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Bento Recipes: Fried rice


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Chicken fried riceThis is an easy, tasty, flexible recipe. I was surprised by how well it turned out the first time I made it, and I've made it many times since.

What you need:

    2.5 cups of cooked & cooled sticky rice. (Leftover is fine!)
    2 eggs
    1 large carrot
    1/2 cup frozen peas
    shrimp, ham, chicken, beef, squid (no kidding!), or some other meat. (Leftovers are also fine here. Can be left out if you don't want it.)
    1 green onion
    other stuff if desired, like thinly sliced salad mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, celery, or sesame seeds
    soy sauce
    cooking oil

Cook the rice as usual, if you're not using leftover rice. Dice the carrot up into little bits. Cut the onion up small. Beat the eggs, then heat a teaspoon or two of cooking oil in a large skillet and cook like an omelet. When they're cooked, chop them up into small bits with the edge of the spatula.

Take the eggs out of the skillet and put in a tablespoon of cooking oil, then fry the carrots and the shrimp, ham, or other meat. When the carrots are starting to soften, turn the heat down and add a few scoops of rice.  Mix. Add more rice. Mix. Keep going until all the rice is in. Then add in the eggs, onion, and peas and mix gently, adding soy sauce as you go until the rice turns golden brown. Fry it for 5-10 minutes, then serve hot.

If you add in extra stuff, common sense will tell you when to add it in. If it needs a lot of cooking to make it tender - celery, for example - start it out with the carrots. If it needs less cooking, you can add it after the rice is in.

Variations: I really like bacon & egg fried rice. Make it with rice, soy sauce, carrot, egg, and 4 slices of bacon cut into 1/2" squares. Use real bacon; turkey bacon isn't fatty enough. Anyway, first fry & chop up the eggs, then cook the carrots in a little oil for a few minutes. Dump the bacon in, let it cook and release some grease, then turn down the heat to medium and throw in the cut-up eggs and rice. Cook covered, stirring occasionally to give the rice a change to soak up the bacon flavor. Finally, add the soy sauce.