If I ask my son Jake what he wants for dinner, often he will ask for Benihana Fried Rice (before Covid-19 of course). This kid could eat three bowls at the restaurant and then order one or two more to take home. I always love watching the waiter/waitress’ expression when he orders five bowls of fried rice and the follow-up glance at me to see if I object. Inevitably we have white rice (basmati) at least once during the week and there are always leftovers. After the initial meal, white rice isn’t all that interesting and I hate wasting food so I figured if Benihana can make great fried rice, so can I.
Leftover rice is critical for good fried rice. Freshly cooked rice still has lots of moisture and letting the rice “dry out” in the fridge for a day or two makes all the difference. Fried rice is also a great way to use up leftover chicken/shrimp/steak and whatever vegetables you have on hand. Last night’s broccoli, one lone zucchini, half an onion and carrots that are almost past their prime? All are great in fried rice. I went the traditional route with this version but feel free to have fun and customize it to whatever your family likes.
4 cups Leftover cooked and chilled rice
3 tbs Canola or vegetable oil
3 tbs Light soy sauce
1 tsp Sesame oil
2 Eggs, beaten
1 tbs Finely diced sweet onions
1 ½ tbs Finely chopped carrots
1 Chicken breast, cooked and diced (you can use shrimp, roast pork, beef or omit for vegetable fried rice)
Salt & pepper to taste
In a large skillet, heat 1 tbs. oil and then scramble the eggs. Transfer eggs to a plate and roughly chop them. Add 1 tbs oil, onions and carrots to the same skillet, cooking till tender on medium low heat. Once cooked, add chicken and heat for 2 minutes. Add 1 tbs oil and rice, breaking up any large pieces and heating it through. Add soy sauce and sesame oil, mix well and continue to cook, constantly mixing for 3 minutes. Return the egg to the pan and mix well ensuring everything is combined. Season with salt and pepper if necessary (I usually don’t since, the soy is salty but depending on your taste or the kind of soy you use, you can). Serve!