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November 26, 2009

Nishiki rice (Recipe: chicken or turkey fried rice)

Not Quite Turkey Week, Day Three: An updated post from the archives, with new photos, links, and printer-friendly recipe.

Chicken fried rice

My local Asian supermarket is the second-most-dangerous place on Earth.

Whole aisles are devoted to dried noodles, dishes and chopsticks, spicy condiments, fresh greens like choi sum and long beans and chive blossoms, tofu, soy sauce, curry pastes, frozen potstickers -- and cookware.

Danger! Danger!

I cannot resist the piles of woks, spatulas, skimmers and spiders (not the creepy-crawly kind, but the ones you use to remove food from a fryer), spice toasters, clay pots, dumpling rollers, bamboo steamers, cleavers, chopping blocks, sushi mats and ladles. I have had all of these in my pantry at one time or another, along with three -- yes, three -- rice cookers, each slightly different, that begged to come home with me.

And because I love my rice cookers, I always have Nishiki rice on hand to feed them.

Nishiki, a California-grown brand of medium-grain rice (technically, it's a longer-than-average short-grain rice), is processed using a milling technology called musenmai. The musenmai process blends heated tapioca with the rice kernels; when moisturized, the tapioca and bran stick to each other, rise to the surface, and both are removed, leaving behind a bright, fresh-tasting, cleaned rice which does not need to be rinsed again before cooking. Water-saving rice... what's not to love?

Nishiki rice

Nishiki rice comes in white or brown varieties; the white rice is available in the Asian foods aisle in my local grocery store, but the brown rice is a bit harder to find.

Compared to long-grain rice, which takes two cups of water for every one cup of rice, Nishiki rice takes two cups of water for 1.5 cups of rice.

In a rice cooker or on the stovetop, if left to steam (with the lid on) for 15 minutes after the cooking is complete, the rice becomes slightly sticky, which makes it easy to pick up with chopsticks.

Oh, you're probably wondering... what's the most dangerous place on Earth? A bookstore, of course.

Chicken fried rice

Chicken (or turkey) fried rice

Cold rice is one of the last-minute cook's secret weapons, and whenever I fire up the rice cooker, I make extra rice to chill and save for a meal later in the week. Use leftover cooked turkey from your Thanksgiving dinner in place of the chicken, and if you have cabbage on hand, shred a cup and toss that in, too. Serves 3-4.

Ingredients

2 tsp peanut or canola oil
1 egg, lightly scrambled
1-1/2 cups diced boneless, skinless chicken breast, or diced leftover turkey
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 6-oz can sliced mushrooms (don't ask me why, but fresh mushrooms just don't say "fried rice" to me)
4 cups cold cooked Nishiki rice
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp oyster sauce
3 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce

Directions

Heat a wok or deep frying pan over high heat. Add the oil and pour in the egg. Let it sit for 10 seconds, then stir-fry to break up the egg into large chunks. Add the chicken, and stir until the the meat is white on all sides. Add the scallions and mushrooms (and cooked leftover turkey, if you're using it), and stir for 2 minutes more. 

Break up the cold rice, and stir into the wok. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add sesame oil, oyster sauce and soy sauce, and stir until well combined. Serve hot.


More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice)
Chicken and shrimp jambalaya
Pie-ella
Vegetable sushi
Cranberry rice pudding

Comments

I have a friend that swears by the Nishiki rice, but the one time I tried to cook it, it was a disaster! I typically use Jasmine for the same reasons -- cooks quickly with less water. I think I need to get over my fear of Nishiki, try it again and see what the fuss is about!

happy thanksgiving! I'm sure I'll be making fried rice with some of my leftovers too :)

A bookstore is a dangerous place but so is a place like Trader Joe's. This rice is unfamiliar to me but you know how it goes once you have heard about it once it will be found everywhere.

I love the sound of your Asian market! Sounds much better than my local one.
No wonder it is so dangerous!
Great idea to do extra rice for fried rice later, I will try to remember that next time.
Have a wonderful holiday!

Call me "Danger Man," but these are the kinds of risks I embrace! Happy Thanksgiving!

Best leftover turkey recipe I've seen in a long time!

I love rice. I've never tried this brand before. And I've never used a rice cooker before. I've gotta try both.

Paz

Julia, I make the Nishiki rice in my rice cooker, and it always comes out perfectly. I use it for sushi rice, too.

BV, I used to find this rice only in Asian markets, but recently the supermarket in my little town began carrying it. I'm guessing perhaps the company has a new distributor, so perhaps it will find its way up north, too.

Natashya, one thing I learned is that it's easier to make more rice than to make a smaller quantity. Less chance of burning or drying out before it's done. So I always have extra cooked rice!

TW, happy Thanksgiving, Danger Man!

Kirsten, almost anything makes a good fried rice, so think of this as a method more than a recipe. Chicken and turkey are my favorites.

Paz, rice cookers are fairly inexpensive at Asian grocery stores, and as I was never a good rice maker, having the cooker has really improved my rice. Even the basic cookers make perfect rice.

Your Asian market sounds so much like mine. I had to see if you were from my city! I try to go every other weekend at least. Their produce is much more inexpensive and way more interesting than my local grocery store. You can find at least 6 different kinds of mushrooms at ours, and if you want fresh fish, you can get just about anything! Their yellowfin tuna is the best in the state here! Great recipe! Sounds super yummy and I'm going to look for that rice!

I adore my rice cooker too! I've never tried this type of rice, though. I'll have to look for it. It think I've seen the rice variety at my grocery store. Not sure I could stand to visit and Asian grocery store. All of those things you mentioned would be calling to me too!

This looks like one of the best ways I can imagine to use leftover turkey!

That is a new type of rice for me. It sounds great! I just got back from SE Asia and I'm scared to go into our Asian market. I think I'm soon to have the very same feeling. Very dangerous! :)

This recipe sounds really good. Perfect for my leftover turkey. :)

I have to agree with Kirsten and everyone - this is the best left-over turkey recipe ever! Doing this one!!!!

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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