Once again I have a recipe that isn’t Italian based. Some purists might go so far as to say fried rice is not truly a Chinese food either. I actually think it’s Chinese-American cooking. Just yesterday I found a book on ethnic cooking and learned a ton of new information about foods that are traditionally connected to a particular ethnic group when in reality it belongs to another. Take Cesar salad for instance, it was invented by a Mexican(s) not Italians. You will find Cesar salad offered on more Italian menus than Mexican menus which I find ironic. This rice recipe was another recipe I am testing, for an upcoming class, for its taste, cost, time to make and ease of acquiring the ingredients. I find you can make fried rice and don’t always need the exotic flavorings for it to have a nice flavor but they definitely enhance the flavor when you can use ingredients such a rice wine vinegar or sesame oil. I hope you enjoy this recipe, my whole family did. A note about the rice – it’s best to use leftover rice from the day before or just make a batch the day before knowing you are going to make fried rice. A large skillet or wok-type pan works great for this recipe.
Recipe modified from the original at The Kitchn.
Fried Rice The Easy Way
Makes 4-6 servings
1/4 cup canola oil
3 1/2 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 shredded fresh carrots
2 small cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 block of tofu, drained and cubed
4 green onions, slice thin on the diagonal
3-4 Tbsp soy sauce
2-3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
Optional: a few splashes of hot sauce and/or sesame oil
In a large skillet add 1 tsp canola oil to warm on medium heat, add eggs and scramble, cooking just until done. Remove to a clean bowl. Add another tsp or two of oil and increase the heat to med-high. Add the drained and cubed tofu and cook until seared on all sides, remove to a clean bowl. Add 2 Tbsp of oil to the pan then add in the rice. Break up any large chunks and spread the rice around the pan. Let cook for a few minutes until the rice is getting brown and toasted looking. Turn the rice over to get the other side browned as well. Add in the rice wine vinegar and soy sauce and any of the optional sauces, the garlic, frozen corn and peas, and the carrots. Stir well and cook until heated through, taste and adjust seasonings. Add in the eggs, tofu and green onions then serve.
I love how this dish is packed with vegetables and using the tofu gives it the protein needed to round out the meal. This will work great for meatless meals, vegetarians and for vegans you could just omit the eggs. I had one son request this to be made more often. I think I’ll do that for him since he seems to eat so few vegetables. This is a winner and will be on my class menu.