Saturday, July 9, 2011

Spam Fried Rice

Fried rice; it's on every Chinese restaurant menu and almost everyone likes it. However, very few people will prepare this dish at home, and I don't understand why. It's a great way to use up leftover rice as well as a great way to clean out the fridge. Cheap, easy and fast, fried rice is an easy go-to meal for me when time or money is tight (or when I just feel like having fried rice). 

There really is no set recipe for fried rice; personally, I HAVE to have peas and carrots in mind, as well as egg. The only added flavoring is from soy sauce, though some people will occasionally use hoisin or fish sauce as well. Most people add some form of meat to their fried rice, usually in the form of cubed ham or Chinese sausage. I know Spam always seems to conjure up the side-eye and hate, but it's the perfect meat for fried rice. Inexpensive and salty, Spam fries up well in this dish without being greasy. 

The most important ingredient is the rice; long-grain works the best, and should be day-old and cold. Old short-grain, glutinous Japanese rice will do, but it does have a bad tendency to clump up. Leftover rice from Chinese take-out seems to work best for me! Do NOT use fresh rice; I have read online where you can make fresh rice and use less water, but this has NEVER worked for me. 

For this recipe, I made my rice ahead of time in my rice cooker. For long-grain rice, simply use 1 3/4 cups of water for every 1 cup of long-grain rice. 

Spam Fried Rice
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1 10oz box frozen peas and carrots, thawed
2 tsp salt
4 cups cold cooked long-grain rice (break up any clumps)
1/2 can Spam, diced
2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp soy sauce

Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat; reduce the heat to medium and add the beaten eggs. Cook until about 80% done (scrambled but still slightly runny). Remove from heat.

Heat the remaining 2 Tbsp oil in the wok and add the rice; stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.

Add the the peas and carrots; stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the Spam, scallions and soy sauce; stir-fry for 30 seconds.

Return the egg to the pan and stir-fry for 30 seconds or until everything is heated through. Serve hot.

I served this fried rice with a side of (frozen) gyoza - my homemade gyoza will have to wait for a future post :)

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