Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Side Dish Becomes the Main Attraction

Good evening everyone!  I've made mention several times here on the blog how much I love the Mexican cuisine, but at a very close second, I also love Chinese food.  And while I have the essentials of Mexican cooking down, I can't say the same for Chinese.  I have had several opportunities to prove myself and try varying degrees of Asian food here on the blog, but I have never tackled one of the most well-known Chinese foods...until today.

The Recipe:  Vegetable Fried Rice
An adapted recipe from

What You'll Need:
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Onion, diced
3 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1 Teaspoon ground Ginger
3 whole Scallions, white and green separated
3/4 Cup Sugar Snap Peas, ends trimmed off and cut into smaller pieces
3/4 Cup shredded Carrots
4 large Eggs, lightly beaten
4 Cups cold, cooked Jasmine Rice

To start, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  For this portion of the recipe, it's important to keep a medium-high heat for the skillet.  You don't want to overheat the pan, or else your vegetables will become very crispy.  Once the pan is heated, add one tablespoon of the oil.  Add the onions to the pan and season with salt and pepper.  Cook the onions until they become slightly translucent and fragrant, about two to four minutes.  Add the garlic, ginger, and scallion whites.  Stir fry this mixture until everything becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Next, add the sugar snap peas and shredded carrots.  Stir this combination until everything is well combined and all ingredients are heated through, about five minutes.  Once cooked, transfer into a large bowl and cover to keep warm.

Return the skillet to the heat and add two more tablespoons of oil.  Once the pan has returned to medium-high heat, add the beaten eggs and season again with salt and pepper.  To cook the eggs, stir them constantly, and when the eggs are almost set, yet still moist, transfer the eggs into another bowl, cover to keep warm, and set aside.

Again, return the skillet to the heat and heat the remaining oil.  Once the pan has returned to medium-high heat, add the cooked rice to the pan.  Using a spatula, break up any clumps that have formed.  Season with salt and pepper and stir fry the rice to coat with the oil.  Once the rice is covered, stop stirring the rice until it becomes slightly crispy, about two minutes.  Stir the rice again, removing any clumps that have been newly formed.  Add in the scallion greens, the stir-fried vegetables, and eggs.  Stir all the ingredients together until everything is well incorporated.  Heat this mixture until the ingredients are warmed, about two to three minutes.  If you want, add a splash of soy sauce for a little hint of flavor.  Serve and enjoy!

The End Result:

While this fried rice is in no means, like they serve in any Chinese restaurant, I'm proud of the fact that I actually got to create this dish.  The rice remained a bit sticky, probably from the remnants of cooking it the night before.  But once it became warm, it was a good base for all the other ingredients.  The onions, sugar snap peas, carrots, and scallions were cooked to perfection - not too raw and not too overdone.  Adding a bit of soy sauce right before serving gave the fried rice a bit of flavor and if you are wanting more flavor, you can add more soy sauce, or any Asian inspired seasoning to this dish - it won't certainly take any flavor away from it.  

That's all we have for you this evening, thanks for joining us for another week from around our culinary world!  Enjoy the holiday weekend and the unofficial start to summer.  Check back next week as we showcase our adventures in the kitchen.  Until then,


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