There are few comfort food dishes as easy to make and economical as fried rice. Like many New Yorkers, I fall into the trap of grabbing pizza or halal chicken when I'm famished late at night and everything else is closed. I really should go home and check what's in my cabinets for cooking, I usually think. Then I end up grabbing that slice of pizza anyway.
Then I learned a few years ago to just make extra rice when I do have the time to cook. Because you can always use it for something, whether it's fried rice, congee, or just reheated with other leftovers. Of those three, fried rice might be my favorite. And it also helps you get rid of other leftover meats and veggies in your fridge.
Over the years I've made many variations, including Edamame Fried Rice, Thai Basil Chicken Fried Rice, Pumpkin Fried Rice, and just a simple Vegetable Fried Rice. But when you're also a huge fan of spicy food, eventually you'll also make one featuring chili sauce.
This Sriracha fried rice is vegetarian, but you can easily make it meaty by adding fresh or leftover chicken, pork, or shrimp. It's also kind of a tongue-scorcher, so if you'd like just a hint of spiciness, just cut the amount of Sriracha by half.
Sriracha Fried Rice
Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main entree
- 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 2 scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
- 5 or 6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps finely chopped
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 3 cups cold leftover rice
- 3 tablespoons Sriracha
- 3 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- Freshly ground black or white pepper to taste
- Break up the cold cooked rice into smaller clumps.
- Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates on contact. Add the oil and swirl to coat the base. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallion whites and cook for about 30 seconds, until just aromatic. And the mushrooms and stir-fry for about 1 minute.
- Toss in the rice and break up any remaining clumps with a spatula. Add the peas. Continue to stir-fry until the rice starts to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in the Sriracha, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Add pepper to taste.
- Optional: In a separate pan, fry an egg to top off the fried rice. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the egg if you’d like.
- Transfer the rice to bowls, sprinkle the scallion greens on top, and serve.