My Dad not only spent some time on R&R traveling in Asian countries during his tour in Vietnam, where he learned a few things… But he also worked as a cook in a place called “The Straight” during his young adult years. That place served a little bit of everything, from traditional American favorites to Mexican food, to Chinese. He learned a lot of cooking basics there. So he actually knew how to make some tasty fried rice. One thing-- not everybody adds drained bamboo shoots or water chess nuts to fried rice, but he LOVED it and always put those in. That’s how he learned it. So I’m proud to share his recipe here:
Dad’s Fried Rice
2 cups chicken, beef or pork, cut in small cubes and sautéed until done
4 cups cooked medium to long grain white rice (cold or leftover, DO NOT use freshly made)
Sweet peas 1 cup or 1 can
Green onion 8 talks, thinly sliced
1 can (about 8oz) water chess nuts, drained
1 can (about 8oz) bamboo shoots, drained
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 large carrot cut in small cubes
Salt, pepper to taste (white pepper is traditional)
Garlic 2 cloves
3 eggs, whisked together
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Use the largest pan or wok you own (12 to 14 inch is best), and do not over crowd it.
1. Heat oil over high heat, swirl around in pan.
2. Reduce heat to medium, garlic and onion, stir, let it sweat about 15 to 30 seconds. Add carrots, cook until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the other vegetables (except peas), fry for a few minutes.
3. Move all ingredients to one side of the pan. Pour eggs into the pan and scramble them in the clear space until they are almost completely cooked but slightly soggy, about 1 ½ to 2 minutes.
4. Add meat and peas. Followed by rice. Stirring and tossing everything together between each addition. Use your spatula to break up clumps.
5. Add soy sauce, salt, pepper and stir. Be sure to stir everything quickly until the rice is well coated and colored (some bits of white here and there is fine). Everything should be heated through. This should take about 5 minutes. Add extra oil if the pan is too dry. But not too much, and reduce the heat so nothing will scorch. Taste while adding flavors, to make sure you have the right amount of seasonings.
6. Remove from heat. Serve hot.