Minnesotan fried rice


It’s really only Minnesotan because I made it in Minnesota. And because I added chopped leftover brats at the last minute. Yes, it was a serious clean-out-the-fridge sort of dinner. But it was also pretty damn good. All the more so because I located the soy sauce. My mom keeps it in the fridge. I was all, “she’s crazy, who keeps soy sauce in the fridge?” until I read the side of the bottle: Keep refrigerated once open.

Oops. Have I been risking life and limb (or at least stomach) for years by not refrigerating soy sauce? Seriously, it never even occured to me to do so. All that salt, how could it go bad? What could grow in that environment?

[Addendum for the Lovely Luisa:  Honestly, it never occurred to me that someone would want to make this. :) Start with leftover cooked rice. The leftover part is key since you want the rice a bit dried out--the better to get it to brown up. If I know I'm going to use leftover rice for fried rice I even spread it out on a pan and let it air-dry for a few hours (in the fridge can get too dry if spread out, making the whole thing crunchy in the uncooked-rice way).

Beat an egg or two with a pinch of salt and a few pinches of sugar. Heat some oil in a frying pan, add the egg, and use a spatula to pull the cooked parts in towards the center of the pan, letting the uncooked egg flow onto the now-exposed pan. Continue doing that until the egg is almost completely cooked (the top will still be a bit wet). You can flip it to cook the top or not, depends on how you like your eggs. Turn this omelet onto a cutting board and chop.

Put the pan back on the heat, add more oil and saute plenty of minced garlic, finely shredded fresh ginger, and chopped green onion. I also throw in a chopped serrano chile or some red pepper flakes. After that mess it all awesome smelling, add any vegetables or chopped meat you want in the rice (if these are already cooked let them get hot before adding the rice; if they aren't cooked, cook them until they aren't letting off any liquid before adding the rice). Then stir in the rice. let it sit and brown a bit, then stir it up good. Repeat until it's hot and as browned as you like. Stir in soy sauce to taste and then stir in the chopped egg.

Chopped cilantro makes a nice garnish, if you have some.

Note: unless you use a lot of oil and have a very hot stove, it will not look like restaurant fried rice. It's a much lighter, cleaner tasting version--unless, that is, you use leftover bratwurst....]