The trick to fried rice is high heat and using a wok. The high sides help when stirring the rice. You don’t want to steam the rice you want to fry it. To keep from ending up with soggy rice I try to use day old rice that way it will be drier and will crisp better. While this isn’t required it definitely gives it a better texture and is a good way to use up and excess rice from a takeout order. I cut the rice with cauliflower and toss with kimchi for added spice.
Day old rice is optimal for cooking fried rice since it has dried out a bit. When making fried rice the goal is to fry it so it’s a bit crispy and absorbs the rice rather than steaming it to the point that it is mushy. While day-old rice isn’t required it definitely makes for the best texture. In this recipe the rice is crisped in the remaining pork fat.
If you don’t have leftover rice you can mimic the dried rice by spreading the cooked rice in an even layer on a baking sheet and refrigerating it for an hour or freezing it for about 15 minutes to 30 minutes. This shortcut will draw the moisture out while saving time.
To try to up my vegetable intake I’ve been cutting cauliflower rice (the new Brussels sprouts or kale in my opinion) into some of the rice dishes that I make. I still like to have some carbs in there but this way I feel like I’m eating more rice than I actually am.
I’ll never be one of those people who can eat a meal of entirely vegetables for dinner and not be hungry so this is a nice balance. Cauliflower rice is now sold at places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods but it’s just as easy (and cheaper) to make yourself. Just add roughly chopped cauliflower to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until finely chopped (the size of rice) or simply finely chop it with a chef’s knife.
I’ve only recently come to love kimchi for the wonderful fermented beauty that it is. Napa cabbage is soaked in a salty brine to kill any bacteria then it’s rubbed with a mixture of spices and fermented until it becomes the pungent, tangy Korean favorite that’s good on everything from noodles to dumplings. It can be an acquired taste but once you’ve been enlightened to it’s greatness you won’t be turning back anytime soon.
If you enjoy this kimchi fried rice recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:
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