Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 30 mins | Extra time: 1 hour, cooling
Once the rice is cooked, it’s important to cool it off so it stops cooking, otherwise it will turn to mush. This is the same reason you can’t fry the rice when it’s hot…it just keeps cooking and turns yucky. A bag of frozen peas and carrots is FAR better than fresh for several reasons, among them: the carrots are already cooked and they are frozen and that helps cool the rice quickly. Add each ingredient in turn, and mix well with a wooden spoon. The mixing serves two important purposes: it helps cool the rice, and it helps break the rice up into individual pieces. No matter what ingredients you use, stir between each one. Once the rice is below room temperature, it can be fried.
High heat is important…you want to fry the rice, not Sauté it. There is no secret ingredient in fried rice…you just must develop the flavours. The flavours develop from frying…as the sugars in the rice caramelize, they turn golden brown and stick to the bottom of the pan. That’s what makes the rice yummy, so scrape all those little burned pieces into the rice.
This is just the base recipe. Everything can be substituted, except the rice of course, if the basic techniques are kept in mind. Diced or chopped chicken/beef/pork can be added as the last ingredient before cooling. A world of different veggies can be added at this point, too. To add egg, scramble first until just done, and then add them to the rice when it is about half done frying.