Ah, fried rice. You glorious side dish, you. You’ve got the perfect texture of rice that has stuck to the side of the wok and vegetables that are just tender enough. Your flavours are simple, yet varied. And you pair so well with any number of stir-fries, but also taste great on your own, reheated for lunch the next day. I guess what I’m trying to say is, you are perfect in every way. And so ridiculously versatile. Let’s be friends?
My love of (Westernised) Asian food continues today with this ode to fried rice. It’s so great because you can pretty much pick and choose the fillings for your fried rice, based on the leftovers you have in your fridge. The only meat I really like in fried rice is bacon, but you can add cooked chicken or pork or prawns.
Chuck in some corn, peas, carrots, spring onions and egg and you’re all set. Of course, you can expand the veggie selection. I had an amazing fried rice in Santa Monica a few years ago that had capsicum, green beans, edamame and (my favourite part) crispy spinach, along with the usual suspects listed above. One day I will return to California solely to eat this fried rice again. And I hope I haven’t placed it on such a high pedestal in my memory that I’m disappointed by it in reality.
In the meantime, I’ve got this super easy fried rice to get me through the day. Serve it up as a side for dinner, pack up the leftovers and eat the rest for lunch or dinner the next day. Two birds, one stone. Lunches are always the hardest meal for me. I hate salads and I find the bread on homemade sandwiches is either too stale or too soggy or just not nice. For the last few weeks, I’ve gone down a different route. I make a big batch of something on a Sunday night, divvy it up and take it in to work every day. Last week was risotto, this week is fried rice. I think it’s a pretty sweet deal really. When it starts getting colder, I’ll add soup into the fray and it’ll really be variety central in this house!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes (includes time taken to cook rice)
1 cup uncooked basmati or long-grain white rice
1 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 rashers back or short-cut bacon (Canadian bacon in the US), diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
½ cup frozen peas, thawed
¼ cup corn kernels
(can be substituted with 1¼ cup frozen carrots, peas and corn mixture, thawed)
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp soy sauce
- Cook rice as per your preferred method. I use a microwave rice cooker, which takes about 11 minutes. When finished, set aside to cool. You can also use leftover cooked rice if preferred.
- When rice is cooked, heat ½ tbsp vegetable oil in a large wok over medium-low heat, then add beaten eggs. Swirl eggs around wok to create an omelette and cook for about 2 minutes, before turning and cooking for 1-2 minutes, until omelette is cooked through. Remove from wok and set aside.
- Turn stove up to medium heat and heat remaining vegetable oil in wok. Add bacon, stirring for 3 minutes, until cooked through. Add diced carrots and cook for 2 minutes, until softened. Stir in peas, corn and spring onions. Cut omelette into small pieces, then add to wok.
- Stir everything well, add rice and carefully stir to combine fully. Pour soy sauce over rice and mix well. I like to press the rice flat and let it sit in the hot wok for a few minutes longer without stirring to get some crispy rice pieces, but you can serve immediately if you don’t like those.
- If storing leftover fried rice, allow rice to cool fully to room temperature, then transfer to airtight containers and keep refrigerated for 2-3 days.
Recipe adapted from Taste.