Oriental-Style Fried Rice by Larry Andersen


Fried Rice

In the orient, fried rice is a traditional next-day dish made with left-overs, oriental breakfast hash, if you will. From the humble beginnings as an economy measure, fried rice has developed into a featured dish in oriental cuisine prepared for western diners. But true to its roots, there is no defining recipe for fried rice, it all depends on what you have on hand. There are countless variations. In this version, the allure of the fresh smell of the scrambled eggs and the sauting scallions, garlic and ginger is almost too much to resist. This is not an anemic fried rice like the side-dishes in some Chinese restaurants. This is a dish that can and does stand alone as a main dish. You wont be hungry again in half an hour.

I learned to make this version from my father, Lawrence Andersen. As kids, my sister and I would forego those extra helpings of roast beef or chicken so that there would be left-overs and that way we could have a big batch of fried rice for dinner the next day.

The recipe calls for instant rice.* It is the rice we learned to make as children. It was the rice our family usually used in the kitchen way back then. Since then we have learned to make regular rice and it is frequently the rice used in the recipe. If you are planning to use regular rice, make it the day before and store it in the refrigerator overnight. Use the bouillon cubes or broth to flavor the rice when cooking if desired.

Although the recipe calls for left-over chicken or beef,** there isn't any reason that you can't use any other left over or fresh meat or shellfish.

Preparation: About 30 minutes Family Heirloom Recipe
Serves 4 to 8 persons depending on side dishes Lawrence A. Andersen
  • 4 cups Minute Rice*
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg thin omelet, cooled, chopped and set aside
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups diced cooked roast beef or chicken**
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 bunch diced green onions (scalions) include most of the stalk
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 cups beef or chicken broth OR 4 chicken or beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Fried rice is a catch-all dish; ostensibly to be an economic use of left over foods. The ingredients would vary greatly depending on what foods were at hand. Not listed but just as suitable would be buty not limited to such things as mushrooms, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, broccoli florets and diced tomato just to name a few. Ill leave it to you to select your own favorite ingredients

  1. If using Minute Rice, in a large sauce pan, bring 3 3/4 cups of water, bouillon cubes, 1 tablespoon butter, and salt to a boil. Stir to make sure bouillon cubes dissolve completely. Add rice, stir to wet all rice. Cover, remove from heat and set aside for at least 10 minutes.
  2. If using regular rice, make the day before if possible. If preparing the rice the same day you are making the fried rice, prepare with a bit less liquid than normal to, perhaps 3 tablespoons, give the rice a slightly firmer texture. Use broth or bouillon cubes to give the rice additional flavor. After 20 minutes remove from heat and allow to steam for five minutes. Remove lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Replace the lid and set aside. Before adding the rice to the other ingredients, fluff the rice to remove any lumps.
  3. In a small fry pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Whisk 4 eggs to a frothy mixture. Add to the fry pan and cook over a low heat. Lift edges with spatula and let eggs run under as if cooking a thin omelet. Flip to cook the other side. Turn out onto a plate to cool. Slice into thin strips and then cut cross ways to small egg curds. Set aside.

  4. If using fresh meat, in a large frying pan or wok, place vegetable oil and heat over medium heat to 350 -375. Stir fry the meat until just cooked through. Remove the cooked meat from the pan and place on a plate and set aside. Place on a plate and set aside. If using left-over meat, cut iinto small pieces and set aside. If using let-over meat, cut into small pieces and set aside
  5. Reserve the scallions. Add the remaining vegetables to the same pan (add oil if needed). Stir fry until vegetables are tender. Season to taste with the spices. There will be some liquid in the pan from the vegetables. If using the Minute Rice add water to make approximately 1/4 cup total liquid in the pan. Simmer 1 minute.

  6. Add rice to pan and stir as you continue to fry until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice starts to brown. Add the reserved meat and scallions to the pan and stir fry to heat through. Remove from heat. Add reserved egg. Season to taste with soy sauce. Mix well. Serve.

    Fried rice is a catch-all dish. You can add just about any meat or seafood you wish or just make it vegetarian. The selection of vegetables noted above is how I like to make the fried rice but why not try your own favorite combination of vegetables.

    Fried rice can be a filler dish, to augment other dishes. Add a bit more beef or chicken and it can be a stand-alone main dish for a tasty meal.

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