I almost never ordered fried rice at restaurants. When given the option between fried rice and plain rice, I always pick plain. Lesser of the two evils, in my opinion. I figured that if I didn’t want to eat rice anyway, since it’s (in my opinion) a rather flavourless grain, I might as well choose the one that is truly au naturel. In some places, the fried rice tastes just like the plain rice, except loaded with oil and soy sauce. It always makes me wonder, if they dumped buckets of soy sauce into the rice, why doesn’t it at least taste like it?
At home though, I made fried rice, because everyone else seems to like it. And because we always have leftover rice. I make it with enough vegetables to give it some balance, colour, and goodness. I also go fairly light on the oil. And the soy sauce. For this vegetarian fried rice, if no one objects, feel free to add some chopped, peeled shrimp, for a non-vegetarian version.
Vegetarian Fried Rice
enough for 4
3 cups cooked rice, use leftovers if you have it, otherwise, cook it fresh.
(Note: To make rice, add to a saucepan 1 1/2 cup rice, rinse, and add 2 1/2 cup water, bring to a boil, cover tightly and simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender. Or use a nifty rice cooker, which is what we usually do)
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup chopped green onions leaves, that is, the green part of the green onion
1 Tbsp. ginger, chopped finely
1 large tomato, diced
1 handful of soaked and chopped wood ears, optional
1/2 cup frozen green peas
3 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
salt as needed
Heat up a wok or a large pan with 3 Tbsp. oil till the oil ripples and a droplet of egg in the wok sizzles. Add the beaten eggs and scramble until almost done. Break apart with a spatula. Keeping the heat on medium high, add the ginger, green onions, tomato, wood ears, and peas. Shake in the sugar. Stir fry for about 5 minutes, until the peas are cooked and tomatoes are beginning to soften. Break up the rice in its container or fluff the rice in its pot. Add to the wok and stir to combine everything. Continue to break up the rice as needed. Heat over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add the soy sauce and toss. Turn off the heat and season to taste.
Serve as a side to other dishes, such as meat or tofu and vegetables. Or as lunch, with tea.