This is proof that Chinese food and breakfast are a match made in heaven. I’m talking, like, better than PB&J, mac & cheese, Kimye… Whatever that is…
This Bacon & Egg Fried Rice is incredibly fast to prepare, and it tastes great. The smoky and porky flavor of the bacon permeates the rice, and the soy sauce—salty, slightly smoky, and almost lacquered-tasting in its own right—compliment it so well. And while I think there is little better than really gently, slow cooked eggs, there is also something to be said about frying them hot and fast in a screaming hot wok, too.
The rice is a pivotal part of this—duh—but it’s not so much the rice itself that’s important, as it is the timing of the rice. In order for your fried rice to turn out perfect, with each grain being perfectly toasted and not sticking to one another, the rice has to be dry and cold, meaning it MUST be made in advance. If you were to take a pot of just cooked rice, still hot and steaming, and turn it over into a hot wok, you would not only end up with lots of spitting oil but, when all is said and done, you’d have something with a striking resemblance to oatmeal or porridge rather than fried rice. Cold rice is not only dryer, but something sciency happens with the starch in the rice—it slows down and realigns or something, so it doesn’t become a hot mess when it’s reheated, as already hot starch would. Just make it ahead of time—24 hours is best, more is fine, 12 is minimum.
I also have a thing with rice. One day, several years ago, I woke up and could no longer cook rice. Yup. I could not cook the stuff to save my life (except risotto… explain that!); it would turn out mushy, or underdone, or, if I was really firing on all cylinders that day, it would be both mushy on the bottom and crunchy on the top. I tried rinsing it under water. I tried waiting to add the salt until after it was cooked. I still ended up with uneven results within the same pan. I almost caved and bought a rice cooker, but then something hit me: when I cook a custard, I use a wider pan because the greater the surface area, the greater distribution of heat, which means the more evenly the custard cooks. Okay, rice and custard aren’t very similar… Okay, they’re not similar at all… But it worked! So now, for all my fellow ruiners of rice, I present my patent-pending rice cooking method (and if nobody else has this problem, I would appreciate that you refrain from pointing and laughing at me… Thanks). First, the rice is rinsed under cold water until the water runs completely clear. Toss it around a few times to make sure every grain is totally clean. Dump this into a straight-sided sauté pan, along with water that is somewhere between 72° – 75° (for every cup of rice I do 1-2/3 cup of water), and NO salt. Place this over medium heat, bring to a boil, clamp on the lid, move it to your smallest burner (if you’re using electric, preheat the burner) and let it simmer for 12 – 15 minutes. Then carry on, business as usual, by fluffing and refrigerating once cooled to room temp. Perfect rice every time.
The only thing that makes this rice more perfect… Bacon and eggs. It’s not only a great side dish but I am just as happy to eat it as my main course (not to mention, it’s a totally valid excuse to eat fried rice for breakfast).
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