Our 11-year-old grandson, a lefty in a sea of right-handed eaters, has been teaching himself to use chopsticks. Instead of starting with something easy and stabbable, like chunks of chicken, he goes straight for the hard stuff: slithery noodles and slippery grains of rice. Both are staples in our house (he and I have even cooked stir-fry noodles together), so he's getting lots of practice. Whenever I make rice in my rice cooker, I fill it to the max, and keep leftover cold rice in the refrigerator or freezer for quick fried rice meals made with whatever else I have on hand. At this time of year, that "whatever" often includes asparagus; our season is short, and we tend to overdose just a bit for the six weeks when asparagus are everywhere. Think of this as a good, basic fried rice recipe, adaptable to any vegetables on a moment's notice. You'll thank me during zucchini season later this summer.
Asparagus and mushroom fried rice
From the pantry, you'll need: canola oil, egg, onion, long-grain white or brown rice, sesame oil, oyster-flavor sauce, reduced-sodium soy sauce.
2 tsp peanut or canola oil
1 egg, lightly scrambled
2 cups (or more) chopped asparagus spears, cut into 1/2-inch length
1 small onion, cut in half and sliced into half-moons
8 oz fresh sliced mushrooms (cremini or white button)
4 cups cold cooked long-grain white or brown rice
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp oyster-flavor sauce
3 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
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 asparagus and onion, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Then, add the mushrooms. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until the onion is translucent and the mushrooms have give off some of their liquid.
Break up the cold rice, and stir into the wok. (If you have a helper, he or she can break up the rice while you stir-fry like crazy.) Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Pour in the sesame oil, oyster sauce and soy sauce, and toss until well combined.
More fried rice, because you can never have enough:
Thai pineapple fried rice, from The Perfect Pantry
Tofu and Brussels sprouts fried rice, from The Perfect Pantry
Turkey and kale fried rice, from The Perfect Pantry
Shrimp fried rice, from Steamy Kitchen
Cashew fried rice, from Chef In You
Sriracha fried rice, from Appetite for China
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