I have scoured the internet for the quintessential fried rice recipe that brings me back to my childhood years with no luck. While there are a lot of great ones out there, very few hit all my criteria of what it ought to taste like. Memory has a strong attachment to flavors, which is why so many people tend to never stray from favorite recipes passed down from generations.
Growing up, we were fortunate to have friends that lived nearby and also worked with my mom who’s heritage was Vietnamese. Her recipe for fried rice was, far and away THE BEST recipe I’d ever tasted. Her recipe is the standard by which I judge every other fried rice.
I grew up playing with her kids that were near my age I have fond memories of performing “on stage” in her basement for all of her family, playing dolls and laughing a lot. Those play dates also included so much love via her mom’s kitchen, where the scents of spices and ingredients made with love made you float into the kitchen on an aroma cloud, much like any cartoon scene. My mom would often come home with fried rice and egg rolls made that morning because her friend knew just how much we loved her cooking.
- 2 cups of uncooked Jasmine, long grain rice
- 1 frozen bag of peas & carrots mixed, thawed
- 1 lb. protein of choice, cut into 1″ pieces. I used chicken breast, though shrimp or pork are wonderful options as well. Vegetarians — skip the protein altogether!
- 3 eggs, scrambled
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 tsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. black pepper
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. canola oil
- 1 large bunch green onions, diced. Use the entire onion, greens included
- 2.5 tbsp. soy sauce
- Cook or steam the rice per the package instructions and set aside.
- In a small nonstick saute pan, cook the eggs until scrambled and set aside.
- Heat the canola oil in a separate large frying pan on the stove top over medium heat. Season the protein with the 2 tsp. of salt and saute until fully cooked.
- Add the thawed peas, carrots, and yellow onion to the chicken and saute 3 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, then add the cooked rice, butter, sugar, black pepper and soy sauce. Stir until combined, noting the rice will still be relatively light in color. The soy sauce should merely act as a season to the rice. (note: bean sprouts would be a lovely addition to this, or any other favorite vegetable you prefer. Just ensure anything you add is similar in size to the peas and carrots.)
- Stir in the diced green onions, saving some to garnish atop and serve hot.