Chicken Fried Rice with Basil & Sweet-Sour Cucumbers: To make this dish work you are going to have to use high heat don’t be afraid of the fire! With the high heat the onions and chicken brown nicely in just a few quick minutes. Spreading the rice on a plate allows it to cool enough so the grains won’t clump when you sauté. Add in a mixture of tamari and sugar creates that loved umami flavor of fried rice.
Key to this meal
The key to making the perfect fried rice is the moment you mix everything together. Add green beans and a generous pinch salt, cook until green beans are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Return chicken and any juices to skillet along with rice and tamari mixture. Toss rice, scraping the bottom of the skillet occasionally, until ingredients are combined and chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes.
TIPS FOR COOKING THE PERFECT FRIED RICE:
RINSE YOUR RICE BEFORE YOU START COOKING IT
Make sure to give your rice a quick rinse. This allows the rice to get rid of some of the starch, which creates cooked grains that aren’t to clumpy. All the good bits like the pork chunks, scallions, egg and other tasty seasonings will then mix well with the rice. This allows you to have the flavor evenly distributed throughout the dish.
REST YOUR RICE AFTER COOKING
Once your rice is cooked, put it into a large bowl then place in the fridge to allow cool down. Let the rice stand for 1 to 2 hours until it’s fully cooled. Resting and cooling your rice allows excess moisture to evaporate, which also helps keep grains from sticking together. Any leftover plain rice you have in the fridge already will also work well in fried rice.
USE A LARGE WOK OR A VERY LARGE SKILLET
When making fried rice, you want to use a large pan, perhaps even extra-large pan, for the amount of rice and other ingredients you are using. This allows the ingredients in the pan to heat up quickly and evenly without overcooking, and gives you plenty of room to toss everything together without ingredients leaping or falling out of the pan.
Chicken Fried Rice with Basil & Sweet-Sour Cucumbers
- 5 oz jasmine rice
- 6 oz cucumbers
- 1 lime
- 1 medium yellow onion
- ½ lb green beans
- 2 boneless skinless chicken
- 1 oz tamari in fish-shaped
- 2 pkts chili garlic sauce
- ¼ oz fresh basil
- kosher salt & ground pepper
- neutral oil such as vegetable
- Cook rice: Bring a small saucepan filled with salted water to a boil over high heat. Add rice and cook, like pasta, stirring occasionally until it is just al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve, rinse with cold water, and lay out to dry on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Make sweet-sour cucumber: Thinly slice cucumbers on an angle. Squeeze 1 tablespoon lime juice into a medium bowl. Cut any remaining lime into wedges. Add cucumbers, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt to lime juice. Toss well to combine and set aside.
- Prep ingredients: Peel and finely chop onions. Trim stem ends from green beans and cut into 1-inch pieces. Pat chicken dry and cut into ½–1-inch pieces. Whisk tamari, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 tablespoon oil, and all of the chili garlic sauce in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved.
- Cook chicken: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over high. Add chicken in a single layer and cook, without stirring, until well browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate (chicken will not be cooked through.) Add onions to skillet and sauté until golden, about 2 minutes.
- Stir-fry rice: Add green beans and a generous pinch salt, cook until green beans are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Return chicken and any juices to skillet along with rice and tamari mixture. Toss rice, scraping the bottom of the skillet occasionally, until ingredients are combined and chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes.
- Serve: Spoon rice onto plates. Top with torn basil leaves. Serve fried rice with sweet-sour cucumbers and lime wedges for squeezing over.