Fried rice and Japanese white sauce are one of my versions of fast food. Now, fried rice takes a little bit of thinking ahead, as you need leftover rice to make it (though if you were really dying to be frying rice in the next hour you could spread some cooked rice on a cookie sheet and place it in the freezer for 20-30 minutes) but once you’ve got that sticky leftover rice that always dumps out of the bowl in a big “clump”, you’re only about twenty minutes away from fried rice.
I didn’t eat Asian food in any shape, form, or fashion until I started dating Philip. I have no idea why, but I was convinced I didn’t like it. Philip got me to try Chinese at a long-closed buffet that used to be next door to T.J. Maxx, China Inn-still the best Chinese buffet where I’ve ever eaten-and Japanese hibachi chicken at Typhoon of Tokyo. I discovered that I actually did like Asian food, not least of all fried rice and white sauce.
Back when we were dating in the late nineties Typhoon of Tokyo was one of the few places in tow that served the now ubiquitous white sauce, which someone told me that they refer to as “honey mustard”, though I’m fairly certain there’s not a drop of honey in it. Now, you can find it at every place that serve hibachi food, though Typhoon’s is still the best I’ve had by a long shot….at least, besides this recipe, which was given to me by my friend Sharon. I have tweaked the recipe, leaving out butter and adding some sriracha for heat and soy sauce to bring it closer to the flavor of Typhoon’s. You can buy white sauce-also called “Yum-Yum Sauce”-in the produce or international foods sections at the grocery store these days, but something tells me that those bottled versions don’t even begin to hold a candle to this one, which I could pretty much swim in. I am sure that there’s probably not anything Japanese about this sauce, and one of my friends told me that she’s never seen it in California, where she lives…but it. is. good.
As for fried rice, the first couple of times I made fried rice I pretty much cried into my pan wondering why my rice sucked so badly. I went many, many years without even attempting to make fried rice again. I don’t remember what got me to try it again, but I’m glad I did. Using the right amount of oil but keeping the pan otherwise pretty dry until “flavor time” comes seemed to work well. A wok will really speed up the process, though a 12-inch skillet will get the job done just fine. I promise this is one of the easiest twenty-minute meals you can make (and if you need a little bit of meat, make the teriyaki chicken pictured here too!).
|Prep time||10 minutes|
|Cook time||10 minutes|
|Total time||20 minutes|
|Meal type||Side Dish|
- 2 cups leftover rice (I used brown rice)
- 1/2 medium onion (diced)
- 1-2 carrots (diced)
- 4oz cremini mushrooms (sliced or quartered)
- 1/4 cup sherry or dry white wine
- 1/2 cup frozen peas (thawed-optional)
- 1-2 eggs
- soy sauce (to taste)
- 1-2 tablespoon cooking oil (canola, peanut, coconut-whatever you prefer)
|For the fried rice: Heat a tablespoon of oil in a wok or large skillet. Add the onions and carrots and cook until softened, then add the mushrooms and cook until softened.|
|If all of the cooking oil has been absorbed, add another tablespoon to the pan (no one ever claimed this was a low fat recipe), then add the rice to the pan and cook until heated through.|
|Add the sherry or white wine, if using, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.|
|Crack the eggs into the pan and quickly stir in to scramble. Season with soy sauce to taste. Add thawed frozen peas if you like (I just let them sit in warm water for a few minutes before adding to the rice).|
“Japanese” White Sauce
|Serves||yield 1 cup|
|Prep time||5 minutes|
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon sriracha (optional-you can use more if you're brave!)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1-2 tablespoon soy sauce (to taste-I use two)
|Whisk all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve.|