There’s Something About Fried Rice

I just can’t resist good, cheap, greasy fried rice. My obsession started in grad school, when a Panda Express (or something like that) opened up on campus, and on the days I had to be at school all day long and didn’t think I could survive on my little bag of nuts and dried fruit, well, fried rice was the answer.  Because it cost about $3.25 and you got a whole little take-out box packed down with rice. I  would always grab a few mustard and soy sauce packets and a spoon (don’t judge– I didn’t have enough time to eat with chopsticks, people) and I would sit myself down somewhere and just eat my face full of fried rice.

And especially on the cold rainy days– it was sheer bliss.  So anyway, I’ve been longing for fried rice lately.  So I made a big pot of brown rice last week.  And I had saved all the little slivers of beef from the take-out pho that John surprised me with from this beautiful restaurant which is literally on our street, just a few blocks down.

So the next day I fried up a couple of eggs, and then heated up some oil and cooked the beef (torn into smallish pieces) with a bunch of diced onion and a little carrot and then the rice, and I just kept cooking it until it looked like fried rice.  And then I ate it with soy sauce and some real Chinese mustard that I bought at the grocery specifically for this occasion.

This makes such an economical, warming, and easy dish for cold nights.  With a tiny bit of meat and an egg or two per person, you get plenty of protein, and the delicious greasiness fills you up for hours and hours and warms you from the inside out.  I am hesitantly offering my method for making it below, but there is probably a more authentic way.

Good, Greasy Fried Rice

3-4 cups day old cooked brown rice

2-3 eggs

1/2 c. olive oil

a few ounces of nice, fatty pork or beef, cut into small pieces (preferably raw, but if you have some already cooked, you can use that, too)

1 c. finely diced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 c. diced carrots and peas (optional)

a few scallions, chopped (optional)

1. Scramble egg in the wok with a little oil, set aside on a plate.

2.  Add the rest of the olive oil to the wok and let heat to med-high heat.  Add meat and stir for a minute or two until cooked.  Add onion, garlic, rice and other vegetables.  Stir around a little and then let everything sit for a minute or two on the heat so some pieces can get nice and brown.  Stir a little more and then let sit.  Repeat that until it looks like fried rice.  Cut up the scrambled eggs and mix those in.  Serve with soy sauce and Chinese mustard.


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