My heart sank when I realized I had no soy sauce. I had just chopped a mound of vegetables and de-frosted meat, only to discover an empty soy sauce bottle in my fridge.
With two takeout boxes of leftover steamed rice and a half hour of prep work done, there was no way I was not going to make fried rice. I reached further into my fridge and pulled out a jar of Korean gouchujang and my trusty tub of year-old miso paste.
Then I proceeded like normal. I stir fried my vegetables with a little Chinese sausage, chicken breast, and leftover rice. Then, I flavored the fried rice with a mix of gochujang and miso paste, diluted with water for easier incorporation. I found Chinese sausage at the Asian & American Market in Fargo. It provided a subtle sweetness that balanced the miso’s saltiness and gochujang’s heat.
We were satisfied with the result. So much so, that we polished off the skillet of fried rice. If you just own a regular kitchen skillet, you probably won’t get any smokey char, but your fried rice will still be a respectable home variation.
My method of cooking fried rice is not an exact science. Once I choose my vegetables and proteins, it’s basically a process of sautéing and tasting. You could use soy sauce instead of miso and add additional seasonings like hot peppers and ginger.
Mantra: Homemade fried rice is easy. Homemade fried rice is an efficient way to use up leftover meat and veggies. Homemade fried rice puts extra takeout rice to work.
Chinese sausage, finely diced
Chopped vegetables (I used lots of onion, green onions, swiss chard stems and greens, and carrots)
Proteins of choice and/or scrambled egg
1 clove of minced garlic
Miso paste and gochujang, diluted with some water
Cracked black pepper
In a dab of vegetable oil, begin sauteing the Chinese sausage. When it renders a bit, add the vegetables and stir until softened but al dente. I add the vegetables that take longer to cook first, such as carrot and onion. Then, I add the softer vegetables like chard leaves, green onion, and garlic.
As the vegetables are cooking, prepare any additional protein or scrambled egg in a separate pan. Add a little more oil to the vegetables and then stir in the rice. As the rice is cooking, flavor with diluted miso paste and gochujang, black pepper, and white pepper.
Add the scrambled egg and/or other cooked meat and combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning (I used a lot of miso and gochujang).
Cook to your liking. I prefer my fried rice to develop some crusty bits.