I have a major craving for fried rice. Mom’s basic, short-cut fried rice, to be exact. Not to be confused with her all-out combination fried rice reserved for special occasions. Just her school night, easy fried rice.
So I set out to make myself a batch based on what I could remember. Then I second guessed myself and went for the phone to call her…then I put down the phone before dialing because I couldn’t bring myself to admit to her that I couldn’t remember what she taught me!
Call her? (and admit defeat) Don’t call her? (you can do this!) Call her? (she’ll help, of course, but she’ll laugh) Don’t call her! (she can’t know I don’t totally remember!)
I decided not to call her and start digging through the refrigerator, pantry and freezer for what I think should go into this dish.
Voila! I have it all on hand. Leftover rice, margarine, vegetable oil, bag of frozen veggies, eggs, soy sauce, salt, pepper & garlic powder.
Don’t laugh at my banged up stick of margarine; so what if I dropped it, uh, I mean, it fell out of the fridge! I like margarine over butter in this dish, I can’t explain it. Just a taste preference, I guess.
The shrimp I had on hand were frozen and I don’t feel like dealing with shells and I didn’t have any pre-diced ham, leftover chicken, pork or bacon so this batch is vegetarian (if you’re a veg that is ok with eggs, that is).
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and margarine.
Be careful because oil & margarine don’t mix as well as oil & butter do. Just keep an eye on it and raise the skillet off the heat if it gets too hot.
Add the leftover, cold, white rice. Lucky me, Mom made me some rice late last week that I found in the fridge.
If your mom didn’t leave you any, think leftover Chinese take-out, or make a larger pot of white rice than usual and let the leftovers hang out in the fridge for about a week. Fresh rice will be too soggy to fry.
Break up the rice and toss to coat. It might look like you have too much oil and butter in the pan, but keep in mind you have veggies and eggs to add still.
Now the important part ~ DON’T STIR for 2-3 minutes to allow the rice to “fry” up. I use this time to open up my seasonings caps and bag of frozen veggies.
After 2-3 minutes, stir, using a spatula to bring the fried layer up to the top to give the other grains a chance. Add veggies.
Add seasonings (garlic powder, pepper, salt), stir to combine, then step away for another 2-3 minutes.
I use this time to put my seasonings away.
Add soy sauce ~ you can use any type you like. This is the homestretch folks!
Stir to combine and make pockets, or wells in the rice for your eggs.
Cover them with rice and let the eggs steam up for 2-3 minutes.
I use this time to wipe the counters and get dishes and silverware out.
Now go crazy ~ use your spatula to break up the egg yolks and stir to cook and scramble the egg into the rice.
About another 2 minutes or so, then remove from heat to a serving bowl and devour.
Well, of course, I’ll feed the kids too! You know my little Pookies love rice as much as I do!
Easy Fried Rice Recipe
- 4-5 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons of margarine
- 4-5 cups leftover white rice
- 1 cup of mixed veggies (frozen) ~ I stick to peas & carrots
- 2-3 eggs ~ your preference
- 1-2 teaspoons garlic powder, to taste
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
Heat oil and margarine in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once margarine melts and oil is hot, add cold rice and stir to break apart and coat grains evenly. DO NOT stir for 2-3 minutes. Get seasonings and veggies ready to add. After 2-3 minutes, use a spatula to bring the “fried” grains to the top and rotate un-fried grains to the heat. Add frozen vegetables, garlic powder, salt & pepper; stir to combine with the rice and distribute seasonings. After 2-3 minutes, add soy sauce and stir once again, leaving pockets or wells. Crack your eggs into these wells and cover them up with additional rice/veggie mixture. After 2-3 minutes, use a spatula to break up the egg yolks and stir to cook and scramble the egg into the rice. About another 2 minutes or so, then remove from heat to a serving bowl. Garnish with chopped scallions and serve warm.
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
Makes: 4-6 servings