Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Peanut oil sesame ginger mushroom fried rice

Great home made fried rice takes time. It requires your patience and a whole lot of effort to put together a flawless bowlful. You want to stir-fry it in a wok on high heat so that you can feel each individual grain of rice as a single entity while eating it. Using a wok to stir-fry helps distribute the heat evenly so that every item in the wok gets equal treatment. All ingredients used should be for flavor or texture and needs to be diced small enough so that it doesn't take away from the rice. I'm telling you, it's no joke. But when you do everything right, it becomes so worth the hard work.

Peanut oil sesame mushroom ginger fried rice
2-3 cups rice, cooked and left overnight* (I happened to have a mixture of wild and white rice)
3 tbs peanut oil**
2 cups dried shiitake mushrooms, resoaked*** and diced
2 tails scallion, diced
1 knob of fresh ginger, diced
10 cloves of garlic, diced
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbs white sesame
1 tbs ponzu
1 tbs rice wine
1 tsp sesame oil

1. Place half the peanut oil on a wok on high heat. Once hot, add the mushrooms and stir-fry until brown.
2. Add the other half of the peanut oil along with the garlic, ginger, and scallion.
3. Once everything is slightly browned, add the rice and stir-fry until rice is fragrant. Rice should be slightly harder to the bite, yet still retain some degree of moisture. (This should take 5-10 minutes depending on the heat of your stove top.)
4. As you are stir frying the rice, add the ponzu and rice wine on the side of wok before integrating it with the rice.
5. Mix in the two beaten eggs and keep the rice moving in the wok until the eggs are fully cooked and dispersed throughout.
6. Finally, add the sesame and make sure all ingredients are mixed evenly.
7. Remove the fried rice from the heat and add the sesame oil. Mix well.

Optional: Serve with Chiu Chow chili oil or dried seaweed strips

* Using leftover rice is key because fresh rice has too much moisture to get the right texture for fried rice. I told you making fried rice takes time! But really, people only make fried rice if you want to get rid of your leftover rice productively. But if you do decide to try using fresh rice, be prepared to be standing in front of the wok for even longer.
** I used peanut oil because it has a higher smoke point. Many Chinese kitchens use peanut oil for foods to be treated on a wok at high temperatures.
** I buy packs of fried shiitake mushrooms at Chinese supermarkets. You simply soak them in water for an hour before using them. Yup, time and effort.

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