Monday, February 17, 2014

Vegetable Fried Rice

Thanks to my favorite little sous chef for the hand modeling!

Over the years, I've made fried rice quite a few times.  I love that it's fast, pretty easy, and can be chock-full of vegetables.  I've experimented with the sauce, trying lots of different ingredients but the taste has always been just okay.  Pretty good but nothing remarkable.  I figured the best way to fix this was to keep adding MORE ingredients to the sauce until I found that Cook's Illustrated uses just TWO ingredients in their sauce -- oyster sauce and soy sauce.  That's it! It created a slightly sweet sauce and I was amazed at how good it was.

With fried rice, you definitely want all the ingredients prepped before you start cooking.  It cooks quickly, so you want all the vegetables chopped and near the stove.  Also, this calls for cold rice -- I made mine a few hours before dinner and then promptly chilled in the fridge but it would be just as easy to make it the day or evening before and keep in the fridge until ready to use.  (It's important to cool rice rapidly in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent bacteria from growing.)  I definitely want to try this with quinoa next time!

At last, my homemade fried rice is fast, pretty easy, full of vegetables AND has a delicious sauce!

Vegetable Fried Rice
Taken from: Cook's Illustrated
Serves 4-6
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (plus more to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided (could also use canola oil)
  • 2-3 large eggs, beaten lightly
  • Veggies: feel free to use whatever you have on hand but I typically use sliced mushrooms, sliced bell peppers, frozen peas, chopped onions, chopped bok choy, shredded or chopped carrots, chopped broccoli, etc. -- you can also use frozen vegetables here
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 6 cups cooked rice (cold), large clumps broken up with fingers - can use cooked white or brown rice
  • Optional toppings: 1/2 cup bean sprouts, 1/4-1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (I omitted both of these but would like the add the scallions next time!)
  1. In small bowl combine oyster sauce and soy sauce; set aside.
  2. Heat 12-inch nonstick skillet or a wok over medium heat until hot, about 2 minutes; add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and swirl to coat pan bottom. Add eggs and cook without stirring until they just begin to set, about 20 seconds. Scramble and break into small pieces with wooden spoon; continue to cook, stirring constantly, until eggs are cooked through but not browned, about 1 minute longer. Transfer eggs to small bowl and set aside.
  3. Return skillet to burner, increase heat to high, and heat skillet until hot, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons oil and swirl to coat pan bottom. Add the veggies and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes (if using frozen vegetables, you'll have to cook for several additional minutes until heated all the way through).  Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 
  4. Add rice and oyster sauce mixture; cook, stirring constantly and breaking up rice clumps, until mixture is heated through, about 3 minutes. Add eggs.  Also add bean sprouts and scallions, if using; cook, stirring constantly, until heated through, about 1 minute. Serve immediately.

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