Fake Fried Rice


Welcome one and all to another installment of Food in Mind. This was originally the fourth installment of The Ghetto Cook, an ongoing series from www.teamliquid.net where I show my poor fellow bastards of the world how to use budget ingredients to make actually edible food. This installment is all about fried rice, possibly the quickest, dirtiest, and cheapest dish to be featured yet. But the question you might be asking yourself now is, why is it fucking fake?

The answer, my friends, is that real fried rice is fairly complex. You absolutely need a large wok and a gas stove (for the high heat that electric ranges cannot produce) to begin with, and then you’d need some expert wrist techniques to stir the fried rice to boot. So if you have those three things, feel free to skip my walkthrough and read the one in the link instead.

What I will be showing you is how to fake your fried rice using an electric range and a non-stick pot. I guarantee it will be delicious, and even partially simulate that smoky wok flavor you’d get from real fried rice.

Ingredients

Fried rice can be made from a myriad of ingredients. There is almost no wrong combination. The ingredients I used are for a very basic fried rice. Feel free to swap out and experiment with whatever you have on hand. Common additional ingredients are cubed chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, sausage, or some other protein source. Drained canned tuna also makes a mean fried rice.

Fried rice. Srs bsns.

Leftover rice*
Onion, diced
Carrots, diced
Scallions, chopped
1-2 eggs, beaten
Frozen green peas
Salt**
Vegetable Oil***
Soy Sauce****

*Leftover, cold rice is traditional and produces the best results. You want to use a medium or short grain rice (Calrose rice is pictured) cooked slightly on the dry side. Don’t use sticky or (for fuck’s sake) long grain rice, this isn’t sushi or pilaf.
**I used salt only. Black pepper is not traditionally paired with salt in Chinese cuisine, but you can use it if you must.
***Peanut oil is preferred, use that if you have it.
****Optional, for color only

Procedure

NOTE: I highly recommend that you have a mise en place set up with all your ingredients ready and chopped in bowls before you start, so you can dump them into the pot in rapid succession during cooking.

Begin by placing your non-stick pot on the stove and pre-heating it at medium heat for a few minutes. This is to temper the pot so you don’t ruin its non-stick surface. Then crank the heat up to high (yes, even with fake fried rice you want your heat as high as possible) and pour out about 1 1/2 tbsp  (about 8 grams) of cooking oil into the pot. Let sit for another minute, then dump the carrots into the pot first.

Bloom effect just like in your xbox

This step is necessary to kill a lot of the aroma of these carrots, which would otherwise overpower everything else in the dish. Fry the carrots solo for 2-3 minutes and then dump the beaten eggs into the pot. If you aren’t using carrots, dump eggs into the pot first. The eggs should cook almost instantly. Stir it around for 10 seconds for it to somewhat solidify.

Then, in quick succession, add rice, chopped onions, and a small amount of soy sauce (just a splash, or 1-2 teaspoons). The onions do not need to be pre-cooked. They will reach perfect texture by the end of cooking. Break the rice up as well as you can with your spatula and constantly stir the pot.

Looks like shit now, but just you wait

You do not want the stuff near the bottom of the pot to burn. When the rice is heated up a bit, you can mash blocks of rice against the side of the pot to break it up easily. Stir constantly while breaking up the rice until the soy sauce has been evenly distributed among the rice and there are no more clumps of rice. Add salt to taste and then stir; the dish is almost done. Once the salt is incorporated, add the frozen peas and scallions.

like peas in a pot

When the peas are cooked through, plate the dish immediately and serve hot.

NOTE: if you are using any additional protein sources or other ingredients your fried rice procedure will differ slightly. Try to time it so that everything is cooked perfectly by the end. This generally means that any chicken, beef, shrimp etc. should probably be pre-cooked and added towards the end.

The Result

Your steaming pile of reward

4.5 / 5 Folks, this is as close as you can get to the real deal on the electric range. This recipe is the culmination of dozens of trial-and-error attempts to make better fried rice with inferior equipment. It is also a sad reminder that most kitchens in the US aren’t fucking equipped to properly make real food. Fuck that shit, America.

Thus concludes this installment of Food in Mind. As always, questions and comments are welcome, especially if you know how something can be improved.

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