Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fried Rice



I have not had a good bowl of fried rice at any restaurant ever, EVER! Actually, Benihana has the right idea, but they should lose the butter and keep the rice on the griddle longer. Jasmine restaurant at Bellagio Casino does an okay visually appealing version of white on white—egg whites, jasmine rice, pulled dungeness crab meat whites. 

Fried rice should be not be mushy, but colorful, flavorful and with strong textures - sticky, chewy and crunchy. The idea is to sear everything in high heat, in batches, especially the white rice, for optimal flavor. The FLAVORS!



 **Fried Rice**

Olive oil
1 ¼ cup thinly sliced baby carrots
4 cloves smashed garlic
2 finely diced shallots
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
½ cup fresh corn kernels
6 egg whites
1 ½ cups king oyster mushrooms
1 ½ cups halved shitake mushrooms, washed and stems removed
3 Tablespoon julienne sliced fresh ginger
2 teaspoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoon sugar
2 ½ cups chopped Chinese broccoli/Chinese kale (Gai Lan)
5 cups cooked jasmine rice
3 Tablespoon Maggi seasoning
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
6 chopped green onions 

  1. In a 12” non-stick frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on high heat.
  2. Add carrots and cook without stirring until browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and corn to pan, stirring into carrots. Add 1/8 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Turn off heat.
  3. Cook the shallots until golden brown. Add shallots to the pan with the carrots and corn.
  4. In a separate 12” non-stick frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat, making sure to coat the bottom of pan completely. Pour in half of egg white, gently cooking the egg. Flip the egg white in pieces when fully cooked, but not browned. Place cooked egg white onto a plate. Make sure pan is re-coated with oil before cooking the remaining half of egg white. Place remaining cooked egg onto the egg plate and set aside.
  5. Using the same pan for the egg, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on high heat. Add all mushrooms and cook until browned, about 8 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking.
  6. Add ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, oyster sauce and sugar to mushroom mixture and stir, cooking until mixed. Add ginger and cook an additional 2 minutes. Pour mushroom mixture into pan with carrots.
  7. In same empty pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on high heat. Add Chinese broccoli and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add to carrot mixture.
  8. In same empty pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil on high heat. Add cooked jasmine rice, ½ tsp. salt and ½ tsp. black pepper. Cook for 4 minutes on each side without turning, allowing rice to begin to brown and become sticky before turning in sections. Turn rice and cook 4 more minutes on other side.
  9. Add rice to vegetable mixture and stir. Add Maggi seasoning and cook 6 minutes on high heat, stirring halfway.
  10. Slice cooked egg and add to rice/vegetable mixture. Cook 3 minutes on high heat.
  11. Add scallions and sesame seeds. Cook an additional 2 minutes. 
Okay, now with some pictures...
1.  In a 12” non-stick frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on high heat.
2.  Add carrots and cook without stirring until browned on one side, about 4 minutes.  Add garlic and corn to pan, stirring into carrots. Add 1/8 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Turn off heat.  Add "smashed garlic" versus minced garlic. The seared crunch of the smash garlic cloves add a sharp garlic flavor. Do not stir the carrots while they sear. Moving them too much will cause them to turn soggy. Add a fresh raw corn on the cob by cutting down the sides directly into the pan (easy and low mess).

3.  Cook the Shallots until golden brown. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Transfer the shallots to the pan with the carrot mixture.  Cook on high heat with little stirring. Beware of the teary shallots... hold breath, squint eyes...
When you add the shallots to the carrots, stir the mixture. Let it sit, heat turned off.
4.  In a separate 12” non-stick frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat, making sure to coat the bottom of the pan completely. Pour in half of the egg white, gently cooking the egg. Flip the egg white in pieces when fully cooked, but not browned. Place cooked egg white onto a plate. Make sure pan is re-coated with oil before cooking the remaining half of the egg white. Place the remaining cooked egg onto the egg plate and set aside.  Egg white (versus a yellow scrambled egg) add a subtle elegance. The texture of the egg white is solid, silky almost slippery, entirely different from that of a yellowy, coarse, puffy scrambled egg.
Keep the egg white thin, soft and wet (with oil). Avoid crispy brown edges.
5.  Using the same pan for the egg, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on high heat. Add all mushrooms and cook until browned, about 8 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking.  Must use splatter screen to protect yourself from the sizzling popping oil!
6.  Add ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, oyster sauce and sugar to mushroom mixture and stir, cooking until browned. Add ginger and cook an additional 2 minutes. Pour mushroom mixture into pan with carrots.  The sweet and potent smells from the seared ginger and sauce will take over...yum! Use "Vegetarian Stir-fry Sauce" or a "Vegetarian Oyster Sauce" as a vegetarian substitute for the oyster sauce.
Transfer the cooked mushrooms to the carrot mixture.
7.  In same empty pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on high heat. Add Chinese broccoli and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add to carrot mixture.  Again, have that splatter screen handy!
I am searing (browning, almost burning) each item independently and piling them all into one pan (versus transferring them to several containers) to conserve space.
8.  In same empty pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil on high heat. Add cooked jasmine rice, ½ tsp. salt and ½ tsp. black pepper. Cook for 4 minutes on each side without turning, allowing rice to begin to brown and become sticky before turning in sections. Turn rice and cook 4 more minutes on other side. Add small amounts of oil as needed.  Use fresh, hot, cooked Buddha brand jasmine rice right from the rice cooker. Add the hot steaming rice directly into the hot pan coated with oil.
9.  Add vegetable mixture to the rice and stir. Add Maggi seasoning and cook 6 minutes on high heat, stirring halfway.  If you don't have Maggi, use soy sauce or extra salt.
10.  Slice cooked egg and add to rice/vegetable mixture. Cook 3 minutes on high heat.  Adding the egg whites toward the end prevent the egg whites from yellowing (from the Maggi and mushrooms), keeping it a wet, brilliant white color.
Check it, closeup of "seared" (browning on high heat) fried rice, ultimately producing highly textured, chewy. crunch. So delicious!
11.  Add scallions and sesame seeds. Cook an additional 2 minutes.  Fresh scallions are a burst of green, soft crunch and ultra sweetness. Corn, a sugary moist crunch. Mushrooms, chewy and almost slippery. Egg white, silky, delicate and smooth. There's nothing like a surprise bite into a small chunk of seasoned seared smashed garlic. Oh, and the chewy, crispy, salty, peppery, sweet rice. Textures galore...
Roasted white sesame seeds and black sesame seeds add glittery touch and nutty crunch. 
Transfer to individual rice bowls or to a large serving dish. This could possibly the BEST fried rice EVER?!
This makes a delish dish by itself or, even better, pair it with a nice protein. Grilled fish? Steak? Chicken? Shrimp? Anything! This makes the perfect family style carb dish for a BBQ, potluck or care package. Sure this may take a few extra steps but - trust me - it is TOTALLY worth it.
Pile it up and serve with some chili on the side for extra kick! This fried rice recipe makes good leftovers, so save every bit it for the rest of the week. The best way is to heat it directly on a lightly oiled frying pan with the lid on (to keep the steam in).
Amazing Jenny came over to laugh, chill, cook, eat, measure everything and organize the frantic steps - sort of sort of slick recipe detective. Keeping you in our prayers all the time...

Now playing loud and clear: Mazzy Star, circa early 90s... sleepy, sultry and so pretty.

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