Fried rice

Fried rice

Chahan

By
From
JapanEasy
Serves
4
Photographer
Laura Edwards

The first thing I ever learned to cook was macaroni and cheese (from a box, if you can call that cooking). The second thing I ever learned to cook was egg salad sandwiches (again, if you can call that cooking). And the third thing I ever learned to cook, if memory serves, was fried rice.

Fried rice is awesome on so many levels. First of all, it’s easy. Like, really easy. Very little can go wrong in making fried rice. Also, it’s satisfying and really full of flavour, plus it’s a great use for leftovers – in fact, that’s what I usually make it from. It’s like my Japanese version of bubble and squeak, taking particularly well to finely sliced roast meats and veg. This is a sort of basic recipe for fried rice, but feel free to embellish it however you like. Delicious additions you may want to try include king prawns (shrimp), chicken, scallops, squid, Chinese chives, salmon and pork.

By the way, this works better with rice that has been in the fridge overnight. I frequently make more rice than I need just so I have an excuse to make fried rice the next day.

So not difficult that I could cook this when I was a completely inept and awkward 14-year-old

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon oil
4 rashers smoked streaky bacon, (dry-cured, if possible)
1 onion, finely diced
150g shiitake (de-stemmed) or chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced
1 carrot, diced
4 eggs
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 spring onions, roughly chopped
4 large portions cooked rice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoon mirin
1/4 teaspoon dashi powder
50g red pickled ginger
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
freshly ground black pepper
handful katsuobushi, (optional)

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan (skillet) or wok and add the bacon. Cook until golden brown and crisp, then remove and drain on kitchen paper (keep the bacon fat in the pan). Crumble or chop the bacon into small pieces.
  2. Add the onion to the hot bacon fat and stir-fry until translucent and beginning to brown, then add the shiitake, carrot and eggs, and stir to break up and scramble the eggs. Add the garlic and spring onions and fry briefly, then add the rice, soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin and dashi powder. Break up the rice with a wooden spoon as you stir-fry, ensuring that there are no clumps. When the rice has absorbed all the liquid in the pan, add the pickled ginger, sesame seeds, some pepper and the bacon bits, and stir through. Serve in shallow bowls, topped with katsuobushi, if you like.
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