Sunday, April 4, 2010

Fried Forbidden Black Rice

Hawt Damn, this is good. Probably my favorite fried rice recipe, in fact. This goes great with Mapo Doufu, as the mild umami notes in the rice complement the fiery tofu quite well.

I’ve discovered fried rice is best if you are using cold rice, as it tends to clump less. So if possible, make the rice a few hours ahead of time and chill it (or use leftover rice). And you don’t have to stick with broccoli, cabbage, and carrots. You can use any veggies you like: eggplant, peas, bell peppers, sprouts, bok choi, spinach, mushrooms, water chestnuts, and just about anything else you want to throw in there is fine. Just remember to wait until you are almost done cooking before you add the tender veggies, like sprouts. Tofu, shrimp, or meat can also be added. And finally, you can use any type of rice--I just really love Forbidden Black.

Prep time: 3/4 cocktail (about 20 minutes)

3 TBSP soy sauce
3 TBSP oyster sauce
1 TBSP rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 TBSP Siracha (optional)
6 TBSP peanut oil, divided
½ of a medium red onion, sliced into thin slivers
1 small floret broccoli, broken or cut up
2-inch piece of ginger, grated
5 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 cup of cabbage, shredded
2-3 eggs, beaten
2 cups prepared, chilled rice (Forbidden Black, or any other type)
1 big dash of white pepper or ground Szechuan peppercorns, if available
4 green onions, chopped

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and Siracha. Set aside.

Put a wok over high heat and add 2 TBSP of peanut oil. When it gets hot (but before it starts smoking), add red onion and broccoli and sauté for a 30 seconds. Add ginger and garlic and stir fry for 30 more seconds. Add carrot and cabbage and sauté for another minute or two until the cabbage is a bit tender but not mushy. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.

Return the wok to the stovetop and add 2 more TBSP peanut oil. When hot, add egg and scramble the hell out of the egg—you don’t want any very big pieces remaining. When egg is cooked (BUT NOT DRIED OUT!) remove and transfer to a second bowl.

Now return the wok to the heat and add remaining 2 TBSP of oil. When hot, add the rice. Break up any clumpiness in the rice as you stir fry it. Now comes the critical part—once it’s all hot and broken up, you want to stop stirring the rice for a minute or two, so that the grains on the bottom become a bit crisped (if you want very fried rice, you can stir it up and let it cook like this a second time). Add the pepper and scallions and stir fry it all for 15 more seconds.

Now toss in the veggie mixture and egg mixture, as well as the soy sauce mixture. Stir fry everything for a few more seconds, remove, and let sit a minute before serving.

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