When life hands you terrible weather day in and day out, make fried rice. Chunks of pancetta, fresh oyster mushrooms, corn, bell peppers, carrot, rice and scallions. A fast and easy one-pan meal.
Yes, it’s a full meal. And it has everything too — meat, vegetables and carbs. Want more protein? Add eggs a la Chinese-style fried rice.
But why pancetta? Won’t the more accessible bacon do? Sure, you may substitute bacon. The smoky flavor won’t hurt at all! But, whether using pancetta or bacon, thick slices are recommended. At least half an inch thick. Rashers are okay for sandwiches and pasta sauce, but generous pieces of meat give this dish better texture and mouth feel.
How easy is it to cook pancetta and oyster mushroom fried rice? Very easy. Fast too! Seven minutes to prepare and about 12 minutes to cook. Isn’t that lovely? You’ll be able to escape the kitchen heat in no time.
First, I browned the pancetta.No need to add oil. The rendered fat made the base for the dish.
Then, I started adding the vegetables beginning with the one that took longest to cook. I used the kernels from an uncooked ear of corn so that went into the pan first.
When the corn kernels were halfway done, I added the carrots followed by bell peppers and oyster mushrooms, in that order and with an interval of one minute. Salt and pepper were sprinkled in after every addition. I’m a huge believer in layering flavors.
Then, the rice was tossed in. And more salt and pepper.
And, finally, a generous handful of sliced scallions and a drizzle of sesame seed oil.
And the pancetta and oyster mushroom fried rice was done! Can you see all those colors? And can you appreciate the generous amount of meat in the dish? Aren’t those thick slices of bacon more appetizing that oh-so-thin slices that you’ll have to dig deep into the rice to see?
Okay, here’s the recipe.
Pancetta and Oyster Mushroom Fried Rice
Cut the pancetta into strips about half an inch wide.
Heat a frying pan.
Spread the pancetta on the hot pan and allow to brown for a minute or so. Stir. Continue cooking until browned and fat has been rendered.
Add the vegetables one by one. Start with whatever takes longest to cook. If using raw corn, add it first. Otherwise, start with the carrot cubes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir fry for a minute. Add the next vegetable, and so on, until all the vegetables (except the scallions) are done. Remember to sprinkle salt and pepper after each addition.
Add the rice to the vegetables, mushrooms and pancetta. Sprinkle in more salt and pepper. Stir fry until heated through.
Off the heat, toss in the scallions.
Drizzle in the sesame oil and toss again.
Taste. Adjust the seasonings, if needed.