Christian Burkert / The Broadside
In the world of Chinese American takeout, economic sustainability is king. And no dish is more versatile and budget-friendly than fried rice. I mean, 46,000 Chinese restaurants can’t be wrong.
Makes about 7 1-cup portions
Total cost: about $4.25 or $.61 per serving.
4-5 cups cooked white rice – cooled ($.75)
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced and steamed until tender ($.15)
2 eggs ($.25)
¼ cup soy sauce ($.25)
2 Tbs Oyster Sauce ($.25)
1 cup thinly sliced and pan-fried meat *Pictured: one small porkchop ($.1.00)
8 Ounces Frozen Peas and Carrots – Thawed ($.50)
½ Pound Steamed Asparagus – Cut into 2” lengths ($1.00)
2-3 Tablespoons Vegetable oil ($.10)
Gather and prep ingredients.
Beat eggs with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and cook in a flat-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add a bit at a time and swirl the pan to make very thin omelet like sheets. This may have to be done in 2 or 3 batches. Roll omelets and slice into thin strips and set aside.
Heat a large pan (or wok, if you have one) over high heat and add 1-2 tablespoons of oil.
Add enough rice to cover the bottom of the pan with about an inch of rice. Stir the rice to coat evenly with a light layer of oil and keep stirring until the rice is heated all the way through. If you only have a smaller pan, you may have to cook this recipe in batches.
Once rice is warm, add everything but the oyster sauce and soy sauce. Stir to combine and keep heating, stirring occasionally until all ingredients are hot.
Turn off the heat and immediately add the sauces, stirring to combine. Soy sauce and oyster sauce will burn on direct heat, but the residual heat in the pan will make sure the sauces get nice and warm.
Garnish with toppings of your choice. Toasted chopped peanuts and sliced green onions are a popular choice and Sriracha or chili paste give the dish an extra kick.
You can use different meats and vegetables in this recipe but remember that whatever you add to the rice should be pre-cooked. Lean proteins are great, and sliced rotisserie chicken makes this dish even easier. Try Spam and pineapple for a Hawaiian spin. There are so many options!