When ordering white rice at an Asian restaurant, you will notice that it’s light, fluffy, and sticks together. You can make this type of rice at home by, first, rinsing the starch off of regular converted white rice and, then, cooking it through a steaming process. You will want to do this a day ahead and refrigerate the rice overnight in order to avoid mushy fried rice.
One Day Ahead
Step 1: Rinse the rice thoroughly.
You will want to use a fine mesh strainer and really move the rice around with your hand. You want the water to run clear.
Step 2: Steaming the rice.
If you follow the directions on the box of rice, they will tell you to reduce the heat as soon as the rice comes to a boil. Instead of doing that, though, you want to boil the rice until the water has evaporated below the line of rice. This will take 5-7 minutes. Once the water line is below the rice, THEN reduce the heat to low and cover. This lets the rice steam. You want to see those little holes in the layer of rice.
Step 3: Rest the rice.
Once the rice is done steaming, you want to let it sit, covered, for at least 10 minutes.
Step 4: Completely cool; then refrigerate.
If you want Yum Yum Sauce to go with your fried rice, you will want to make that a day ahead as well!
Time to cook.
When you are ready to fry your rice, go ahead and get your ingredients prepped. I have found the key to a good hibachi-style flavor is using a combination of fats: vegetable oil, toasted sesame oil, and butter; as well as two sauces: soy and teriyaki.
I always cook with low-sodium soy sauce and add salt as needed. The teriyaki sauce I use is made by Kikkoman and has the same liquidity as soy sauce. You don’t want the thick kind often used to marinade meat.
You will heat the vegetable oil and sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until just translucent. Add the rice and toss to coat in the oil. Let the rice heat up and then push it over to the side to make a well for your scrambled eggs. Add the butter to the well, add the eggs, and stir as they cook.
Once the egg is cooked, mix it in with the rice, add the peas and carrots, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, salt, and pepper. I like to flatten out the mixture and let it cook in order to form those yummy little crispy bits!
You can always add extra soy or teriyaki sauce, salt, or pepper to taste.
Vegetable Fried Rice
Prepare the rice a day in advance.
Pour the rice into a fine mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly in cold water, shaking and stirring the rice, until the water runs clear.
Add the rice, 2 ¾ c. of water, and ½ tsp of salt to a saucepan. Bring to low boil. Let the rice boil at this level, reducing heat if needed, for 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cover, and simmer for another 16-17 minutes. Remove from heat and leave covered for 10 minutes.
After the ten minutes have passed, you can remove the lid and transfer the rice to a container. Allow to cool and then refrigerate overnight.
Prepare Yum Yum Sauce if desired.
If you want some Yum Yum Sauce to go with your fried rice, you will want to go ahead and make it the night before as well!
Fry the rice.
Heat the vegetable and sesame oils in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the diced onion and cook for 3-5 minutes, until just turning translucent.
While the onions are cooking, place the frozen peas and carrots in a microwave-safe container with ¼ c. of water. Cook for 45 seconds, or until just thawed, and drain. Set aside.
Add the pre-cooked rice to the skillet and toss to coat with the oil. Cook for 3-5 minutes to warm the rice through.
Reduce heat to medium. Push the rice off to one side and add the butter. Once melted, add the beaten eggs and scramble.
Return the heat to medium-high. Add the peas and carrots, soy sauce, and teriyaki sauce and toss to combine. Spread the rice out flat and let cook for 1-2 minutes to start developing a crust. Repeat as desired.
Taste and add salt, pepper, and additional teriyaki and/or soy sauce to taste.