Fried rice is easy to make…and yet it isn’t. Too greasy, too salty, too dry, too wet. The key is to use day-old rice (or at least cook and refrigerate it in the morning if you need it that night) and make sure all your ingredients are prepped before you turn on the stove. You can put just about anything in fried rice, and today we’re doing a little Hawaiian pizza-inspired dish that’s salty and sweet.
Let’s welcome 1 1/2 cups cooked, cubed ham, 2 eggs (plus a little milk for scrambling), 3 cups of rice I cooked yesterday, a chunk of ginger the size of your thumb, 1 shallot, 3/4 cup pineapple (fresh if you can get it), 1 tablespoon soy sauce (we’re going easy on the soy sauce because we’ve got ham), and green onion for garnish (optional)
Scramble two eggs with a splash of milk. Try to do a better job than I did. Put the largest, deepest frying pan you have onto medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour the eggs into the prepared pan. Cook them as you would an omelet or crepe, but we want the cooked eggs to be thinner than an omelet.
It’s also perfectly acceptable to just make scrambled eggs.
Crank up the heat under that enormous frying pan to medium-high. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
Add the rice and gently break up the clumps with a spoon. You should hear lots of sizzling. That’s good. Just make sure to stir frequently so everything gets a chance to feel the burn without actually burning. This is a good time to add the soy sauce and stir well. If you like a little heat, mix some chili paste into your soy sauce before you add it to the pan.
If you want a vegetarian option:
Here’s the same basic recipe but with carrots, edamame, and scrambled eggs. Add the thinly sliced carrots to the pan at the same time as the onion or shallot. Increase the soy sauce to 1 1/2 -2 tablespoons, and add chili paste or cracked black pepper if you want some heat.
Fried Rice with Ham and Pineapple (4-6 generous servings)
3 cups cooked, day-old rice
1 1/2 cups cooked ham, cubed
3/4 cup diced pineapple (fresh is best)
1 shallot, finely diced
thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
splash of milk (optional)
green onions for garnish (optional)
1. Place a large, deep frying pan on medium heat. Coat with cooking spray.
2. Scramble eggs with milk. Pour into the skillet. Cook omelet or crepe style. Remove from heat; roll and slice into ribbons.
3. Wipe pan to remove any lingering egg bits. Turn heat up to medium-high and add 2 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil. Cook shallot for about 2 minutes. Add ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until shallot is translucent.
4. Add ham and cook just until ham is glazed. Avoid overcooking ham.
5. Add rice and stir frequently. Add a little more oil if rice seems too dry. Cook for 5-7 minutes.
6. Add soy sauce (and chili paste, if desired) and mix well.
7. Add pineapple and eggs, and stir.
8. Remove from heat. Garnish with green onions, if desired.