A foolproof dish for the novice or veteran
Letting it sit undisturbed in the hot pan will crisp things up while the moisture cooks out, creating a fabulous, fluffy-fried dinner with a sweet, syrupy soy sauce coating. Deeeeelish.
Endlessly adaptable and different every time, fried rice is one of those completely uncomplicated, non-revolutionary recipes that even the most greenhorn chef can try and totally rock. There are no cooking times, no real measurements, no tricky techniques — it’s literally rice ‘n stuff stirred together. You can do it old school, fridge-dump style where everything but the kitchen sink (and that bottle of ketchup) goes into the pan, or you can go fancy and pick a defining, statement-making ingredient for a classier meal: Lotus root rounds, eggs or tofu, peas, bok choy or fiery fried garlic would all do nicely. Depending on how you’re feeling and whom you’re cooking for, keep the cost down and the options open. Fried rice is an exercise in improvisation with many angles of attack, and it speaks differently to all of us, just like jazz. Jam on, friends.
Egg and broccoli fried rice
The urge to futz with things runs deep in all would-be chefs as we stand at the stove (“I gotta stir or else it’ll burn!”), but perfect fried rice calls for a reevaluation of this tactic, or rather, a full-on denial of it: Resist the urge to stir the rice while it fries. Letting it sit undisturbed in the hot pan will crisp things up while the moisture cooks out, creating a fabulous, fluffy-fried dinner with a sweet, syrupy soy sauce coating. Deeeeelish. Four full rounds of stir-and-sit will happen here, so don’t be weirded out. Just get ready for fried rice.
- 2 handfuls fresh broccoli florets
- 3 eggs
- 2-3 tbsp canola oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cups brown rice, cooked
- 2-3 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 garlic stems, thinly sliced
- salt and pepper
Set a big mixing bowl on the counter. You’ll need it soon. Then, in a small saucepan with a lid, bring an inch of water to boil. Add the broccoli florets and cook for three minutes, just until the broccoli begins to soften, before draining off the water and replacing the lid. Put something heavy on top to keep the steam from escaping (an upturned coffee cup does the trick), then set the pot aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Dig out your biggest nonstick skillet and set it over a medium flame to preheat for two minutes. If your pan is worn, add a teeny bit of oil and swirl it around — just enough to keep the eggs from sticking — but if you’re responsible with your pan upkeep and have a good one, skip the oil and save yourself from accidentally greasy eggs (ew). Crack the eggs directly into the pan and stir ‘em around with a wooden spatula, adding a few pinches of salt and pepper as you scramble. When the eggs reach your desired level of doneness, dump them in the big bowl you set out earlier.
Return the skillet to the flame, add the oil and drop in the onions (there should be a wicked sizzle). Cook for two minutes, until the onions start to brown, then carefully drop in the rice and stir to incorporate. Using the back of a wooden spoon or spatula, pat the rice into an even layer across the bottom of the pan and let it sit, undisturbed, for two minutes. Then, without stirring, sprinkle the soy sauce across the rice and let it cook, again, for another two minutes.
After four full minutes of frying, grab your spatula and stir, making sure you scrape the now-perfectly-cooked rice and onions off the bottom (you may need to lower the flame if things are starting to burn). Pat the mixture out evenly once more and let it sit, again, for two minutes. Then stir. Just like before. Add the broccoli and eggs to the skillet, stir, then go for one more round of pat-and-sit. Two minutes.
Dump the fried rice into the waiting bowl and garnish with garlic stems, then serve.