-Leftover plain white rice (Chinese take-out rice is excellent for this). About 3 to 4 cups. Make sure you've separated it and un-clumped it before you use it.
-Leftover chicken, ham, beef, fish, etc. Any will do. Cube it into small, 1/4" cubes. Use at least 1 and 1/2 cups; preferably more. I used chicken this evening, because I had roasted a whole chicken the night before and still had plenty to use (I'll post the recipe for really easy roasted chicken some other time).
- Oil. Use peanut oil whenever possible, but canola will do for the health-conscious among us. Don't use vegetable oil - it doesn't hold up quite that well under high temperatures.
- One (1) small to medium size onion, depending on how onion-y you like your rice, chopped into small strips. You don't have to be too exact on this, just so they won't stick out like a sore thumb when you're eating 'em. I like small, yellow onions. Or you can use a few shallots if you've got them.
- Two cloves of garlic, slivered thinly. Got that crushed stuff in oil in the fridge? Throw it away. Got garlic powder? Throw it away. There is never an excuse for not using real garlic.
- Ginger, slivered thinly. Use about the size of a small clove of garlic. Got powdered ginger? Ok, but just this time (I didn't have ginger either).
- Crushed red pepper.
- Mixed, frozen veggies. Use at least a cup.
- Two medium-sized eggs, beaten.
- Soy sauce.
- White pepper, if you have it. Any good old bit of favorite savory seasonings will do. I like Goya Adobo, myself.
Now to put the whole thing together:
- If you don't have a work just yet, go and buy one. And not one of those crap jobs that plug into the wall. I bought the wok set from Crate and Barrel and am quite happy with it, even if it is a pain in the ass in the whole easy clean-up department. If you can't do that right now and you really want some fried rice, then use a thick-bottomed skillet. The heavier the better.
- Heat your work at high heat (the hotter the better) until that baby is sizzling. This will help dry up any moisture on your cooking surface. This is really important because moisture + oil + high temperatures = 3rd degree burns. Do not put oil in until that wok is screamingly hot.
- Got your work screamingly hot? Ok, now back off the heat down to maybe high-medium-high. Like a 7 out of 10. You don't want your oil to instantly light. Very, very scary.
- Ok, now that your wok has cooled down a little bit, pour in a good measure of oil into the bottom of the wok. Remember, you can always put more oil in, but you can never take oil out. I like to have maybe a bit less than a 1/2" inch of oil at the bottom.
- Shake a generous amount of crushed red pepper into the oil. Stir around. Let that cook for a bit, then add the garlic. Stir, and keep giving it a wee bit of a stir until that garlic is golden brown. Remove garlic with your handy-dandy slotted spoon.
- Add the ginger. Let cook until golden brown. Remove.
- You've now got a good flavor base to start cooking. Good job!
- Toss in your onions, and stir, cooking until the onions are translucent.
- Take your meat, and toss it into the oil. Throw your favored seasonings and white pepper on top. Give it a good generous shake. Stir, and keep that meat moving, making sure it doesn't stick to the wok. Turn up the heat if you feel like things aren't cooking fast enough. The key to wok cookery is making sure you're not doing things slow and low, so make sure you've got enough firepower to cook things quickly, thereby locking in flavor.
- After the meat is nice and warm, and kind of fried a bit, take your rice and add in a cup at a time or so, making sure you coat it evenly before adding more rice. If you look down and notice that your rice isn't getting that nice, shiny fried-rice look, feel free to add a little bit of oil at a time after adding each cup of rice.
- After your rice is nice and coated in oil, add your frozen veggies. I like to thaw mine out a bit before tossing them in. Stir.
- Ok, now you've got something resembling fried rice. At this point, take your beaten egg and add IN STAGES, making sure to stir as you add. You don't want to end up with a fried-rice omelet. Make sure you've got that egg worked in there nicely.
- Take your bottle of soy sauce and commence shaking on some soy sauce, stirring it in until it starts to get that nice fried-rice color. Got a nice color going? Take a fork and taste. Add more if you feel it needs more salt. If you feel it's too salty, then tough shit. Better ruck next time!
- Stir and toss around until it dries up a bit, and then remove from the heat.
-Serve in a bowl and enjoy.
Here's a picture of the finished product. I'm so proud! :)