By now, you've probably caught on to my love and possible mild obsession with Asian cuisine. The convenience and ease of preparing the delicious variety at home, makes it all the more tempting. Welcome to "Better Than Takeout" a segment of my blog where I feature favorite takeout and fast food classics — made from scratch. Not only is your own rendition cheaper but it gives you a chance to customize and put a spin on your go-to order!
Fragrant jasmine rice stir-fried with vegetables and an aromatic sauce to tie it all together.
Originating in China, fried rice is a stir-fried staple dish among both natives and restaurants serving its cuisine. Able to be eaten on its own or the counterpart of an entree, fried rice is simply composed of cooked long grain rice, mixed vegetables, soy sauce and the proteins of your choosing. So simple yet so delicious.
Grab an Apron & Let's Get Started!
fried rice 101
Rice: When it comes to fried rice, the type of rice you use to completely up to you. However, I would highly recommend using jasmine rice or any other type of long grain rice. Another rule of thumb is to ensure that your rice is a day old or at least cold. The rice will be easier to separate and limits the chances of it turning out mushy. Using warm or freshly cooked rice creates an undesirable texture, not reminiscent of what you find at takeout restaurants.
Quick tip: Rinse rice under cold water before cooking, this process removes the excess starch — ultimately preventing the rice from sticking together.
Add-Ins: Preparing fried rice is an easy way to "clean out your fridge". The choice of vegetables, proteins and substitutes are completely up to you. Feel free to add shrimp, chicken or frozen veggies. This recipe is simply a foundation for all of the possibilities you can come up with as this dish is completely customizable.
Sauce: For the sauce, I wanted that traditional flavor to be elevated but still taste familiar. The inclusion of soy sauce and oyster sauce, provides those customary savoury notes while the addition of brown sugar offers balance. I also added sriracha for extra flavor and spice, which is also able to be substituted with red pepper flakes.
know your ingredients:
When preparing a meal or dish, knowledge of ingredients is a key trait that every chef or home cook should acquire. Knowing when to use or substitute elements is an important feature when making a dish your own! Below are a few of the less common ingredients used within this recipe:
Sesame Oil: Sesame oil is a pressed vegetable oil extracted from sesame seeds. Though there are few variations, the most common is "toasted sesame oil" which carries a deep, almost "woody" color, flavor and aroma.
Oyster Sauce: Oyster sauce is a deep brown condiment commonly found throughout Asian cuisine. The sauce is made from cooked oyster liquid, sugar and salt among other ingredients. It has a uniquely savoury flavor with a thick consistency. This can be found at any Chinese market or the ethnic aisle of your local grocery store. *If you are unable to find it, its exclusion will not dramatically affect the overall flavor of your dish. Simply include more soy sauce.
If you happen to live in the Bahamas, feel free to message me & I'll happily let you know where you can find both ingredients locally.
How to Make:
Better Than Takeout: fried rice
Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 red bell pepper *diced
1/2 onion *diced
2 scallions *diced
1/2 large carrot *thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic *minced
1 tbsp ginger *minced
1/2 cup snow peas
2 cups cooked jasmine rice *see note above
For the Sauce:
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp sriracha or red pepper flakes
In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar and sriracha. Set aside.
In a large skillet over high heat, add vegetable oil and sesame oil. Once fully heated through (you want a extremely hot pan).
Add red bell pepper, onion scallion, and carrots. Saute for 4 minutes, until slightly softened.
Add garlic, ginger and snow peas. Continue cooking for 2 minutes.
Push the vegetable mixture to one side of the pan then add the egg to the other. Scramble then combine with vegetables.
Add cooked rice, after rice is partially heated through — add the sauce. Stir and saute for 5 minutes.
Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped scallions. Enjoy!