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Fried Rice

Fried Rice

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Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from a recipe by a Vietnamese girlfriend when I was in college.

Like my egg rolls, I also ate a lot of fried rice in college because it was easy to make and inexpensive. Although this is typically served as a side dish, I think it is good enough to eat as a main course. The recipe is virtually unchanged since my college days.

Ingredients:

1 cup (204g) uncooked white rice, such as long grain rice or Jasmine rice
1 egg
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 stalk celery; diced
2 green onions; diced
2 ounces (57g) bean sprouts; can be left whole or coarsely chopped
2 sprigs Italian parsley; leaves only, finely chopped
1 clove garlic; minced
3 ounces (85g) cooked ham; chopped (or other meat or fish such as chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp)
1 generous pinch each of tarragon, marjoram, and oregano (or other herbs you might like)
1 tablespoon fish sauce (or 1 anchovy fillet)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Start the rice cooking according to package directions.

Mix the egg with about a tablespoon of water. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet. Pour the egg into the skillet and swirl around to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook about 1 minute over medium heat and then break the cooked egg up with a spatula. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the skillet. Add the celery, green onions, beans sprouts, parsley, and garlic. Stir to fry, about 3 minutes. Then add the cooked egg and ham with the herbs and the sauces. Sauté until most of the liquid is reduced. Remove from the heat and set aside.

When the rice is cooked (it should be fairly dry), add to the cooked vegetables and stir to blend. Test for salt and pepper and adjust, if necessary. Serve hot.

Variations:
You can also add frozen peas and/or frozen chopped carrots at the beginning when cooking the vegetables. This recipe offers a lot of room for experimentation.