Fried rice is one of those dishes where preferences are very individualized (much like how well-done you like your instant noodles). Peas, no peas, soy sauce, no soy sauce, scrabbled egg bits or egg mixed right in, and the list goes on. My mom’s fried rice – aside from the protein – always has peas, diced onions, and scrabbled egg bits. She never seasons it with soy sauce. There are a ton of variations out there, but one thing remains consistent across all good fried rice recipes: using old rice.
Old rice is a must. Using freshly made rice usually ends in disaster – it’s just too moist. If you’re in a hurry, you can make rice, cool it off and put it in the fridge, uncovered. The fridge will usually dry out the rice enough for a decent fry-up.
Even Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s slightly French-ified ginger fried rice recipe calls for day old jasmine rice. Jean-Georges fried rice is vegetarian, which isn’t too common for typical home-style Chinese fried rices, but you won’t miss the meat in this dish. The ingredients are fried up separately, which is a traditional Chinese technique. Cooking the ingredients separately is key in making fried rice as cooking times vary for individual ingredients.
In Jean-Georges’ fried rice, ginger and garlic are crisped up and then removed from the wok. Leeks are browned and fried up with the rice. The slight-sweetness of the softened leeks and the crispiness of the garlic and ginger make this fried rice incredibly moreish. Top it off with a sunny side up egg and you have a winner on your hands!
Ginger Fried Rice Recipe from nytimes.com
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 cup thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed and dried
- 2 cups day-old cooked rice, preferably jasmine, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
In a wok or large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp and brown. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels and salt lightly.
Reduce heat under skillet to medium-low and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the leeks. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season lightly with salt.
Raise heat to medium and add rice. Cook, stirring well, until heated through. Season to taste with salt.
In a nonstick skillet, fry eggs in remaining oil, sunny-side-up, until edges are set but yolk is still runny.
Divide rice among two dishes. Top each with an egg and drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Sprinkle crisped garlic and ginger over everything and enjoy hot.