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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fried Rice - Bittman Style

It has been a while since I cooked Bittman Style. We were hungry for fried rice and so for inspiration I followed (fairly closely) Mark Bittman's Impromptu Fried Rice Recipe from his book "Food Matters".

We love fried rice and this recipe did not disappoint. Sadly I have no pictures as my camera is dead from all the lovely pictures we took at my niece's wedding. But we have all seen fried rice before right??

The first trick to fried rice is to use rice that has spent some time in the fridge - the rice kernels need to be dry.

The second trick is to have everything ready - like you are a Food Network Star - today I am channeling Bobby Flay - all cut up and ready to go so once you get started things fry not steam.

He recommends adding some meat of some sort even as small as 1/8th of a pound to give it the extra oompf that makes it marvelous. But it is optional - just not in my house - I add about 1 whole chicken breast worth of meat.

Impromptu Fried Rice
3 TBS oil - I use coconut
1 bunch scallions cut into 1" pieces
1 red bell pepper - cut into chunks 
1/2 pound green beans or asparagus cut into chunks - I used green beans
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas - optional - I used them
1 cup soy or mung bean sprouts - I used mung bean
1 TBS minced garlic - I used 2 cloves
1 TBS peeled and minced fresh ginger - or to taste
3-4 cups cooked brown rice - cooled in fridge
2 eggs lightly beaten - optional (well it isn't optional here)
1/2 cup sherry, white wine, stock or water (I used wine)
2TBS soy sauce - I used fish sauce because of Joe's soy allergy
1 TBS dark sesame oil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish -  optional, we didn't use!

1. Put a TBS of oil in your large pan (I use my wok) after a minute add the scallions and red pepper and cook until soft and are beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.  Move veggies to a bowl when done.
2. Add green beans or asparagus and cook over high heat until they begin to brown - 5 min or so. Add to bowl. Now put your peas in for a minute and then transfer to the bowl. Finally (at least finally at this point) put your mung beans in and shake the skillet for a minute, or until steaming - adding them to the bowl.
3. Put remaining oil into the skillet , followed by the garlic and ginger. Just a few seconds later add the rice, a little at a time breaking up the clumps as you go. When all the rice is added make a well in the center and break the eggs into it and scramble them a bit with a spatula, stirring them into the rice.
4. Return veggies to the pan and use the spatula to fold everything until combined. Add the wine and cook, still folding, for about a minute. Add the soy sauce (fish sauce for us), sesame oil, salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat and stir in cilantro if using. Serve!

Bittman also suggests making this with other grains - quinoa or cracked wheat, oat groats, wheat berries or barley. I think I will try one of these next time.


  • In the past I threw all the veggies in at once and then added the rice, I pushed it all to the side to scramble my eggs. I like the way this turned out better - I will be doing this one veggie at a time. 
  • I added cooked chicken - after the veggies I gave them a turn in the hot pan to heat it up.
  • Most of my kids like mushrooms so I will add them next time. I also won't use green beans next time, sadly my kids are not fans!
  • I added rice seasoning to it also for added seaweed nutrients.
  • I will be making this again - or rather using this method again, with whatever veggies and meat I have on hand.

This is my link up for Two for Tuesdays - a REAL Food Blog Hop, all about Food Love!
I am also linking this to Christy's Tuesday's Supper Club
And because it works perfectly I am linking this to I Heart Cooking Clubs - Whats in Your Lunchbox?


  1. I actually prefer fried rice made with fish sauce. It keeps it from getting all dark and muddy.

  2. Ah Christy! I am so glad you share my love for Markie mark bittman! I really love fried rice and will have to look this version up because I always tend to make a mess of it, but it still tastes good. Thanks for hosting and posting on the two for tuesday blog hop! :) HUGS Alex@amoderatelife

  3. I like green beans and other veggies in my fried rice. If you finely dice the green beans - would your kids notice them? :p

  4. Fried rice is perfect for a random clean-out-the-fridge kind of meal! Sounds super tasty.

  5. So I keep hearing about this Mark Bittman guy. Who is he?

    When ever I cook rice for a meal I alway make sure I cook more than I need. Just so I have an excuse to make fried rice.

    I cook my egg first though and add it at the end to the rest of the ingredients.

  6. MMMM...I love fried rice! Veggies, meat, whatever, LOL! Delicious recipe =)

  7. Impromtu fried rice is my favorite way to use up leftover rice and extra veggies!

  8. I made fried rice last night too! I have learned the hard way why people use leftover rice- the first time I made it, the dish was tasty but squishy. Yesterday I made the rice first thing in the morning and popped it in the fridge for later use. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. I have tried fried rice before but somehow mine never looks or tastes as good as the rice made by my friends. Your tip on using rice that has been in the fridge might just be the tip I have been looking for. Thanks.

  10. I could make a meal out of this, and make sure I have plenty for leftovers. What great flavors.

  11. I love that you channeled your inner Bobby Flay, he's one of my favorites! This sounds really good, I definitely love a hot bowl of fried rice. Thanks for sharing!

  12. tigerfish - maybe they don't HATE green beans they just prefer not to eat them, I will try cutting them into itty bitty bites next time!

    even-star -Mark Bittman has written a bunch of cookbooks including a HUGE one on How to Cook everything, he also wrote column for the NY Times. There is a group of bloggers cooking "Bittman" that have a weekly meme, that could be why you keep hearing his name!

    Julie M - a hot bowl of rice is one of my favorite foods, so comforting!

  13. This looks fantastic Christy. I love a good fried rice recipe. And yes, cut those bean babies up nice and fine and no one will be the wiser!

  14. mmmmm! we had thai food with friends last night and i insisted on only taking the leftover rice...thinking i would make fried rice today...and here you were with a great recipe that it did NOT disappoint. thank you for linking up to TNSC!

  15. I love fried rice of almost any kind, your one sounds really good...!

  16. I love pretending I'm a Food Network Star, lol! I think I'm the only person on the planet who doesn't have a Mark Bittman book too! I need to remedy that soon. This rice looks so good with all the wonderful veggies and flavour. Thanks for visiting my blog Christy and following - following back! I'm going to enjoy looking around your blog. Have a great day.

  17. Brenda - you will be glad you have a Bittman book!

    Cooking Gallery - thanks for stopping - it is a yummy dish!

  18. I love fried rice - especially great dish for a Sunday night dinner to use up some of the week's left overs :-)

  19. Great tips! I haven't had fried rice in forever. I definitely want some now!

  20. I always try to make extra rice to whip up a mess of fried rice--such a great comfort food meal and perfect for the lunch box too. ;-)

  21. I love to have all my ingredients ready when I'm cooking, especially for fast moving dishes like this. Fried rice is definitely something that I want in my lunchbox:)