Fried Rice Any Way You like It

      This recipe courtesy of Patricia Tanumihardja author of The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook: Home Cooking from Asian Kitchens

      Cooking fried rice isn't a science; you don't need exact ingredients or measurements. And just about anything belongs in fried rice: leftover roast chicken, fried tofu, ham, frozen veggies. Just don't use super "wet" leftovers like a curry or chap chye, or your fried rice will most likely turn to mush. As for seasonings, experiment with ginger, sesame oil, kecap manis, chili paste, etc. or add herbs like Thai basil or cilantro.

      Time: 20 minutes
      Makes: 3 to 4 servings

      • 4 cups cooked long or medium grain rice, leftover from the day before or refrigerated for at least 2 hours
      • 1 tablespoon canola or other neutral oil
      • 2 cloves garlic, minced
      • 1/2 medium red or yellow onion, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
      • 1 cup carrots chopped into small pieces (about 2 medium)
      • 3 eggs
      • 1 cup chopped leftover meat or tofu
      • 1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted
      • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce (or sweet soy sauce)
      • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or fish sauce)
      • Salt
      • White pepper powder
      1. Break up large clumps of rice and separate the grains with wet fingers.
      2. Preheat a 14-inch wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat for about 1 minute. Swirl in the oil and heat until it becomes runny and starts to shimmer.
      3. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic and onion and stir until fragrant, about 15 to 30 seconds. Add the carrots and cook until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes.
      4. Move all the ingredients to one side of the wok. Break the eggs into the wok, and stir to scramble until they are almost cooked through but still a little soggy, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
      5. Add the meat and the peas, followed by the rice, stirring and tossing between each addition. Use your spatula to break up any clumps.
      6. Add the sauces, and salt and white pepper to taste. Stir everything swiftly around the wok until the rice is well-coated and -colored (little bits of white here and there is OK) and heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add more oil if the rice begins to stick to the wok; reduce the heat if it starts to scorch. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
      7. Divide the rice among dinner plates. Serve immediately.