Fried rice is one of those recipes that took me quite some time to get just right. It seems like a dish that should be so straightforward, and yet my husband and I suffered through a number of not-so-hot batches over the years. From downright mushy to just not enough bulk, it certainly wasn't pretty (or tasty).
After a lot of research, along with plenty of trial and error, I’ve found that there are a few things that really help deliver the best fried rice.
Cold rice // I know it’s tempting to just cook up some rice and use immediately, but that results in a mushy texture in the final dish. So be sure to cook the rice in advance and give it time to chill. I love to make the rice on the weekends when I have time, so it’s ready to go during the week. You could also use leftover rice if you have that on hand.
Frying the rice // After the veggies are cooked, the cold rice is added to the skillet and cooked until hot and “fried.” It’s important to let it cook for the full three to four minutes, stirring and tossing frequently, as this allows the rice to develop that toasted and fried flavor.
This version of fried rice uses both baby bella mushrooms and broccoli. But you could certainly switch up those veggies if desired. I also like to serve my rice with some garnishes, like lime wedges, extra chopped or crushed peanuts and sliced cucumber. But again, you can customize this to your taste.
One final piece of advice - start with less soy sauce and then taste and add more to your liking. How much you end up adding will also depend on whether your peanuts are salted or unsalted. Just remember, you can always stir in extra sauce but can’t take it out!
For the rice:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 8 ounce package baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 4 cups bite-sized broccoli florets
- 4 large cloves garlic minced
- 5 cups cooked jasmine rice chilled
- ½ cup peanuts roughly chopped
- About 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce or tamari or to taste
- Thinly sliced green onions
- Thinly sliced cucumber
- Extra chopped peanuts
- Lime wedges
- Add the olive oil to a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat. When hot, add in the onion and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, until it starts to soften.
- Stir in the mushrooms and broccoli. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the broccoli is crisp tender.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the cold rice to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, until fried and hot (using a wooden spoon to break up the clumps as it cooks).
- Remove from the heat and stir in the peanuts and soy sauce.
- Serve with desired garnishes.