‘Twas the night before Christmas (well almost) and Jews around the country were pondering their Chinese dinners. There is a funny history of Jews frequenting Chinese restaurants on Christmas Eve Check out our related video here. For some Jews, Chinese restaurants were the one place where they would order treyf – perhaps because they couldn’t recognize what they were eating or maybe just because they were the only restaurants open on Christmas Eve.
But for so many, Americanized Chinese food means another thing — a terrible headache. With many restaurants still using MSG or other products you’d never dare keep on hand at home, maybe this year we should consider making our own Chinese feasts at home.
While it’s near impossible to replicate the heat of a restaurant wok at home, don’t be intimidated by the cuisine. One of my favorite dishes to make in my kitchen is fried rice. It’s very easy to make delicious fried rice if you have a few key ingredients on hand, including mirin, which is Japanese rice wine and toasted sesame oil, which gives Asian food that amazing, nutty flavor.
For fried rice, it’s best to use cold or at least room temperature, already cooked rice so that it doesn’t clump. This is perfect for any leftover rice you might have lying around. I love using lots of colors in my fried rice – which you’ll see in the recipe below. So, make some fried rice, pull out your fortune cookies (or make them at home with this recipe), turn on a movie and enjoy a great Christmas Eve.
Vegetable Fried Rice
2 tablespoons canola or unflavored coconut oil
3 large eggs, beaten
2 cups thinly sliced scallions
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups defrosted frozen peas
1 1/2 cups defrosted shelled edamame
1 medium red bell pepper, small dice
5 cups pre-cooked rice, chilled (long grain is best – and either brown or white will work great)
2 tablespoons vegetable broth or seasoned water
2 tablespoons mirin (rice wine)
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, plus more to taste
1) Heat a wok or large skillet. Once the wok is hot, add the oil and immediately add the eggs, frying over high heat for just under 1 minute to scramble.
2) Add the scallions and ginger and stir-fry for about 1 minute.
3) Pour in the peas, edamame and red peppers and toss to heat through for a minute or two.
4) Pour in the rice, and stir-fry for about 3-5 minutes, until heated through. Make sure the sauce is combined thoroughly and add to the rice mixture, tossing to combine.
5) Taste and adjust seasoning and serve immediately! This dish will also keep very well for a few days – simply reheat on the stove and enjoy.