Vegetable Fried Rice

Source: Viking Cooking School
adapted by http://theresalwaysthyme.blogspot.com

The key to excellent fried rice is to begin with well-chilled rice; accordingly, this recipe is a delicious way to use leftover rice. The sauce includes a Chinese wine known as Shaoxing that is made from fermented rice. The flavor is similar to dry sherry, which is an acceptable substitute.

5 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups cooked long-grain rice (preferably jasmine), chilled*
1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice, blanched**
1/2 cup fresh or frozen green peas
1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and discarded, caps very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Chinese Shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry)
1/4 cup Japanese soy sauce
6 whole green onions, very thinly sliced, reserve 1/4 cup green tops for garnish
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Coat a large wok with 1 tablespoon of peanut oil; place over medium-high heat and heat
through. Add the eggs, swirling around to coat the bottom of the pan and form a crepe-like sheet of "omelette". When the eggs are just firm and barely cooked through, slide the "omelette" onto a plate; when cool enough to handle, finely chop and set aside until needed. Wipe out the wok with a paper towel.

If the rice has formed lumps, break them apart with wet hands.

Place the wok over high heat; add the remaining 4 tablespoons of peanut oil and heat through.

Add the onion, carrot, peas and sliced mushrooms; stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the rice wine (or sherry) and stir-fry one minute more.

Add the rice and toss to coat with the oil and vegetables. Stir in the soy sauce and green onions, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Stop stirring and let the rice cook, undisturbed, until it is slightly crisp, about 2 minutes. Stir the rice again, breaking up any new lumps that have formed.

Add the reserved egg and green onions to the wok, and stir to combine; serve immediately garnished with additional green onions.

* For the best fried rice, use leftover rice that has been chilling in the refrigerator for at least a day. Freshly cooked rice can produce a mushy finished product. If you can't wait a day, spread the rice out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the refrigerator, uncovered, for several hours.

** To blanch the diced carrots, bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Cook the carrots until just tender, about 1 to 2 minutes. Plunge in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process; drain well, and set aside until needed.

Make It Ahead: The Vegetable Fried Rice may be prepared in advance and reheated just before serving.
Variation: Add shrimp, tofu, Chinese sausage, pork or chicken for a more substantial dish.
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