How To: Rice It Up (Part 1)
“Rice again!” As an Asian-Canadian growing up this wasn’t an uncommon remark at home. But as I got older I have come to learn that rice is really the universal food. Found in every type of cuisine, it is at least one thing that each and every country has in common.
Believe it or not, there are over 4,000 different types of rice—not including all the “instant” versions out there, don’t use these. Don’t stress yourself out. All you really need is a small selection: Medium to long-grain rice like Jasmine rice, or Japanese brown rice, which can be used as a healthier substitute for some dishes, Arborio rice, for risotto, and maybe some wild rice, if you want to get fancy. It’s not complicated, it’s just rice. So, next time you’re feeling for some rice, don’t think that it has to be boring, do it up with these simple recipes.
Serving below is for 4.
ASIAN: FRIED RICE.
2 cups of cooked Jasmine rice
4 tbsp of vegetable oil
¼ cup of diced onions
1 clove of garlic
½ cup of diced chicken, pork, or shrimp or use all (leftovers work great)
¼ cup of diced carrots (go ahead and use frozen, I won’t tell anyone)
¼ cup of peas
½ cup of bean sprouts (optional)
4 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tsp of sesame seed oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped scallions for garnish
Note: Fried rice comes together pretty quickly, so be sure to have all your ingredients ready to go before you begin cooking.
- If you’re using pork and/or chicken as your protein, cook these first in the pan with a little oil and a bit of soy sauce. Once cooked remove it from the pan and set aside.
- In a separate bowl scramble your eggs. Add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil to the same pan and cook your eggs. Once cooked remove it from the pan and set aside.
- Over medium heat, sauté garlic and onion together in 2 tbsp of vegetable oil until your onions become translucent. If your garlic is burning, your heat is too high.
- If you aren’t using frozen carrots, add your diced carrots now to allow them to soften for a few minutes.
- Add rice, and break it up in the pan. Day-old, rice works perfectly in this dish too.
- Add peas, bean sprouts, pork and/or chicken, or your raw shrimp, and bean sprouts. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the eggs, remember not to break it up too much.
- 1 tbsp at a time, add your soy sauce, allowing it to mix into the rice. And finish it off with your sesame seed oil.
- Allow all the ingredients to come together for a couple of minutes, garnish with your scallions and serve your fried rice hot. And viola! It’s that easy.