I really did not think I would like this recipe. I’ve had it sitting in my bookmarks’ recipe folder for over six months now after finding it on Smitten Kitchen, because I couldn’t believe how something that looked so boring to me could be described as “staggeringly delicious.”
I usually am wary of recipes that take something amazing and classic on its own (Chinese fried rice) and try to update it, or in this case, put a French spin on it. I like real Chinese food. The French are amazing. Why try to hybridize them? But when it comes to recipes I trust Deb Perelman, and I certainly trust Mark Bittman, so I made it.
And they were right – this is just fantastic, and so much less boring than I thought it would be. It was my first time ever using leeks in cooking, and it was great. I made it with brown rice and subbed in vegetable oil for the peanut oil. It was hard not to burn the ginger and garlic, because they go from golden brown to black in literally about 20 seconds, but they still managed to taste great. The ginger and garlic have a huge presence here even though they are just fried and scattered on top.
For anyone who likes fried rice, ginger, eggs, it’s a total knockout.
From Smitten Kitchen
Ginger Fried Rice
1/2 cup peanut oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed and dried
4 cups day-old cooked rice; Vongerichten recommends jasmine (I used brown) but this is the perfect way to use up any leftover rice you have, especially from Chinese delivery
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons sesame oil
4 teaspoons soy sauce
In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp and brown. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels and salt lightly.
Reduce heat under skillet to medium-low and add 2 tablespoons oil and leeks. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very tender but not browned. Season lightly with salt.
Raise heat to medium and add rice. Cook, stirring well, until heated through. Season to taste with salt.
In a nonstick skillet (it just makes it easier) fry eggs in remaining oil, sunny-side-up, until edges are set but yolk is still runny.
Divide rice among four dishes. Top each with an egg and drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Sprinkle crisped garlic and ginger over everything and serve.