed veggies well until combined, then push all of that to the side.
- Add a teaspoon or two of oil to the empty side of the pan. Allow it to heat up for a minute, and then add in all of your eggs along with a good splash of soy sauce. Continue stirring the eggs until the are cooked through. Once they’re cooked, stir them in with the rest of the mix on the side. Push everything to the side one last time.
- Add your rice, and use the back of a wooden spoon or other utensil to mash and balls of rice sticking together into the bottom of the pan to break them up. Once you have the rice nice and broken up, add in 1/4 cups each of soy sauce and hoisin, and a tablespoon or two of Worcestershire, depending on how much you like the flavor.
- Mix EVERYTHING. Get it nice and combined, then leave it fry for a minute or two. Stir again and allow it to cook AGAIN for a minute or two. Do this two or three more times until you think everything is nice and combined and the flavors have married. Serve immediately and enjoy!!!!