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Old 04-09-2006, 06:06 PM   #1
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ISO Another kind of Japanese Fried Rice

When I was a young stripling I absolutely loved this restaurant we had in Denver called Gasho's. It was one of those Japanese restaurants that cooked everything in front of the diners. The chefs did little tricks like tossing shrimp and doing a drum solo with the salt and pepper shakers.

But one of the things that sticks out the most in my memory was their fried rice. If only I had been a bit older to see how it was done! However, I remember that it was a very sticky fried rice dish, with lots of egg bits in it, vegetables and a very pleasing taste. Can anyone help me and my aggravatingly poor memory out?


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Old 04-10-2006, 01:12 PM   #2
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You definitely need to start with a short grain rice like Cal-Rose. It works best if it is leftover (just make it up the day before and put in the fridge overnight), but it won't hurt anything to have fresh rice. The rice just holds up better if it is day-old.

Now, in my family and those of my Hawaii/Japan/China freinds, fried rice is sort of what you do with leftovers.

One thing one of the freinds said to do is to put the rice in a bowl and toss in a tablespoon of cooking oil (something neutral) and toss into the rice.

Now comes the fun part. As a minimum you want a half a chopped up round onion and a couple of sliced green onions. The green onions go in last.

My Hawaiian friend insists on a tablespoon of oyster sauce.

Meat: Any bit you have leftover, from bits from the Sunday roast, to a slice or two of bacon, to ground meat, to fish and shellfish or all of them. Take the skin off of any KFC or such if you're using it, it will 'westernize" the flavor a bit too much. Ham.

Vegetables: shredded or sliced carrot, peas (frozen is best), celery, baby corn, peppers, bamboo shoots, mushrooms (dried, canned or fresh). Choose what you like, or, as I said, what is leftover.

Seeds and nuts: Cashews, peanuts, sesame seeds

Get your skillet or wok very hot. You want the biggest one you have, and I like nonstick. You need room to toss. When the skillet is hot, pour in a coating of peanut oil. When that gets hot, toss in your rice and any vegetables that actually need to cook (to include ginger or garlic if you're including them). I like to let it sit in the sizzling oil until it gets a crispy edge, then toss. It should be golden brown. When the rice is a little brown all through, toss in all of your delicate (green onions, chives), cooked, or canned ingredients and toss until warm through.

At this point put in whatever seasonings you like -- dried chilii peppers, soy, oyster sauce, toasted sesame oil, nuts, soy sauce.

I used to just toss in the egg at this point, but I've found that I like it better if I remove the rice from the skillet, then scramble the egg and toss it into the serving bowl.

I achieved a lot of "face" in Hawaii when, after a weekend of revelry at a beach cottage, when we were all getting ready to go home on Sunday, I suggested fried rice for breakfast. All the local families brought me their leftover rice from the day before (most people who live in Hawaii make a rice cooker fulll every morning) and my local acquaitances quickly became freinds. Not only a Haole who thinks fried rice is a breakfast food, but she can make it too.

Japanese restaurants in most mainland restaurants use soy, egg, carrot and peas.

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Old 04-10-2006, 08:03 PM   #3
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I use egg and soy, peanut oil, toasted sesame oil, and oyster sauce is a must. As far as veggies go, I usually just use whatever appropriate ingredients i have lying around. I usually manage to get something green into there, and some carrot. Napa cabbage has quickly risen to become one of my favorite veggies, so I have been using that lately in both my lo mein and fried rice dishes. Garlic/onion is always a must, but I usually use red onion b/c I like the color.
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