My Delicious House Special Fried Rice

 
A delicious recipe for the whole family.

 

Favorite Dish

 

I like all kinds of food, but my favorite dish—one I could eat day after day—is my own special version of fried rice.  I use brown rice in my recipe and lots of ingredients to make this a healthy, hearty meal.  Now, most people may be thinking of the fried rice they get at a Chinese restaurant, which is typically made with white rice, a little BBQ pork, perhaps some scrambled egg and a medley of peas and carrots.  Believe me, it’s just not the same. In fact, once you try my version you may never want to go back to the old stuff.

 

The More The Merrier

 

I love making a big “wok” full of this delicious fare for dinner about once a week, and since I usually make this amount for two people there is often enough leftover I can have it for lunch over the next couple of days.  One really nice thing about this meal is how well it reheats in the microwave.

 

 

Forgiving Meal

 

A little variety is best.

Once you’ve got the basics down you can spice it up.

One of the best aspects of cooking fried rice is it is a very forgiving meal, meaning you can substitute a variety of ingredients to make it a little different each time.  For example, I’ll occasionally add cashews or fresh basil, or even some broccoli, carrots or sprouts.  Once you’ve got the basic recipe down on this one, it’s great to experiment.

 

Let’s Do It

 

So let’s begin.  To start, you’ll want to gather the following ingredients.  I prepare everything ahead of time, as once the rice is cooked I can stir fry the rest in about 8 to 10 minutes.

 

Ingredients:

 

I add chicken broth to my brown rice.

Start by cooking the rice.

Prepare The Rice

2 cups of California medium grain brown rice (I use the Tsuro Mai brand which I can get from my grocer.)

3 Cups water

2 chicken bullion cubes.  (If you prefer chicken broth you can use it instead of the water and bullion cubes).

 

To Prepare The Rest

 

You'll want cooking oil, seasame oil, soy sauce and fish sauce.

Start with less soy sauce to begin with. You can always add more later.

2 tablespoons extra light olive or avocado oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

3 to 6 tablespoons soy sauce (Start on the low end.  Too much soy sauce can overpower the rice.  As I do this a lot, I usually shake mine straight out of the bottle.  I’ll always use about half my soy sauce up front and then add a little more at the end to adjust taste as needed.)

½ teaspoon Thai fish sauce (I use “Thai Kitchen Premium Fish Sauce”.)

1 medium to large sweet onion chopped.

You're going to want onions and peas, not to mention shrimp or other meats.

I love shrimp in this recipe, but you can substitute other meats.

1 cup frozen petite peas (I think petite or baby peas taste better than regular peas. A great alternative is to use some fresh cut up broccoli.)

1 cup chopped up chicken (Using pre-cooked is easiest.)

1 cup chopped up BBQ pork

1 to 1 ½ pounds of pre-cooked shrimp (Frozen is okay. Tails off is easier than on, but either works.)

¼ cup “crumbled” smoked salmon

1 teaspoon of fresh crushed ground pepper (You can add more to your taste at the end.)

Optional: Add some red chili pepper flakes to taste if you want to spice up the dish.

 

You can make this complete dish in about 50 minutes if you include the time needed to cook the rice.  Otherwise, if the rice is ready, plan on about 20 – 25 minutes to prepare the other ingredients and then stir fry them.

 

Rice First

 

At least 50 minutes to an hour before you put this together you’ll want to start your rice.  I use a particular brand of California medium grain brown rice because I like how it cooks, I’ve learned it’s better for me, and I love the texture which seems more “nutty” to me than white rice.  You can use either, though I recommend giving brown rice a try the first time around.

 

Rice Primer

 

If you have a method you prefer for cooking rice, then go for it. Otherwise, you’ll want to find a type of rice that works well for frying.  Several of the varieties I tried at first didn’t work that well—they ended up too mushy. In retrospect, I think this may be because I used too much water.  In any case, the brand and method I’m describing here works well every time. Thus, if you are unhappy with this recipe the first go round, try a different variety of rice or try reducing the amount of water you use to cook it.  If you can’t find a California medium grain brown rice, then I suggest trying various varieties of rice you find in the “Asian Food” aisle at the grocery store.

 

Proportions

 

Measure out 2 cups of brown rice and 3 cups of water.  If you have an instant hot water tap, you can speed this along by using it for the water.  Put both the rice and water in a 3 quart kettle along with the bullion cubes.  Cover the kettle and put it on a burner.  Set the temperature to high heat.  As soon as the rice and water come to a strong boil reduce the temperature to medium low.  Now, set your timer for 40 minutes.  When the timer goes off the rice should be done, but you can stir it with a wooden spoon to check it.  If there’s still water in the bottle of the kettle, then cook the rice longer until the water is fully absorbed.  Note:  It took me awhile to figure out the best temp and time for my rice so you may have to experiment.  This may also be different if you’re cooking on a gas stove.

 

A Word On Shrimp

 

I soak my shrimp first, especially if it smells fishy.

Prepare the shrimp ahead so it’s ready to go.

About 10 to 15 minutes before the rice is done you can start preparing the rest of your ingredients.  I usually start with the shrimp as mine comes frozen.  I’ll throw a bunch of shrimp in a colander and then rinse it thoroughly.  Then I’ll dump the rinsed shrimp in a bowl of tepid water and let it soak and defrost.  After it defrosts enough to separate, I pull tails off (providing they come with tails on) and rinse one more time.  Lots of cooks leave tails on as they cook, but I don’t like finding crunchy tail fragments in with the rice as I eat it.  One note:  I’ve used lots of different brands of shrimp, though some seem to smell much fishier than others.  Soaking and rinsing seems to help, but be sure to let the shrimp drain well before cooking it.  Also, it’s very easy to overcook shrimp which tends to make it rubbery.  This is especially true of “pre-cooked” shrimp which is what I use.  I only need to cook it about a minute or so to warm it through.

 

Onions

 

Chop onions to your preference.

Chop up the onion and get it ready to go.

I love sweet onions and consider them a critical part of this recipe.  I chop my onions pretty fine, but it’s a personal preference.  If you have a family member that claims they don’t like onions you can still “sneak them in” by chopping them really fine.

 

Once the onions are chopped, I’ll grind some pepper over the top of them and then set them aside until I’m ready to throw them in the wok. (My “wok” is really just a big wok-shaped non-stick fry pan.  An electric non-stick skillet may work just as well though you may have to adjust cooking time.)

 

Chicken, Pork and Salmon

 

Debone your chicken and chop it up into small chunks.

Use up leftover chicken from the night before.

Now, it’s on to the meat and smoked salmon.  I prefer my fried rice to have a variety of flavors and textures so I like to use a combination of meats, and a touch of smoked salmon.  I typically use chicken and BBQ pork for the meat.  However, for the pictures I used here I had some leftover ham so I used that instead of pork.  I’ve also used sausage on occasion instead of pork (either Aidell’s Chicken Apple sausage or Jennie-O Turkey Sausage).  Both of these sausages are lower in fat content than many other varieties.  As for the chicken, I’ve found it convenient to get one of those roasted chickens from the store the night before I make this recipe and then use the leftovers in my dish.  That means my chicken won’t have to cook as long as chicken that’s raw.  By the way, these directions assume your chicken is pre-cooked.  If you start with raw chicken, cook it in the oils and soy sauce first and then add the onions and so on.

 

Mix It Up

 

Don't forget to add smoked salmon.

I get my meats ready. Keep the salmon separate as it goes in later.

No matter which meat you choose, you’ll want to end up with about 2 cups of it when it’s all chopped up.  I often shop at Costco, so for this dish I’ll typically buy my BBQ pork and smoked salmon there.  Costco also has pre-cooked chicken strips that come in the refrigerated section, but I’ve even used sliced deli chicken or turkey from the grocer on occasion.  As for the salmon, it doesn’t take much to overwhelm your rice.  I usually cut off about a half-inch thick slice of salmon from a chunk I get from the store and then crumble it up prior to cooking.  The amount you end up with should work out to about a quarter of a cup.  One note:  Salmon, soy sauce, and some of the meats you use contain salt, so you really shouldn’t need to add extra salt to this dish.

 

Once the rice is cooked, the onions chopped, the shrimp de-tailed, and the meat and salmon prepared, we’re ready to throw it all together.  You ready?  This final stir fry step only takes about 8 – 10 minutes.

 

Cooking

 

It doesn't take long to cook the peas.

After the onions brown, toss in the peas.

Start with your liquids:  Pour extra light olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce and fish sauce in the pan.  Turn the stove to high.  As soon as the liquid starts bubbling (about a half minute or so) add the onions.  Stir the onions a couple minutes until they start to brown and soften.  Note: You’ll want to stir everything in this dish frequently.

 

Stir your dish frequently while it cooks.

After the peas, add the BBQ pork and pre-cooked chicken.

Now, add in the frozen peas.  Again, stir a minute or so and then add in the meat (i.e. the chicken and BBQ pork).  Then after another minute of cooking toss in the smoked salmon.  Mix it well with the rest and then toss in the shrimp.  Remember: It’s easy to overcook the shrimp so no more than a minute later add the rice.  With my rice now piled high atop the rest, I usually grind a little more pepper and shake on a more soy sauce over everything.  However, I don’t want my shrimp to overcook so during this part I work quickly.

 

This is the critical stage.  Keep that rice moving so it doesn't scorch.

After the shrimp, dump in the rice. Add more soy sauce and pepper if needed.

Now, you’re at the critical point.  Stir everything up well and keep scraping the bottle of the pan.  This is where my fried rice often becomes my “flying rice” as the pan is full and I’m busy trying to keep the rice from sticking.  Keep stirring for about another minute and then remove the pan from heat.  Then continue to stir the rice another half minute or so after removing it from the burner to help prevent scorching.  That’s it, you’re done.  Serve in a bowl.  Makes 4 -6 servings depending on appetite and portion size.

 

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.  Please let me know how it goes or offer other suggestions in the comments below.

 

‘Till next time.

 

If you enjoyed this recipe you may also want to check out: Whip Up The Best Tuna Casserole

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