Let’s see, if today is Tuesday and I’m re-publishing this post; what do I call that? Somethin’ somethin’ Tuesday. Throwback Tuesday works but might be confusing to anyone used to Thursdays being #TBT but hey…at least the acronym still works! Until something better comes to me (usually at 2:30am and then I forget it when I wake up) I’ll go with my own personal version of #TBT because I have such a huge wealth of older posts that are lost back in the darker ages with recipes I just love and I need a day of the week to occasionally highlight one of them. Especially the ones I actually go to and make over and over again for our own meals. This Crispy Shallots Fried Rice is one of them. So easy and so good that I can sit with a bowl (OK, maybe two) and have nothing else for dinner. I wanted to make sure you could do the same.
When I first published this post a couple of years ago I mentioned that occasionally I would love to just document a dish we were crazy about but that in doing so I might not really have a story to share. That had been one of those days. A day when I had leftover rice in the fridge, some frozen peas in the freezer and the pages of Food and Wine that magically opened to this recipe for Crispy Shallots Fried Rice. While I will often fiddle with recipes I spy in my food magazines, we stayed pretty true to this recipe for fried rice with the exception of a tiny bit of chili flakes to intensify the flavor just a bit. It’s a great dish when you have leftover rice and though I had shallots in my veggie bin, I would do this in a heartbeat with regular onions too.
I can’t help but think of the days WAY BACK WHEN and I would have just used a box of Rice-A-Roni. I can hear the song now too, ‘Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco treat.’ There is your earworm for the day! Those boxes might have been a bit easier but nothing about this dish is hard and the resulting flavor is so superior to a boxed preparation that it is worth every single minute!
I made this on a day when I was going to a barbecue put on by neighbors that are Chinese. I did not take it with me opting instead to take my favorite lemon bars from a Nordstrom’s Cafe recipe. I also sort of figured they would make a much more authentic fried rice than I could ever come up with and I would bring shame on my family; I should not have worried. My biggest surprise was how adventurous they were; we had chicken legs and feet, Mexican dip, a quiche, barbecued squid and a peach cake they had covered with a favorite mocha frosting recipe of mine. A hodge podge for sure and a delicious one at that! Next time they might have me show with this rice; it might not be authentic but it sure was delish…isn’t that really all that matters?
This is simple, pretty and tasty; sort of a perfect dish in my book!
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil, plus more for frying
- 3/4 cup (about 3) shallots, thinly sliced, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 4 1/2 cups cold cooked rice (I used basmati but regular should be fine too; see Notes)
- 1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
- 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
- Lime wedges, for serving
- In a small skillet, heat 1/4 inch of peanut oil until shimmering. Add 1/4 cup of the sliced shallots and fry over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried shallots to paper towels to drain.
- In a wok or large skillet, heat the 3 tablespoons of oil until shimmering.
- Add the turmeric and the remaining 1/2 cup of shallots and stir-fry over moderately high heat until the shallots are softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and 1 teaspoon of salt and stir-fry over high heat for 1 minute.
- Add the peas and stir-fry until the rice and peas are hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the fried shallots and chile flakes and season with salt.
- Transfer the rice to a bowl and serve with lime wedges.
If you don’t have leftover rice on hand, you’ll need to cook 1 & 1/2 cups of rice.