“Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it”
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I’ve always loved Vanilla Ice’s claim that the bassline for this is not ripped from “Under Pressure” because he “added a beat.” Ummm – yeah okay. Regardless, this is a 90’s cheese rap classic and the obvious name for a fried rice dish.
I’ll admit, this is probably more “fried rice adjacent” than actually fried rice. It uses the standard elements, but I also tend to go into “what’s in the vegetable crisper” mode when making this. Peppers? Sure. Carrots? Why not. Celery. Yep put it in. I’ve also used broccoli and mushrooms. What – to me – keeps this in fried rice territory is the rice getting a bit of fry up in the process. It would be more of a stir fry if the vegetables were cooked separately and served over hot rice. At least, that’s my explanation and I’m sticking to it.
The first major lesson you need to learn about fried rice is the rice must be cold. Hot rice put into the skillet is going to turn to mush. I usually cook my rice a day ahead so it can get a good long rest in the fridge. This will ensure the grains will stay separate when added to the vegetables.
The second lesson is fried rice, like a salad, should be dressed not costumed. I started out adding WAY too much sauce to the dish making it soupy and over seasoned. For the number of ingredients in your skillet, the sauce here might seem too little. Trust me, it will work just fine.
For this dish, I did not have eggs in the fridge so I did not add the traditional scrambled egg. When I do have eggs, I generally take two eggs and scramble them in a bowl. Push the rice to the edge of the pan to create an empty pan area. Drizzle a bit of sesame oil into the empty area and add the eggs. Let them cook a minute then scramble with a spatula. Continue cooking until fluffy. Then mix the cooked egg into the fried rice. Also, do not add sugar to the sauce. Just don’t.
For serving, I go with a bit of sambal olek or sriracha. Keep it simple. Maybe a few extra sliced scallions if you’re so inclined. This, like most fried rice, makes great leftovers whether you eat it cold or reheat it.
RICE RICE BABY
Fried rice with onions, peppers, corn, peas, and scallions
Makes 5 – 6 servings
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups cooked rice, cold from the refrigerator
1/2 sweet onion, julienne
1 red pepper, fine dice
1 yellow pepper, fine dice
1 poblano, fine dice
1 cup of frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas
3 scallions, whites, and greens separated and sliced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoon sambal olek
In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, and sambal olek. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
Heat a skillet over high heat. Once the pan gets hot, reduce the heat to medium-high and add the oil. Once the oil gets hot, add the onion and cook until soft and translucent. Add the peppers and scallion whites and toss to combine. Continue cooking until the peppers are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. They should not be mushy when tasted.
Add the frozen peas and corn. Cook two minutes to heat them through. Add the rice and toss to combine. Cook for 3 minutes to fry the rice then add the sauce. Toss again to combine and let cook 3 minutes, stirring often, to get the sauce absorbed. Sprinkle scallion greens over top and stir in.