I just moved to upstate New York a few weeks ago and have been spending more time scarfing bagels and sorting through boxes than whipping up meals in my new kitchen. The fact that I went from a 6-burner beast of a gas stove to a strange electric thing without any burners definitely gave me pause and had me turning to my oven for cooking, which led me to this genius hack for fried rice.
Now fried rice is one of my (and should be one of your) quick weekday meal staples. It’s a great way to use up that extra rice from Chinese take-out and the perfect way to get rid of any little bits and pieces of meat, veggie or herbs from your fridge or pantry. It is also quick to make, but can get so messy with hot oil and bits of rice flying everywhere. That’s where the oven comes in.
Oven Fried Rice
This recipe is less about the ingredients and more about the technique, so feel free to substitute in whatever you like or have laying around the kitchen.
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
4 cups pre-cooked white rice (Whenever I have extra white rice from take-out or delivery, I put it in a freezer bag and lay flat to freeze, then I have it at the ready for fried rice, soup or sides.)
1-2 cups protein of your choice (I’m using Spam because Spam-fried rice is delicious, but you could use chicken, shrimp, ground beef, lamb or no meat at all.)
2 eggs, lightly beaten (optional)
1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
1 Shallot or 1/2 an onion, thinly sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons sesame oil, peanut oil, coconut oil or grapeseed oil
2-3 Tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 Tablespoon chili paste
Salt & Pepper
Set oven to broil.
Line a sheet tray with foil, parchment or a Silpat.
Slice meat into chunks and marinate in 1 Tablespoon oil and 1 Tablespoon soy sauce or tamari (you can also use pre-cooked meat). Slice vegetables and mince garlic.
Pour 2 Tablespoons oil and 1-2 Tablespoons soy sauce on rice. Mix well to coat rice entirely.
Mix in all vegetables, garlic and chili paste, reserving 2 tbsp green onion for garnish.
Spread rice in one flat, even layer on sheet tray. Top with marinated meat, salt and pepper.
Place sheet tray under broiler on top shelf.
Now, this recipe is fast and easy, but you have to be careful with the broiler. If you walk away, this will go from a delicious home-made meal to calling Domino’s Pizza in about 60 seconds. If you know you tend to burn things, put the sheet tray on a lower shelf. It may take a little longer, but at least you’ll still have dinner. The whole idea is to get your meat to cook through and your rice to crisp up without anything burning.
Check your oven every 1-2 minutes and give things a stir. If your meat is already cooked, you just want it to get a little crispy along with your rice.
When your rice is 90% done, make two large wells right in the center and pour the eggs in. Put the sheet tray back in the oven for another 1-2 minutes until eggs are set. Stir everything together, top with reserved green onions and enjoy!
For more excellent “Kitchen Hacks,” join us for our Quick and Easy Weeknight Meals class Saturday, March 14th at the Merchandise Mart and if you love fried rice as much as I do, check out Tiki Time at:
- Wednesday, March 25 7pm Lincoln Square
- Saturday, April 11 6pm Merchandise Mart
- Friday, April 17 7pm Lincoln Square
- Wednesday, April 29 7pm Lincoln Square