Thursday, September 17, 2009

Leftovers Fried Rice

Today, after having a reasonably bad day, I came home ready to make something yummy for dinner. I somehow ended up talking to my mom on the phone for over an hour and when we finally hung up it was well after 8pm already and I was ready to eat right then. It was time to come up with something quick and easy (and of course, tasty).

Last night I had takeout from my favorite Thai restaurant, and I had some white rice left over. I poked around the fridge and found some red onions already sliced. I grabbed an egg and some soy sauce. I found my tiniest pan which happened to be the only clean thing in the kitchen, and I made a quick omelette with the egg, adding just a little salt and pepper. I took it out of the pan and cut it up on a plate. Meanwhile, I put the onions in the pan with toasted sesame oil (I didn't mind using it for this since I discovered that "blend" means blended with canola oil, not different sesame oils) and let them cook on their own for a minute or two. Then I dumped in the rice and mixed it all around and let it fry up a bit. After a few minutes when it had very slightly changed color, I added two glugs of soy sauce, mixing in between, then added some salt and pepper (note for next time: the pepper was a good idea, the salt was not. soy sauce - duh!). At the very end, I turned the heat way down and put the cut up omelette back in just to heat up a bit.

And wow! Normally I wouldn't post some crap that I just tossed together to quiet my stomach, but this was surprisingly delicious. I'm not sure exactly what made it good - I suspect the oil had something to do with it, and that I actually let the rice fry up before sprinkling it with soy sauce instead of drenching it like I have in the past. The red onions were interesting, I would probably use white or yellow next time, and chopped smaller, but not bad for such an impromptu mix of ingredients.

The point of this is not to actually make it again - but as a reminder of what you can do to clean out your fridge. There is quite a bit of stuff I would have added had I wanted to spend more than ten minutes on this endeavor. If I had a little more time I probably would have found some vegetables in the freezer to add as well, and if I hadn't had the leftover white rice I would have used brown rice. And if I had more time I would have defrosted tofu and used that instead of egg. But these were the things I had easily accessible and all ready to go, so that's what I used - and it worked. Sometimes when I make some of the more complicated recipes, like on 101 Cookbooks, I end up with weird little bits of already chopped things that I throw away in tiny amounts. Something like this might be a fun and interesting way to use up those little chopped up bits instead of tossing them in the trash.

Final notes: the key was just letting the rice fry up and leaving it alone, just giving it a few splashes of soy sauce instead of cups and cups of the stuff, and possibly the toasted sesame oil. I might try a million variations, but I will definitely be having fried rice again soon.

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