Upon the impending marriage of my oldest son and his then-fiance, her parents took us all to a Japanese steak house in Little Rock. It was a wonderful night of celebration for both of our families. One of the main things I remember was the fried rice–and all the butter the chef used. Of course, it tasted fabulous. But I wanted to figure out a way to make it flavorful at home without adding huge chunks of butter. I’ve been practicing ever since.
At our house, fried rice is all about cleaning out the fridge. With Easter in the rear-view mirror, I have lots of leftover ham. I’m planning to make sliders with my Cheesy Crusty Yeast Rolls and the bigger slices of ham. I’ve already frozen the ham bone for a pot of beans which leaves the little bits and pieces for this fried rice.
All ingredients except the rice are negotiable–in variety and amounts. Even the rice can be more or less but I wouldn’t go with less than 2 cups.
- 3-4 ounces ham, chopped
- 3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil, divided
- 2-4 tablespoons chopped onion
- 1½ cups fresh button mushrooms, thinly sliced and microwaved 4 minutes on HIGH, then drained (pre-cooking speeds up the process)
- ½ cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cups cooked rice (must be cool or cold--best when leftover)
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 egg, scrambled
- 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (low sodium)
- Fresh ground pepper
- Preheat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ham and saute. Smallest pieces should begin to turn slightly crispy like bacon. Set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil to hot skillet. Saute chopped onions till soft and but not brown. Set aside.
- Add softened, drained mushrooms to skillet and saute until browned. Add peas and carrots and garlic and cook another minute. Set aside.
- Add 2 tablespoons oil to skillet. When glistening, add cold rice. Break apart and stir quickly to coat each piece of rice with oil. Add egg and continue to mix quickly as egg cooks. Add bean sprouts and cook another minute.
- Add previously cooked meat and vegetables to rice mixture. Sprinkle scallions and soy sauce over mixture as you continue to stir and cook. Serve immediately.