It’s always been difficult for me to find a Chinese restaurant that makes to-die-for dishes. While each place I’ve gone to has had its unique way of making the dish, in my mind, nothing can beat the decadent flavor of one that’s homemade. I was about 15 when, on the night that it was my turn to cook dinner, I wanted Chicken Chow Mein, fried rice and vegetables. I couldn’t talk my parents into driving to town for an emergency noodle pickup, so I decided to simply look up a recipe and make it.
While this isn’t the exact recipe that I followed as a teenager, many of the key elements remain the same. I love having the vegetable flavor in my rice, but I cannot stand the taste of spinach, so I deleted it from the recipe. This is because when I was a little girl, it was all I wanted to eat for every single meal. Needless to say, after quite a while of only eating spinach, my taste buds have altered to detest the leafy green.
In addition to the omission of spinach, I also precooked the peas and corn before adding them to the other ingredients. I preferred the guarantee of warmth over the possibility of biting into seemingly cooked fried rice and coming away with a mouthful of half-frozen veggies. That would quite possibly ruin the experience for me. Finally, I added a few ingredients. Conveniently, the original recipe calls for the use of either rice that’s left over from the night before or rice that’s been prepackaged. You can use either, but for my attempts, I steamed some Jasmine rice and placed it into the fridge to cool.
The best way to combine all of the ingredients is with a wok, or a large bowl-shaped frying pan. This is the tool that is typically used when cooking Chinese cuisine. If you aren’t able to use one of these, a frying pan with higher sides will work.
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 ½ tablespoons oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¾ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
- 3 eggs
- 4 cups rice (cooked and slightly cooled)
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1-2 cups frozen peas (depending on your preference)
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce (Or more, depending upon preference)
- 8 ounces cooked lean boneless pork or 8 ounces chicken, chopped (if preferred)
- Heat one tablespoon of oil in a wok over medium heat. Add onion and stir fry until the onions are a nice, golden brown; then remove them from the pan. Heat another half tablespoon of oil.
- In a small bowl, lightly beat one tablespoon of soy sauce and one tablespoon of sesame oil into the eggs.
- Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry for one minute, and then pour the egg mixture into the pan. Gently push the ingredients around in the pan until they’re barely cooked, or about one to two minutes. Remove from the pan.
- Heat one tablespoon of oil in the wok. Add meat if desired along with corn, peas and cooked onion. Stir fry for two minutes.
- Add rice and stir fry for three minutes, then add three tablespoons of soy sauce and the cooked egg mixture and fold them in. Stir fry for one minute. Serve.