Thursday, February 7, 2008

Lita’s Plain Fried Rice

Before Lita taught me how to make fried rice I was clueless.

You use the cold left-over rice - do not use fresh hot rice. In a saute pan, appropriate for the amount of rice to be fried, add oil to lightly cover the bottom, a tablespoon or two. Heat the oil just until you get that hint of a rainbow in the oil, but the oil is not smoking. Add the rice and smash it about a bit with the bottom of a wooden spoon. Keep pushing the rice around gently, turning down the heat if needed, until you get the consistency of crispiness that you want. While cooking, add salt and pepper. I should note that I do not put salt in the rice when I cook it the first time.  Lita told me not to salt it, so I don't.  It doesn't seem to need it the first time round.  Fried rice can take quite a bit of salt, which is the key flavor ingredient. It’s a bit like making hash-browns. You want that element of crispiness, which are known as rice crackers.

Adding to the Fried Rice

If you want to add things to the friend rice you do so after it has been fried up. I like to get the add-in ready ahead of time.

1. egg - depending on how much friend rice you have, you simply add to the finished fried rice a scrambled egg or two. The eggs are fried in a separate pan, and then kept ready to add in a small dish.

2. green onions - have then all sliced up and add to the finished fried rice. It's a pleasing thing to cut the green part on the diagonal.

3. peas &/or corn - just put some into the friend rice and they will warm up quickly. I'm talking of frozen of course.

4. leftover meat - I dice up the meat and have it ready to throw into the friend rice. If you like you can fry up the meat a bit in a separate pan, the one the egg was scrambled in for example.

5. You can put in anything you want, just make sure that when you put it into the fried rice it's pretty much already to eat.

6. Seasonings - If I'm adding extra ingredients to the fried rice then I also add seasonings like soy sauce, or sambal, or sesame oil, or you name it. Just don't be heavy handed. You want to sneak up on it, tasting as you go.

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