Growing up in Ephrata, we didn’t have many options as far as good, clean fun. Luckily for me, my best good friend lived right down the street from arguably the greatest bad Chinese restaurant in America; CHINA TASTE!
The food was cheap and delicious, and because it was you know, chinese, it felt really cultural. Spoiled ass kids today have Pho and Pad Tai, but all we had was fried rice and it was all we ever needed.
Now, I don’t know if it’s the MSG or what, but perfectly duplicating this glorious Asian dish is impossible. I’ve searched the internet far and wide for a traditional, from-the-restaurant kind of fried rice and it’s nowhere to be found. I’ve even tried just copying what the Hibachi guys do, and no matter what, that exact flavor and feel just doesn’t come.
It’s okay, though, because this American-ized version is actually really, really good. It’s a much heartier dish, and makes more of an entree than the stuff that comes to your door in a box. PERFECT for us lazy people who love one dish cooking.
Also, what child/husband/picky wife isn’t going to hear “chicken fried rice” and not dive in?? None.
The biggest difference that anyone looking at this dish can see is the veggies. Obviously this is not your Chinese house momma’s fried rice. I’ve tried a lot of variations of vegetables, and this one really feels the most authentic:
“Jenny and me was like peas and carrots.”
But those come in later…
Start with your onions. Because onions go in everything. Sauté those fellas until the just start to get translucent.
Then, add the chicken. Or your preferred animal meat.
I use chicken thighs because they’re fatty and kind of gross but really delicious. And far cheaper than the breasts.
Let those get juuuuust about done, then we add the rest. Toss in your garlic and then the veggies.
Since they’re frozen, (I think) they’re precooked. This means, they only take a couple minutes. Keep in mind, if you want to be an overachiever and use fresh vegetables; your carrots need a LOT of time to soften up.
When those are about un-frozen (“thaw” for you grammar police), add the not-so-secret ingredient:
The first time I tried this, I was really scared of the egg because it just does not make sense. Egg, Chicken, Rice… Sounds like dog food. Honestly, if I didn’t see the hibachi guys do it, I’d think every recipe ever was bullshitting me. Somehow, it works.
Get that all scrambled and mixed in.
Once everything is done, that’s when I add my seasonings; soy sauce and honey. Some recipes call for sesame oil, but will you ever actually remember to buy that? I won’t, so I don’t even make it a factor.
Mix that around, and then the finale..
I use jasmine rice because Jasmine is one of my favorite princesses and what else would you base your decisions off of?
When you’re alllll done, you get this:
Fun behind-the-scenes fact: Those aren’t chopsticks. They’re BBQ skewers. I ate the whole dish with them though because I am committed. Don’t tell the non-readers. They can’t handle the truth.
In all seriousness, this is no China Taste but this stuff is quality. You can also make it meatless (cook rice in veggie stock for flavor), or with whatever add ins you want.
1 cup rice
2 chicken thighs
1 small onion
1 cup frozen mixed veggies
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 clove garlic
I tbsp honey
Cook rice and set aside
In a large oiled skillet, saute onions until translucent
Add chicken and cook completely
Add garlic and vegetables
When vegetables are thaw, add soy sauce and honey
Toss in rice and mix
Let cook together, while mixing, for about 4 minutes