fried rice is one of the easiest, crowd-pleasing, have-on-hand-and-whip-together dinners out there.
and as long as you have a good ratio of “other stuff” (veggies, tofu or meat, egg, etc) to rice, it’s pretty healthy, too. (even better, try brown rice! it’s not allowed in our house…)
here are my no-fail tips. read them first, since the whole thing start to finish (except the tofu) takes only a couple minutes.
1. if you don’t have a wok (which i don’t! argh!), use a large frying pan or cast iron skillet. you want the heat medium-high. use a small amount of vegetable oil, or sesame or peanut if you have it.
2. keep a bag of mixed frozen veggies in the freezer always. i add these to the pan first to thaw. stir them often to keep them from burning.
3. i bake the tofu first. it makes it more flavorful and improves the texture. great recipe here. i also don’t generally add it til the end because my pan isn’t big enough for everything, but if you time the baking right, it will still be hot when the fried rice is done.
4. when your veggies are thawed, add a couple handfuls of cooked rice. (tip from mama cooks! a chinese take-out restaurant will sell you a side order of rice for practically nothing.) douse with soy sauce. i read once that you want to add enough soy sauce to theoretically cover every side of every grain of rice. don’t go too crazy, though… it’s pretty salty and you can always add more later. mix up!
5. push the rice and veggies to one side and crack an egg directly into the pan. scramble it right there and mix it into the rest of the mixture.
want to go the extra mile? serve with crushed peanuts, lime wedges, bean sprouts, or cilanto.