Over the years, I’ve eaten plenty of fried rice in restaurants, and while some of it has been very good, it can be greasy, salty, and disappointing. I decided to start making my own fried rice at home, and this forgiving, flexible dish has become one of my favorite ways to empty the fridge of leftovers.
Cold, leftover rice makes the best base, because refrigerating firms up the grain and decreases the chances that the fried rice will turn mushy. I use brown rice and add vegetables like kale, napa cabbage, and carrots. Eggs and any leftover tofu, tempeh, meat or fish often make their way into the pan, too. I like to season my rice with fish sauce, which adds depth of flavor and blends right in (fish sauce is basically anchovy in clear, liquid form, nothing to be afraid of!) Few foods offer quite as much versatility as fried rice, and it reheats easily. Alongside a cup of soup, fried rice makes a filling supper; it’s also a perfect packed lunch, and even makes a great breakfast. Serves 4 to 6.