I mentioned not too long ago that Wednesday would be my day to sometimes just document a dish we loved that would not have an accompanying story to tell. This is 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. 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.
This sort of fits with my Wayback Wednesdays in a roundabout way too…mostly because I was reminded that some time way back when 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!
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 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 Mexican 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 get 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.