Friday, August 20, 2010

Foolproof Fried Rice

When you forage through your 'fridge in hopes of finding enough ingredients to assemble a meal, what do you find?

In our household, eggs are a given. And I can always count on those "baby" carrots that we buy but seldom eat. Some kind of leftover meat - ham, Canadian bacon or leftover chicken - is usually lurking. I can unearth wilted green onions and half of a forgotten red pepper. And I'm never without peas in the freezer and garlic in the pantry.

I have the fixings for one of my favorite go-to meals - fried rice. It's easy, delicious, nutritious and a great way to use up the bits and pieces in your fridge.

The trick is to have cold, leftover rice on hand. You can bring home the uneaten rice from an Asian restaurant. Or you can make extra rice and chill. Both are good options, but aren't always available when the urge for fried rice strikes.

So I'll share with you a little secret to ensure that you always have all the fixings for fried rice on hand: brown rice from the freezer section at Trader Joe's.

No need to defrost. Just dump a bag of the frozen grains into your sizzling wok or fry pan. And, believe it or not, the results are superior to the leftover Japanese short-grained brown rice that I sometimes use. The TJ's frozen rice produces beautiful, separate grains, and that's the secret to a great, mush-free meal.

The young adults in my household thumb their noses at plain brown rice, but when it's fried with meat, veggies and egg, they gobble it down. Even my one-year-old grandson can't get enough. And, best of all, we never get bored because the variations are endless.

  • Go to Wandering Chopsticks for several fried rice recipes, including this one with Chinese sausage, frozen vegetables and egg. I credit her for teaching me to make fried rice.
  • Some fried rice recipes call for cooking the egg separately and adding it in later. Another technique (my favorite) is to saute the meat and veggies, push them to the side and cook the egg in the well in the center.

15 comments:

pasadenapio said...

I've never bought frozen rice in my life! But now I'll give it a try. Trader Joe's, here I come...

Lori Webster said...

TJ's frozen brown rice is one of my favorite finds there....never thought about making fried rice with it, though. Thanks, Susan!

Jean Spitzer said...

Rats. I'm no longer in TJ country.

altadenahiker said...

I made my first skillet of fried rice this year and was surprised at how easy it was. Do you have some good recipes, or do you always just toss in whatever you find in the fridge?

Trish said...

we tried the TJ's rice...plain or just with protein over it we weren't impressed. but a fried rice, I bet it is great---I'll have to try that next week.

and Jean, if you've got a whole foods or other type of market, they too *may* have the frozen rice.

Jean Spitzer said...

Thanks, Trish. As it happens, I'm in the birthplace of Whole Foods, now, so that's a great suggestion.

Petrea said...

This is going to come in sooo handy.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I could do this. I went to the Thai section of your market Susan. The question now is, what is fish sauce? and do you have to keep it frozen? This has me weary. Something about that old fashion fish fertilizer they used on dichondra lawns back in the 60's. My gag reflex gets activated

altadenahiker said...

Oh gee, did I miss all the suggestions at the bottom of the post? I'm so embarrassed.

Margaret said...

I'm a big fan of fried rice. And, yes, what is it with those baby carrots that beg to be purchased by seldom eaten?

Food Gal said...

It's true. Even from meager pickings from my pantry, I can almost always throw together at the spur of the moment fried rice, omelets, or pasta. They have saved me many a time. ;)

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I tried the rice but in combination with some thai deal (TJ) ehh

btw: did you catch my latest blog post? Mr V reads. It should not be missed

Velva said...

I forage through my fridge at least once a week trying to come up with some edible to feed the family. Whatever I find, often includes leftover rice as a foundation.

twoguyswithanappetite.com said...

You're funny. But The Two Guys can't stand the aisles at Trader Joe's.

We just have to make rice at home.

Come on over.

Mary said...

Thanks for the tip and for visiting me. I've missed you. Hope all is well. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary