All over China, families eat fried rice in some form, often with just vegetables and minimal seasonings. My favorite fried rice is more substantial, studded with chunks of marinated chicken, shredded carrots, and peas, infused with garlic, fresh ginger, sesame oil, and soy sauce, which complement the nutty flavor of long-grain brown rice. You can use boneless pork loin or shrimp, and instead of making rice, use leftovers from Chinese takeout (you need 4 cups cooked rice). Make the rice a day or two in advance, if you like.
|1½||cups long-grain brown rice|
|½||teaspoon salt, and more to taste|
|4||tablespoons olive oil|
|1||pound skinless, boneless chicken breast|
|3||cloves garlic, finely chopped|
|5||tablespoons rice wine|
|5½||tablespoons soy sauce or tamari|
|1½||teaspoons sesame oil|
|Black pepper, to taste|
|1||piece (1 inch) fresh ginger, finely chopped|
|6||scallions, finely chopped (reserve 3 tablespoons of the green sections for garnish)|
|2||cups frozen peas, rinsed with cold water to defrost|
|2||eggs, lightly beaten|
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a heavy saucepan, combine the rice, water, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Bring bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until craters appear on the surface, and the grains are tender.
2. Remove the saucepan from the heat, fluff with a fork, and cover. Let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover, and using a spatula, spread cooked rice evenly on the parchment in the pan. Cool completely in the refrigerator.
3. Cut the chicken into ¼-inch pieces. In a bowl combine the chicken, garlic, 2 tablespoons of the rice wine, 2 tablespoons the soy sauce or tamari, ½ teaspoon sesame oil, and cornstarch.
4. In another bowl make the sauce: Combine the remaining 3 tablespoons rice wine, 3½ tablespoons soy sauce or tamari, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
5. In a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1½ tablespoons of the olive oil until it shimmers. Add the chicken mixture and cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes, or until it is cooked through. Transfer to a bowl.
6. Wipe the skillet clean and return to medium-high heat with the remaining 1½ tablespoons of olive oil. Add the ginger, scallions, carrots, and peas. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Using a spatula, move the ingredients to the side of the pan. Add the eggs, turn the heat to high, and stir-fry for 1½ minutes, or until the eggs scramble.
Nina Simonds can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.