Sunday, April 11, 2021

Oven Fried Rice

I had an interesting conversation with my son the other day about his disappointment with making Fried Rice. He was really wanting the Rice to be a bit more crispy. I told him that traditionally you have to use a wok on very high heat to get the Rice crisp and that using a nonstick frying pan just wasn't going to give you that result. I told him that we should try making Fried Rice in the oven as that's one way of adding that extra heat that an electric stove can't give you. We finally made it today and you can see our results - mine is the photo above with Peas and his is the one with Egg below. Both have bits of Ham and Green Onion and were seasoned the Rice with Salt, Pepper and a little GF Tamari. We cooked them on two different sheet pans. He was delighted with the results because cooking the Rice mixture on a baking sheet gave him a lot more of the crispy bits!

So here are the important things to remember about cooking Rice this way - first, make sure you use leftover Rice that has been stored at least a few hours (preferably overnight) in the refrigerator as this dries the Rice out and assists in making it crispy. If you forgot to store your cooked Rice and have to make some fresh to use, you can still use it, but I would cook the Rice for longer and you will have more chewy bits. Secondly, cook the Rice in the oven first by itself, before adding the other ingredients or they will get too dried out. I cooked the Rice, then I added the Green Onions, chopped Ham and Peas. Finally, add the GF Tamari (or Soy Sauce) at the end so that there isn't a burnt flavor and you can add the Eggs at this point too. If you want to spice it up, it's better to add some Chili Sauce when you eat it. Remember that Fried Rice has always been about using up leftover Rice, Meat and Vegetables to create a new meal, so feel free to get creative about what you add. Just make sure that the ingredients are not too wet or you will take away the crispness of the Fried Rice made this way. It's definitely a new way of making Fried Rice and it is delicious!

Oven Fried Rice

3 - 4 cups leftover, cold, cooked Rice

3 - 4 Green Onions, trimmed and minced

½ cup minced, cooked Meat of your choice (Ham is most traditional)

1/3 cup frozen Peas

1 -  2 lightly scrambled Eggs

3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

1 - 2 Tablespoons Tamari or Soy Sauce

Salt and Pepper to taste


Heat the oven to 475 degrees.  


Pour 2 Tablespoons of the Oil over a large sheet pan. Place the Rice on top and sprinkle with Salt and Pepper. Toss to coat with a spatula. Put the sheet pan in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.  


Remove the pan from the oven and turn the Rice over. Sprinkle with more Salt and Pepper and the additional Tablespoon of Oil. Add in the Green Onions, Meat and Peas. Return to the oven and cook for an additional 10 minutes.  

Remove the pan from the oven and toss the Rice mixture again and add in the Egg pieces cutting them into smaller pieces with the Spatula. Sprinkle with the Tamari and toss to coat. Return to the oven for an additional 4 - 5 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Five Element Analysis

Rice (since it is White) is considered a Metal grain. The Tamari and Egg and Ham contribute the Water Element. The Green Onions add a little bit of the Wood Element, but they also contribute the Metal Element. The Peas bring in more of the Wood Element. The Fire Element is only found in the Black Pepper and the Earth Element is missing. So serve this dish with some Hot Tea for the Fire Element and be sure to serve an Earthy food to go with it to create a Five Element balance. I served it with a Cucumber Salad as that added in more Earth and the Vinegar contributed some more Wood. 


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