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My 2 cents' worth: First start with a cast iron frying pan, the biggest you have. . .

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Joined: Dec 31, 2005

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Posted to Thread #29726 at 7:24 pm on Jul 5, 2017

I make fried rice pretty regularly. One thought: sometime try bacon fat as your cooking fat--delicious!

I generally use a 12" cast iron frying pan for 3-4 cups of rice. My stove top is natural gas.

The eggs can be cold, if you are using them. Have all the rest of the ingredients, including the rice. at room temperature for best results.

Make sure ALL your ingredients are ready before you start.

Heat that pan till it smokes and keep it on that heat. Make sure you keep your pan HOT after every ingredient addition. You may use a smaller cast iron pan, but you will need to use less rice. Use a huge pan for just 3-4 of cups of rice, which should out of the fridge to get warmed to room temperature, but broken apart, out of clumps before cooking.

In my experience, the woks sold for home use are only good for 1-2 cups of rice, and even then my stove cannot keep the heat up to where it needs to be. This is why I use the 12" cast iron pan. The pan is thick enough to retain heat and keep it up, but I need to really preheat it at first. Even then, I cannot use too much rice as I don't get the flavor I want.

If the pan is hot, Hot, HOT, you will be able to cook with less oil. So keep the heat UP.

And you might want to temporarily turn off your smoke alarms, and open the kitchen windows and turn on an over-the-stove vent fan if you have one!

Add 1 tblsp oil, skate oil all over, scramble eggs in oil, remove eggs from pan, set aside.

Place one tablespoon oil in the smoking hot pan, skate around to cover pan. Starting with the onion, cook it till it just starts to turn translucent. Add ginger and garlic, cook briefly. Add carrots (make sure the carrots are small; I shred then chop the shreds), stir-cook. Add Peppers, cook briefly. Add celery if using, cook briefly. Add leftover meat, cook till warm. Scoop everything out of the pan, set aside.

If you need to, quickly rinse pan out (it will steam like crazy) or wipe it out with a wet folded towel (be careful not to burn yourself!), wipe dry, place back on stove. Again heat till smoking.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan, again skate again, immediately add rice and begin to stir fry. If you have a small amount of rice and the pan is able to keep hot, you will see the rice will first be separate (because you broke up all the clumps, right?), then as you stir fry, it will start to become just a little sticky and softer. At the beginning, individual COLD grains should be somewhat chalky; as you stir fry the grains will begin to soften with the heat. With luck you will be able to get a little "toast" on those grains of rice--but your pan needs to be HOT, really HOT.

If your grains are not chalky, your rice is probably over cooked. In that case, it will still make good fried rice, but wait till the rice has another day of fridge storage. I find that if I store somewhat overcooked, cooled rice in a zip lock bag, excess moisture disappears with refrigeration.

When rice is heated to your liking, add the precooked/warmed ingredients and green onions (I love green onions cooked in the hot rice), cook briefly. At the very end add liquid seasonings. If you only have a little rice, the amounts you give above may be too much and contributing to the "sog". Again, keep the pan HOT. Stir well to coat all the rice and serve immediately; everything should be piping hot.

As an alternative, you could add the wine when you are stir frying the non-rice ingredients and add the soy sauce at the end.

My best fried rice comes when I use a propane camping stove out on our patio. Propane cooks hotter, I am told, and with it I get a true flavor of wok-breath; good stuff!


A Proud "Master Food Preserver San Bernardino County" since 1996!


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