Some dishes just pop when made with leftover ingredients, and fried rice is the perfect example. Not only is it a convenient “clean out the fridge” meal that uses a variety of vegetables and proteins you already have on hand, it’s actually better to use leftover rice that was previously cooked and refrigerated. If you’ve tried making it before with freshly cooked rice, you probably witnessed your beautiful creation quickly turn into a soft, mushy mess in the pan.
According to America’s Test Kitchen, “chilled leftover white rice undergoes a process called retrogradation, in which the starch molecules form crystalline structures that make the grains firm enough to withstand the second round of cooking. That process gives white rice a dry, firm texture that would be disappointing in other rice dishes, but is perfect for fried rice.”
This means that using leftover rice will keep the grains from absorbing too much additional moisture (in this case, soy sauce and steam from the vegetables) and will allow a nice glaze to form when making your stir fry. Neat, right?
We love the versatility of this recipe. Feel free to add tofu or chicken, as well as any veggies you need to use up in the fridge. Because it comes together so quickly, you can make this easy dish any weeknight after work and have lunch prepared for the next day. Major win!
jasmine fried rice
Makes approximately 4 cups.
3 cups Café Yumm! Thai Hom Mali Jasmine Rice, cooked & chilled
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 eggs, whisked
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 onion, diced
1 cup frozen peas
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
3-4 tbsp soy sauce, or more to taste
1-2 tbsp Café Yumm! Jal-Ses® Salsa
salt and black pepper
juice from ½ a lime
Optional: fresh jalapeño slices, cilantro leaves for garnish
- Season whisked eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper. Scramble with 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add another tablespoon of butter to the pan and heat until melted. Sauté carrots, onion, peas, celery, and garlic with a generous pinch of salt and pepper for about 5 minutes.
- Increase heat to high and melt 2 tablespoons butter in the pan. Immediately add the rice, soy sauce, and green onion and stir until combined. Sauté for an additional 3-5 minutes to fry the rice, stirring often to avoid burning.
- Remove from heat and then stir in the scrambled eggs, cilantro, and Jal-Ses Salsa until combined.
- Squeeze lime juice over the fried rice and stir. Taste and season with extra soy sauce and/or Jal-Ses Salsa if needed.
- Garnish with sliced jalapeños and cilantro.