Fried rice is a favorite around here and no wonder. Anything full of fried pork bits is bound to be tasty. For my homemade fried rice there are only a few basics and the rest is whatever happens to be in my fridge. It’s easy to make and a good way to use leftovers bits of meats and random veggies.
In the meantime, who let the hens out? (Who…who-who?) I got up early this morning to find them staring into the back door. Now I hear rustling as they wade through the early morning grass looking for their early worms. And bugs, especially those big flying green beetles which seem to be back in season. The other day while I was refreshing their water and collecting eggs I saw 3 separate beetles make their way into the pen! All three made it back out alive too. The girls are loosing their touch I think. Or perhaps they were just too busy ‘heads down tails up’ eating their grub. It must be the farm smell that brings them over. Watching the girls catch and eat one is a lot like watching a bloody scene from Jurassic Park. Eww.
Anyhoo, for homemade fried rice, its easy-breezy and you only need to start with a base of 3 things.
The rice of course. Be pretty weird without it. Pre-cooked. Cold. Brown or white.I used brown this time. I just happen to have an entire sack of short grain organic brown rice in the pantry so we eat brown rice a lot.(Btw, hens love leftover cooked rice. And you can even use it in bread recipes, did you know that?)
Now, what is in the fridge?
Bacon? I cooked up some bacon and crumbled it in. It’s just not fried rice to us without the bacon. Then I used the bacon fat to saute everything else. Any leftover meat of any kind? Chicken, pork chops or steak bits would do. We had 2 uncooked pork chops in the fridge when I came back from vacation that had to be cooked. Thats what inspired the fried rice night. Shrimp anyone? (I wish). I put in as much variety as I can. I think I have used ham too. But not hamburger. I suppose you could, it just doesn’t appeal to me. Dice up the meats into bit size bits.
From the freezer I get peas and/or corn and/or diced carrots. One or more of those to give color and extra goodness to the dish.
From the fridge I use either an onion, diced up and sautéed with the meats, or a couple of scallions diced and put in last. You could dice up celery and saute it as well. Snow peas anyone? Garlic? Of course.
I like to put in some sesame oil with the soy sauce. Sometimes I melt some butter in there too.
Nuts, like cashews or peanuts are a nice crunch. I add sesame seeds too when I have them.
So, first you assemble your ingredients. Have stuff diced and chopped. Have the pan you cooked your bacon in ready. This time I used one of my cast iron pans.
Scramble up the egg or eggs until soft set. Put them aside. Add the meats and vegetables, fresh or frozen, and saute until warmed and the veggies are soft. If using, add diced garlic last and saute for about 30 seconds. Add the eggs back, chopping them up into bits. Add sesame seeds or nuts if using. Now add the cool rice and stir around with your wooden spoon or spatula. If things get sticky, add oil, like olive oil or coconut. Or a blob of butter.
Pour a little sesame oil over all and some soy sauce, I just drizzle it over until it looks right. (?) Depends on how much you are making. There are no real measurements here. More rice=more sauce. Taste it and add more if you think it needs it. You shouldn’t add salt. The soy sauce is the salt.
Last, toss in the diced scallions.
Stir it up and it is ready. Or put a lid on it to stay warm while you make something else. Like Trader Joes pot stickers or egg rolls. Or homemade orange chicken.Fried rice is a great leftover for lunches. It heats up nice.
Too bad we ate it before it occurred to me to take a pic of it. Here is an older pic from another batch: