Fried Rice

An easy, quick, tasty and filling meal

Fried rice is a staple of Chinese restaurants, but it is very easy to make at home. In restaurants, it is a way to use leftover cooked rice, but you should make your own. The best is Texas Basmati rice, a fragrant long-grain rice of high quality, but any long-grain rice can be used. Per person, combine 1/2 cup of rice with a cup of water, a small pat of butter and a little salt in a saucepan. Bring just to a boil, turn the heat down to low, cover, and simmer for at least 25 minutes (in Denver). Do not remove the lid of the pot, which lets steam escape. Turn off the heat and let the pot sit until you are ready to use the rice.

If you have some cooked meat, such as chicken, shrimp, pork or beef, it can be cut into small pieces and added to the fried rice. If you are going to use such additions, fry one strip of bacon. Otherwise, fry two strips until crisp and set aside. Leave about a tablespoon of fat in the frying pan. Alternatively, just use a tablespoon of oil. Add about 1/4 cup of chopped onion and fry until transparent. Add about a cup of frozen peas and fry lightly until thawed and slightly cooked. In a small bowl, mix one or two eggs with a tablespoon of soy sauce. Then scramble the eggs in the frying pan. Fried rice is really Chinese scrambled eggs, and just eggs and bacon can make a good dish. As usual, you can add anything you like, such as chopped scallions, green pepper or celery, but this is unnecessary. Put the cooked rice in the frying pan, and mix thoroughly with the vegetables and scrambled egg. If you like more soy sauce, drizzle it here and there and mix it in. Note that the rice is not actually fried, just warmed up. Finally, crumble the bacon and add it to the rest. Garnish with chopped scallions if desired.

This is a one-dish meal, with balanced amounts of all nutrients. The fat comes from the bacon and the eggs only, and is less than that in one hamburger for the whole thing. Any leftovers can be reheated in the microwave. The essential ingredients are rice, oil, eggs and soy sauce, with onion and frozen peas desirable--all are staples that you will probably have around in an emergency.

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Composed by J. B. Calvert
Created 11 June 2002
Last revised