Garlic lovers, this is for you! Garlic and ginger are sautéed and tossed with eggs, day old rice, sesame seeds, green onions and cilantro and topped off with extra slices of fried, crispy garlic.
For the best fried rice, use day old white cooked rice. This keeps the rice from steaming, as it will crisp slightly and give it a good texture. While making the rice a day ahead can seem like a nuisance – this way the dish only takes a few minutes to assemble. Adding the garlic to the cold oil rather than heating it first will fry the garlic evenly.
Garlic is both sautéed in the base of the stir fry rice and fried and served on top of the dish.
The oil used to fry the crispy garlic is reused to fry the rice in this recipe. The vegetable oil is infused with the garlic which adds additional garlic flavor and aroma throughout the dish. Save the rest and use it for cooking vegetables or for garlic noodles.
Tips for the best fried rice
Rinse your uncooked rice in water to get rid of any excess starch.
Use day old rice so it will fry not steam. The rice cooked ahead of time has a chance to dry out!
Get your mise en place ready so you can quickly assemble the dish.
Use a wok or a very large skillet to stir fry your rice – this ensures your rice can cook quickly and evenly!
Make sure your pan is hot!
I don’t use black pepper in this recipe – many people choose to season foods with both salt and pepper though it’s not always needed! Skip the black pepper in this one and stick with the aromatics of garlic, ginger and green onion and season simply with salt.
What’s in this fried rice recipe?
Garlic – Garlic and lots more garlic! As the name implies, there’s plenty of garlic throughout this recipe; both sautéed to give the rice flavor and fried and served over the top. As the garlic is sautéed the flavor mellows so it’s not very pungent.
Ginger – When buying a knob of ginger, it should smell pungent and spicy. I find thicker pieces easier to grate using a microplane, however, make sure there are no soft spots in the ginger. To peel ginger use a spoon to carefully peel away the skin.
Eggs – Quickly crack the eggs into the hot pan so they scramble without overcooking.
Sesame oil – Toasted sesame oil has a strong nutty flavor and high smoke point (450ºF)
White rice – I use long grain white rice in this recipe though jasmine would make a perfectly fine substitute.
Soy sauce – I typically use low sodium soy sauce when cooking so I have more control over the salt in the dish overall.
Toasted sesame seeds – I like the flavor of toasted sesame seeds over un-toasted. If you don’t have toasted sesame seeds simply add them to a nonstick sauté pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the seeds turn a uniform golden brown color. Immediately remove them to a bowl to cool.
Green onions – The white bottom parts of green onions have the most pungent flavor so they are best sautéed to mellow the flavor. The green top part is then saved for a garnish for the dish.
Cilantro – I like to keep the cilantro leaves whole in this recipe. They slightly wilt with the heat but add great flavor to the rice and fluff it up a bit more.
3 green onions, thinly sliced, green and whites separated
½ cup cilantro leaves, divided
Thinly slice 4 of the cloves of garlic. In a medium saucepan add the oil and the slices of garlic. Heat over medium-low heat and fry, stirring frequently until it’s pale brown and crispy, about 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to remove the garlic to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Remove the oil from the heat and reserve it.
Chop the remaining cloves of garlic and set aside. Add ¼ cup of the garlic oil to a wok or large cast iron pan then add the garlic and ginger to the pan and heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute. Crack the eggs into the pan and stir them to scramble them until they set, about 1 minute. Add the sesame oil followed by the rice.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is dried out a bit, about 3 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, sesame seeds, the whites of the green onions and ½ the cilantro. Serve the rice immediately topped with the remaining green onions and cilantro.
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