Fried rice is one of Eric’s and my favorite meals. This fried rice recipe is the basic one I usually make, but the great news is that it’s such a flexible recipe that you can substitute pretty much any vegetables and meat. I often make chicken fried rice, shrimp fried rice, even bacon fried rice!
The photos show two different times I’ve made this recipe, in one I left out the peppers and corn because I didn’t have any. There are a couple key tips on how to make fried rice that will give you the confidence to play with and create your own fried rice recipes. First is to use day old rice. I’ve had people serve me mushy fried rice and knew immediately that they had made it with fresh rice. When you fry the rice, it’s adding moisture to each grain of rice, so you need it to be a little dried out beforehand. The fridge is great for this.
Whenever I’m using my rice cooker, I make an extra couple cups of rice, then I just toss them in the fridge in the pot or in a ziploc bag. In the next few days I’ll make fried rice with whatever I’ve got on hand. Another tip is to let your rice rest in the HOT pan. The recipe says to heat your oil a couple minutes before adding the rice. This gets the entire surface of the pan hot enough to heat each grain of rice all the way through. But once you get the ingredients spread out in the pan, just let them sit a minute or two, flip and spread it out again and then let sit another couple minutes. This is another key to avoiding mushy fried rice.
I’ve mentioned before that I LOVE Spam, Spam eggs and rice is one of my favorite meals. But Spam fried rice is the recipe I use for people who have never had Spam before. It’s ready in about 15 minutes so is super easy and fast to make, plus it’s really cheap which makes it an affordable option for a crowd. I have had so many friends tell me they didn’t know tofu was so good, or that the chicken in the rice was amazing, and then watched their eyes pop as I told them it was Spam.
I only use half a can in this recipe, so you can try spam eggs and rice later in the week.
Spam Fried Rice Recipeserves 4-6
2 TBS soy sauce (I use Aloha Shoyu)
2 TBS rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup finely cubed spam
2 TBS oil (I like canola oil)
2 cups cooked rice (at least 1 day old)
1/2 red onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1/4 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup frozen corn
Mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and sugar in a bowl. Add the chopped spam to marinate. In another bowl, whisk the two eggs well.
Place a large frying pan or wok on a burner on high. Pour in the eggs and stir as they cook. Remove eggs from the pan a minute before they’re fully cooked.
Separate spam from the marinade and reserve the marinade for later. Fry the spam in the pan on high, stirring occasionally until it is lightly browned. Remove from pan.
Heat 2 TBS oil in the pan (still on high) for a couple minutes. Add rice to the oil by crumbling it with your fingers so there aren’t any large clumps. Stir well and add onion, garlic, peppers, peas, and corn.
Mix well again, spread out in the pan, then let sit for a minute or two. Give it another stir, spread it out again, and let it cook another two minutes. Add eggs and spam to the rice, stir one more time to ensure everything is heated through.
Taste and add as much of the reserved marinade as desired for taste, stirring after pouring it in (I suggest no more than 1 TBS at a time).
Approximate cost/serving: This is such a cheap recipe. We buy our rice in bulk which makes it even more affordable. The whole pot of fried rice costs about $4.50 to make, I’ve used it to feed 6 people which means only 75 cents a serving!
Vegetarian/Gluten Free: You can definitely make vegetarian fried rice. Just skip the spam and marinade. Add a little soy sauce and rice vinegar for flavor at the end. For gluten free make sure you use gluten free soy sauce.
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.