Chinese cuisine may have been the first example of waste-not-want-not gourmet food. Leftover rice tonight? Fried rice tomorrow! Overcooked rice on the bottom of the pot? Deep fry it and add it to soup. I came up with Slow and Crispy Egg-Fried Rice when I was in college and too broke to eat out much. It combines qualities of both fried rice and sizzling rice, but uses less oil and is easier to make. It’s my favorite side dish with classics like General Tso’s Chicken and, on it’s own, makes great comfort food. I love it for breakfast, and usually make more than I need so I can have leftovers in the morning.
Slow and Crispy Egg-Fried Rice
It’s perfectly all right to use leftover rice for this dish, or to mix leftover rice with freshly made.
For each serving you will need:
1. Prepare rice according to package directions. If using leftover rice, let it come to room temperature, then use chopsticks or a fork to gently break up the clumps.
2. Put the cooked rice in a bowl and mix in enough good-quality soy sauce, such as Kikkoman, to coat each piece. San-J Gluten Free Tamari also works well.
3. Pour oil in a skillet to a depth of about 3/8 of an inch. A 9-inch skillet will accommodate 2 cups of cooked rice. For larger amounts, use a 12-inch skillet.
4. Set the burner on medium-low, let heat and add the rice. Spread it evenly to cover but don’t pack it down. When rice forms a crisp, light brown crust (about 15 minutes), flip sections over to brown the other side, adding more oil if needed. Use the edge of a metal spatula to break up the crust, and toss and stir until you have a mix of rice that’s mostly crispy with some soft grains for contrast.
5. While the rice is finishing, break eggs into a bowl and add about a tablespoon of soy sauce for every two eggs. Beat lightly with a fork to thoroughly combine.
6. Remove finished rice to a bowl and set aside. Increase heat to medium high and add a bit more oil. Pour in the eggs, tilting the pan to coat completely. When the bottom is cooked, use a metal spatula to cut the eggs into ribbons or rough pieces and pull to the side of the pan, letting the uncooked portion flow into the center of the pan to cook.
7. Mix cooked eggs into crispy rice and serve immediately.
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You can, of course, add more vegetables to this. If you do so, cook them separately. It’ cooking the rice on its own without stirring that makes it crispy.
I’m a full-time writer and food enthusiast. I love writing about food’s role in history and culture, and have found that cooking and fooling around in the kitchen is a perfect break from my work.
Give me a blizzardy day when I can make bread and soup and watch the snow pile up and I’m happy.