Monday, June 22, 2009

Basil Fried Rice

Basil Fried Rice
Basil fried rice and pan fried salted mackerel

I made a lot of fried rice during the school year. That and ramen (I'm very particular about my ramen)were my staples. The only constants for fried rice is leftover rice, which we always have plenty of, and egg. I would argue you need some sort of herb, which most of the time means green onion, in this case basil, but again that's debatable. If I'm feeling particularly fancy, I'll throw in some seafood (Trader Joe's seafood mix is great for this) or veggies, in an attempt to be healthy. But simple is good too, and fried rice doesn't get simpler than this.

Seafood and XO Sauce Fried RiceThe fancy stuff: Seafood and Veggies Fried Rice with XO Sauce

The basil came from my Aerogarden, a nifty hydroponic tabletop garden. It's pretty sweet but really expensive. If I hadn't gotten it as a gift I would have never considered buying one.

It started as this... (week 2)
Aerogarden week 2
aww, so cute!

Grew into this... (week 3)
Aerogarden Week 3
Then I forgot to keep track...

and it turned into this!
Aerogarden Week "I forgot to keep track"
Ahh! (Mint, Basil, Dill, Thyme, Parsley, Purple Basil, and Chives)

It would have been a smarter move to start the Aerogarden in the fall so I could have fresh herbs in the Winter but I wanted to harvest it for E's wedding. I was delusional in thinking that a tabletop garden could produce enough herbs for dinner for 40. I guess I could be growing this stuff outside with all the lovely weather we've been having in Sea-town, but having everything in the kitchen is pretty convenient.

Some herbs are growing better than others. The parsley is pretty slow but the dill and basil plants are growing like crazy and I'm constantly having to prune them. Short of eating the stuff straight, (I'm not that hardcore), I've been adding basil to everything. It worked out pretty nicely in fried rice (I don't think dill would go over as well).

Basil Fried Rice
serves 2

2 C cooked, cold, leftover rice from day before
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 C basil leaves, chopped right before adding to prevent blackening
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 - 2 Tbsp soy sauce (as desired, more soy sauce = browner rice)
1 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil (sometimes I use bacon fat, mmm!)

Heat the cooking oil over medium high heat in a nonstick skillet or wok. Add the rice and cook for 2 - 3 minutes. Break up any clumps of rice and cook until the rice is steamy hot. Add the salt and some pepper.

Push all the rice to one side to clear an area of the skillet. Add the beaten eggs to the open spot in the pan and stir to cook the eggs. When the eggs are almost fully cooked but still runny, stir it into the rice and add the soy sauce.

Take the pan off heat, roughly chop or tear the basil, and stir it into the rice. Add just seasoning with more salt if necessary.

-or- w/ Green Onions instead of Basil
1 to 2 (depending on the size and your preferences) green onions, thinly sliced

Instead of adding the green onions at the end like with the basil, add the green onions to the cooking oil before adding the rice and cook until it's fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the rice and proceed with the rest of the recipe.


Claudia said...

That Aerogarden is an interesting concept. Is there a hydroponic sort of solution inside the tabletop with the nutrients?

Dewi said...

Your garden look superb, and so high tech! Your fried rice win me over with that basil. Sounds so good.

Amy said...

The base is filled with water and you add nutrient tablets every 2 - 3 weeks.

Ramya Kiran said...

Loved the fried rice. So simple and tasty. I even loved your Aerogarden. What a wonderful concept!!

D Fish said...

thank you for the recipe base! I just used this to make fried rice with mushrooms, left over bulkogi, carrots, bok choy and broccoli. I still prefer my fried rice with green onion but this was a nice alternative considering I have none in my house.


sensiblecooking said...

huge rice fan and this is a great alternative from normal fried rice. thanks for posting


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