In the latest adventures of the Tin Chef . . .
My sister is amused that her contributions to my cooking repertoire have both been a matter of saying “well, we could do this half-assed thing I used to do when I lived alone,” and then me getting ambitious about it. Last time it was Upgrade Pasta; this time it’s fried rice.
I have made it before, but I think only once, and then all I really did was scramble some eggs, dump in the rice, dump in a packet of store-bought seasoning, and call it a day. This time I started asking myself “what could I toss in to bulk that up?” Which is why this is now in my recipes folder as “okonomichahan,” a play on okonomiyaki. Because my goal here is to get myself to a point where I feel comfortable throwing this together with whatever odds and ends we happen to have around (“okonomi” kind of meaning “whatever you like”). Tonight that was not just eggs but some onion, cubed pancetta, a red bell pepper that would otherwise have gone to waste, and peas because it turns out I have two unopened bags of them in the freezer, in addition to the one I finished off here. And for seasonings, I used the powdered crack we bought from Red Robin, which in addition to garlic and salt has paprika and who knows what else, plus some soy sauce. I took a small amount of guidance regarding quantities of cooking oil and rice and such from a recipe my sister sent me (a recipe in Japanese >_< — thanks for the reading practice, I guess?), but the process overall was a lot of educated guesswork, including doing things like removing the various add-ins from the pan before I cooked the eggs so those would remain a distinct element rather than just glomming onto the other bits.
It wound up pretty good! Honestly, the only thing I screwed up was one very basic step: I didn’t remember to break up the big mass of day-old rice before it went in the pan, so there was some very frantic breaking and smooshing to try and get it to separate into grains of rice before the ones on the outside got too cooked. In the end it did as it was told, though, and now my large container of leftover plain rice is a much smaller one of fried rice with assorted bits in. And in the future I can experiment with carrot and whatever else might be lying around looking for a dish to be cooked in.