I love making fried rice for the kids’ packed school lunch. Fried rice cooks fast and it has everything — meat or seafood, vegetables and rice. Instead of two food containers, they only need to bring one each. More importantly, fried rice is so easy to eat — nothing to cut into smaller pieces, no dipping sauces and either a spoon or a fork will do.
What vegetables are good for cooking fried rice? The most common combination is carrots and sweet peas. Leafy vegetables are rarely added since they expel too much water during cooking and water doesn’t do any good to the overall texture of fried rice. Personally, I like using vegetables that retain their crispiness well. Like asparagus. Strips of scrambled eggs are optional but the bright yellow color just look wonderful, so, why not?
- 5 to 6 tablespoons vegetable cooking oil
- 2 eggs beaten
- 300 grams shrimps shelled weight
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 2 to 3 shallots peeled and chopped coarsely
- 1 medium carrot peeled and coarsely chopped
- 100 to 200 grams baby asparagus cut into 3 portions
- 2 slices of ham diced
- 4 to 5 cups cold cooked rice mashed to separate the grains
- 2 to 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan. Add the beaten eggs and cook until set. Lift with a turner or a spatula and transfer to a cutting board. Roll the cooked eggs then cut into thin strips.
Reheat the remaining cooking oil. When it starts to smoke, add the shrimps and cook just until they change color. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl or plate. Keep warm.
In the remaining oil, add the garlic and shallots. Cook until fragrant. Add the chopped carrot and cut asparagus. Stir fry for about a minute. Add the ham. Cook for another 30 seconds. Add the rice. Pour in the soy sauce. Season with some salt and lots of freshly ground pepper. Stir to blend. Cook, stirring often, until the rice is heated through. Add the cooked shrimps and egg strips. Drizzle some sesame seed oil. Stir a few more times then turn off the heat.
Note that you can dispense with the salt if you add enough soy sauce to flavor the fried rice. Personally, I don’t like adding too much soy sauce because they fried rice turns too dark. That’s why I add salt in addition to soy sauce.