Chow Town

Forget takeout, here’s a quick, better fried rice

Bacon Fried Rice
Bacon Fried Rice Special to The Star

Ditch the takeout and make a quick and affordable weeknight fried rice with ingredients you likely already have on hand.

This version uses bacon, but you can use chicken, pork or shrimp — just make sure you increase the amount of olive oil to compensate for the omitted bacon fat.

The key to great fried rice is using rice that’s been cooked, cooled and then chilled. Save yourself some time by cooking the rice the night before. If you don’t have Jasmine rice on hand, any long grain white rice will do. This recipe is also a great way to use up leftover rice.

Bacon Fried Rice

Makes four generous servings

1 1/2 cups (3 cups cooked) Jasmine rice, cooked and cooled and chilled, preferably overnight

4 ounces raw bacon, chopped

1 small onion, diced

1/2 cup diced carrots

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

1/2 cup peas, preferably fresh, but frozen is a great alternative

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

Salt and pepper

In a large wok or nonstick skillet, add the chopped bacon and cook over high heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Cook the bacon until its crisp and most of the fat has been rendered out.

Add the onion, carrots and ginger to the pan and continue to cook over high heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Cook for about two minutes or until the onion begins to soften and turn translucent.

Add the chilled rice, stirring constantly to coat the rice in the bacon fat and evenly incorporate all the ingredients. Cook for three to four minutes or until the rice is heated through completely. Add the soy sauce and stir to combine.

Reduce the heat to low and push all of the rice to one side of the wok or skillet. Add the olive oil to the bare half of the pan. Allow the oil to heat up for a minute before adding the beaten eggs. Stir the eggs constantly until they form a soft scramble.

Incorporate the cooked eggs into the rice. Remove the rice from the heat and add the fresh basil and season with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately.

Jessica James is a millennial mom and professional chef whose passion is inspiring families to cook and spend quality time together in the kitchen.