The key to a tasty vegetarian fried rice is to use brown rice with its mild, nutty flavor and chewy texture. The beauty of this recipe is its total flexibility. I like the meaty texture of mushrooms and will sometimes use Cremini or button mushrooms. The pine nuts can also be substituted with chopped cashews, roasted almonds, or pecans. For more protein, I add some defrosted edamame with the brown rice.
- 1 cup long grain brown rice
- 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup 1/4-inch diced carrots
- 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 1/3 cups)
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
VEGETARIAN FRIED RICE DIRECTIONS:
- Put the rice in a 1-quart saucepan and wash in several changes of cold water until the water runs clear. Drain and level the rice. Add 2 cups of cold water. Bring the water to a boil uncovered over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the rice until most of the water has evaporated and little craters appear on the surface, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Turn off the heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff the rice, cover, and allow it to cool completely before refrigerating.
- When ready to stir-fry the rice, heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in 2 teaspoons of the oil making sure the bottom of the wok is completely coated in oil. Add the beaten eggs, and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, tilting the pan so that the egg covers the surface as thinly as possible to make a pancake. When the bottom is just beginning to brown and the pancake is just set, using a metal spatula flip the pancake and allow it to set, about 5 seconds before transferring it to a cutting board. Cool then cut the pancake into bite-sized pieces.
- Swirl in 1 tablespoon of the remaining oiling the wok, add the ginger and red pepper flakes, then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry 10 seconds or until the ginger is fragrant. Add the carrots, mushrooms, and stir-fry 30 seconds or until all the oil is absorbed. Swirl the broth into the wok and stir-fry 1 minute or until almost all the broth has evaporated. Swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, add the scallions, rice, and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes breaking up the rice with the spatula until it is heated through. Add the pine nuts, soy sauce, sprinkle on the salt and pepper, and the reserved eggs, and toss to combine. Serves 2 to 3 as a main dish or 4 as part of a multi-course meal.
WOK SHOPPING TIPS FROM GRACE YOUNG:
SELECTING A WOK
Buy a 14-inch flat-bottomed carbon-steel wok preferably with a long wooden heat-resistant handle and a short helper handle. The flat-bottomed is best for a residential stove because the wok sits on the burner and can get sufficiently hot. A round-bottomed wok requires a wok ring to stabilize it. You can buy at k.k.discount at 78 mulberry street in New York City is a great source for woks. In addition to the flat-bottomed carbon-steel woks they sell round bottomed carbon-steel and the Chinese made cast-iron woks. You can also order online kkdiscount.com
SEASONING A WOK
To remove the factory coating, scrub the inside and outside of the wok with a scouring pad and dishwashing detergent and rinse with hot water. Do this several times. After the final rinsing put the wok on the stove over low heat for 1 to 3 minutes or until all water has evaporated. Swirl in 2 tablespoons of a high smoking point oil (such as peanut, grape-seed, canola or safflower) and add 1 sliced yellow onion. Increase heat to medium and stir-fry using a metal spatula and pressing the mixture up the sides of the wok for 15 to 20 minutes. If the pan gets dry add another tablespoon of oil. Remove the onion mixture, wash the wok with a sponge and hot water without dishwashing detergent. Rinse with hot water and place the wok on the stove over low heat for 1 to 3 minutes or until all water has evaporated. The wok is seasoned and ready for cooking.