What evolved in China hundreds of years ago to use up leftover meats and vegetables, is now a staple for westerners at Chinese restaurants. Good old fried rice. This, one of many versions of fried rice I make – Asparagus and Bacon Fried Rice, can be enjoyed on its own or as a side with grilled meats, stir-fries and Asian-inspired salads. I love it with Sweet Chili Teriyaki Chicken and Cucumber Salad. Or Chicken, Snow Pea and Cashew Stir-Fry.
As with most Asian recipes, have everything prepped before you start to cook. Make this recipe as I have, then make it your own: add shrimp and some chopped broccoli to make it more of a meal. It’s so good with Chinese sausage (my favourite) if you can find it; Asian markets sell it. Just don’t add too much and overcrowd the wok or everything will steam and stew and we don’t want that.
Now the beauty of fried rice – apart from the flavor and ease of cooking, is the versatility. There really is only one rule, use day or two old rice and make sure it’s relatively dry. Okay, that’s two rules. These are important or you’ll have a starchy, glugy mess if you make it with freshly cooked rice. I’ve used asparagus, bacon, corn and egg. Stick to two or three veg and whatever meat you have. Eggs are often included in fried rice from the local Chinese take-out but aren’t a necessity and weren’t included in the original fried rice made by the Chinese. But, honestly, we aren’t going for traditional here as I’m certain back in the time of the Sui Dynasty 500-600ish, when fried rice is said to have been born, they weren’t using asparagus and bacon.
Homemade fried rice is easy to make, a great way to use up any bits and bobs of veggies lurking in the freezer and you can add any protein you fancy. I hope you’re well. Are things getting back to normal in your part of the world? They are here, slowly. Chat soon, Lovoni xo
ASPARAGUS AND BACON FRIED RICE
- Wok or large skillet
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil or canola oil
- 6 strips bacon, chopped
- ½ cup diced onion
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 8 oz asparagus spears trimmed of woody ends, sliced
- 1 cup corn kernels fresh, canned or frozen
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry, optional
- 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup thinly sliced green onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro coriander, plus sprigs for garnish, optional
- Whisk eggs together in a small bowl until well combined.
- Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat and add the oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the egg mixture, turning to coat the bottom of the wok. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook for about 3 minutes until set. Fold the omelet over, loosing rolling it up. Transfer to a small cutting board and cut into ribbons; set aside.
- Add the bacon. Cook, over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until browned and starting to crisp. Remove from the pan to a plate lined with paper towel. Drain and discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the wok.
- Heat the wok again with the tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for 3 minutes until onion is softened.
- Add asparagus and corn. Stir-fry for 2 minutes until the asparagus is bright green.
- Add the soy sauce, sherry, sugar, sesame oil and egg. Stir-fry until the rice is coated in soy sauce.
- Add green onion and cilantro; stir-fry to combine.