You’d think that with being in charge of dinner on average once a week, I wouldn’t be a total lazy ass about it. You’d be wrong.
Sometimes Rarely, I feel like doing something elaborate, but most of the time I want something good that doesn’t take too much effort. Fried rice is just about as easy as it gets. However! I should add a disclaimer: it’s super-easy, but you should do some of the work ahead of time, which makes it even easier, but also means, well, you have to do some of the work ahead of time.
I developed this recipe through trial and error, based on random fried rice recipes I found on the internet. In an ideal world, you’ll do some of the preparation the night before you want to eat this.
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked rice (white or brown)
- 3 cups water
- some vegetable oil
- 1 14-ounce block extra firm tofu, squeezed a bit (to remove excess liquid)
- 5 or 6 eggs (free range and beaten well if you’re me, beaten lightly if you don’t share my egg issues)
- 4-5 green onions, sliced (I slice the white part into 1/2″pieces and the green part into 1″ pieces)
- 2 cups frozen peas and carrots, thawed
- tamari and/or soy sauce to taste
First, do the shit you need to do ahead of time. Cook the rice, using a rice cooker if you have one (we do and it’s awesome — making rice is easier than making coffee). I try to do this the night before, but I made rice this morning for tonight’s dinner and it was fine. You want the rice to be in the refrigerator and cold by the time you need it.
Bake the tofu ahead of time, too. Thinly slice your block of tofu and place on an oiled baking sheet (I oil generously enough to coat one side of each slice of tofu and then flip it over so the result it that it’s oiled on both sides); season with a drizzle of Bragg’s liquid aminos, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes on each side; refrigerate until needed and then cut into bite-sized pieces.
When you’re actually ready to make the fried rice, you won’t have much work to do. This is when I microwave the peas and carrots at 22 to 44 second intervals, stirring in between, until they’re pretty much thawed and, in a separate bowl, beat the eggs.
In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the beaten eggs, which will cover the bottom of the pan. Allow the eggs to cook until the top is almost set, then flip. Cook for another minute, then break up the eggs into bite-sized pieces and continue to fry until they’re cooked as much as you like (I like my eggs well done and a little browned) (letting the eggs set before and after flipping will result in nice, bite-sized pieces; if you start breaking up the eggs too soon, they’ll end up a mess that sticks to even a nonstick pan). Put the eggs in a large bowl.
Add more oil to the pan (less than a tablespoon is fine here). Add green onions, thawed peas and carrots, and tofu. Stir fry for approximately 5 minutes, until everything is hot (I usually taste a few peas and carrots). Pour this mixture into the large bowl with the eggs and mix together.
Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add the rice and several dashes of tamari/soy sauce (I prefer tamari but tonight used some soy sauce too and it was fine). Stir well — you want to break up any clumps of rice and coat the rice with the oil and tamari/soy sauce. Make sure the rice is relatively evenly spread over the bottom of the pan and let it cook for 2 minutes without touching it. Then stir the rice well and scrape it off the pan if it sticks, which it always does for me (this isn’t a big deal). Make sure it’s evenly spread over the bottom of the pan and let it cook for another 2 minutes without touching it. If you’re like me, you might be tempted to let the rice cook longer to get more fried-crispy. Don’t do it. This will just make the rice stick to your teeth when you eat it. Pour the rice into the large bowl with everything else and mix well. Add more tamari/soy sauce if necessary (I always find it necessary). Garnish with Sriracha if desired and enjoy!
Update: For super delicious spicy basil fried rice, add fresh jalapenos (thinly sliced into rings) with the other vegetables and fresh basil leaves when you’re halfway done frying the veggies. Yum!!