Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Chuckwagon: Fried Rice

Madison is a great eating town. For a city its size, the dining options are legion. Especially notable is the wide array of cuisine from cultures around the world that can be had in Wisconsin's second largest city. Peruse this website to get an idea of what I'm talking about.

There are two sorts of Americanized, bastardized ethnic foods, though, that Madison just can't seem to do right. These are standards in the American food pantheon, and I was surprised when I moved here that I could not find anything close to the standards that I was used to in the Chicago area.

I guess I am just an Americanized, bastardized ethnic food snob.

Oh, the two that I am talking about are pizza and what you might call American Chinese food.

Pizza is for another time, but suffice to say that Rosati's Pizza is just O.K. back in the Big Chi, but it is just about the best thing here.

I find it hard to believe that I cannot find take-out, white folded container, huge menu, kinda greasy Chinese food anywhere near the order of the places that I ate in the Chicago area. To put it in South Suburban terms, none of these places in Madison should be mentioned in the same sentence as Dragon Palace.

So, after a while of thrashing about, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own American Chinese favorites.

Fried rice is hearty, economical, a great way to use up leftovers, quick and tasty. This recipe is especially open to tinkering, so feel free.

Fried Rice
  • 1-2 green onions
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil (or vegetable oil would work as well)
  • 4 cups of cooked rice
  • Soy sauce to taste
  • Any sort of meaty add-ins: pork, chicken, shrimp, basically whatever you have
  1. Wash and chop the green onions
  2. Beat eggs with salt and pepper
  3. Heat some oil (the two-times around the pan thing should be sufficient) in a large frying pan
  4. When the oil is hot, add the eggs and lightly scramble
  5. Remove eggs and set aside
  6. Add more oil, rice, green onions, anything else and break up rice clumps with spoon
  7. Add soy sauce to your taste
  8. When heated through, add egg, mix and serve.

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