Sunday, December 18, 2011

fried rice for a crowd

We have a BIG extended family, and when there's a gathering, lots of food needs to be made to accommodate such a large crowd (with plenty left over for everyone to take home, too!). This weekend was my sister-in-law's baby shower, which gave me the perfect opportunity to share with you one of the dishes I almost always make for family parties.

Fried rice is great for such occasions because it's relatively inexpensive to make, easy to make a lot of, and looks pretty too. I know this may sound odd, but I don't actually measure out the ingredients when I cook, most especially when I'm cooking large batches of food. When I write out recipes for you here, I do take the time to measure so I can appropriately document it, but then off I go the next time I cook that dish, without a measuring cup or spoon in sight!

There's much flexibility in this recipe for you to experiment and make something that appeals to your taste buds. The basic concept is to have rice fried with fresh vegetables and meat or egg if desired, and seasoned with something salty (soy sauce or fish sauce). Truly, precise measuring is not all that important in this case.         

Freshly made cha lua from the Asian market

Ingredients: 
1 Cup each finely diced:
     green onion    
     carrot
     green beans
     cha lua, which is a Vietnamese ham/sausage

8 Cups cooked white rice
2-3 Eggs
Fish Sauce to taste
Black pepper to taste
Peanut oil for frying


Method: 
 ~note: this cooks up quickly and requires that you stir throughout the cooking process 

1. On high heat, coat the bottom of a wok or deep skillet with a very generous amount of peanut oil

2. Add cooked rice, stirring often to coat in oil. Cook, stirring, for a couple minutes

3. Add fish sauce and a little more oil if needed

4. Add vegetables and cha lua, stirring well and continuing to cook just another minute or so

5. Add black pepper. I usually go a bit heavy with it.

6. Taste. Add more fish sauce and/or pepper if it's bland. (I typically add a little, mix it up, taste, and repeat until I feel it's right).

7. Move everything to the side of the pan as much as possible, making a space to fry the eggs. Add a little more oil, crack the eggs into the oil, and scramble them up in that little spot until they're cooked, about 1 minute or so. Then, combine the eggs with the rest of the rice mixture, and remove from heat.

8. Can be eaten hot or at room temperature. If you eat it straightaway, you'll notice the vegetables are fresh tasting and still slightly crisp. If you wait, they'll soften a bit. Either way tastes good to me!

6 comments:

  1. I love fried rice but can't say i ever get the ingrediants chopped as finely as you!!!Those pics are mouthwatering!

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  2. Do you have room in your extended family to add one more?? This rice looks delicious!

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  3. I love fried rice - thank you for the "tutorial"! I think I will make it this week (on a much-scaled-down level).

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  4. Ohhh, yummy, yummy! I usually go with the plain cooked rice but you have inspired me to give fried rice a try! I know my hubby will be happy! ;)

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