So, I made fried rice, and I must say, it was FANTASTIC, though there was one little snafu.
I tried to keep the recipe simple, taking a large part of it from a Mark Bittman adaptation (the video is worth watching) of a Jean-Georges Vongerichten recipe found via Smitten Kitchen, and little from a more traditional Food & Wine recipe, and a smidge from this Food Network recipe. But it's simple. Really.
The most important thing I learned from my internet research is that you must use leftover rice. If you make it fresh, it'll be too mushy. You can prepare fresh rice several hours ahead and then refrigerate it until dinner if you are not in possession of true leftover rice. Also, it should be noted that Jean-Georges' version has a fried egg on top, which is a unique option that may really appeal to most people, but I have a thing about egg yolks, and prefer mine scrambled, so that is how I've done it here. And, I've added shrimp, because, why not?
Shrimp Fried Rice
1/2 cup peanut oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups leftover rice (I used Basmati)
2 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 Tablespoon minced ginger
2 cups sliced leeks, white and light green parts only (from 2 medium leeks)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 Japanese eggplant, diced small (about 2 cups)
1 carrot, diced small (about 1 cup)
16 shrimp, peeled and deveined
freshly ground pepper
Cook the shrimp in the remaining oil quickly until pink. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Add the rest of the oil and the leeks to the pan, cooking on medium low for about 10 minutes, until tender but not brown. Season with kosher salt.
Add carrots and eggplant, cooking for few more minutes.
Add the eggs and scramble until cooked.
(This is where the snafu begins to reveal itself. I panicked as soon as I added the egg, because it seemed to coat the vegetables, rather than breaking up into little bits. You may wish to scramble the egg separately, but in the end, we had little egg bits, and it was fine. It was just that... the egg bits were a lavender color. The purple carrots stained the egg, and went on to stain the rice. Can you see the little egg bits here?)
Raise heat to medium and add the rice, cooking until heated through and a little browned. (I let it sit for a while without stirring to obtain the browning effect.) Stir in the soy sauce, sesame oil, and reserved shrimp, garlic and ginger. Serve and enjoy.
*This recipe does technically make enough for four people to have a decent-sized dinner, but we found it so irresistable that we couldn't help ourselves in consuming more than the allotted amount, despite its unusual color.
A very unique dish! I strongly recommend making the fried rice, even if you just follow the Jean-Georges recipe. Or, add whatever vegetables you have in place of the eggplant and carrots. Or, use chicken or pork instead of shrimp. Or, if you have some purple carrots and want to eat something a little weird, feel free to follow my recipe to the letter!