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Typically when I buy groceries I’ll eat most of it but sometimes I forget I have certain stuff and it is about to expire. When I discover it I will cook it as possible before it goes bad. Afterwards I end up with leftovers which I keep in the fridge. Again, I’ll eat most of it but sometimes I’ll forget and even my leftovers are about to expire. What do I do after that? I cook it again as fried rice and essentially double the shelf life of my food! Sure, it sounds a bit grungy but this technique has served me well through my college/university years! I hope you will find it helpful because it not only tastes good and is simple to make, but is a great way to empty out your fridge as well.

Any fried rice will have the following basic components: rice, eggs, vegetables, meat, soy sauce, and oil. When you go to a restaurant the vegetables in your fried rice will usually include onions, corn, peas, and lettuce if not all 4 and more stuff. Meat will generally be limited to chicken, beef, or pork though they way they are cooked may vary (stir fried, pan-seared, roasted, barbecued, etc). Occasionally there may also be miscellaneous things like pineapple or crushed peanuts.

You’ll want to use leftover rice instead of freshly cooked rice because fresh rice is stickier and wet, which will make it more difficult to cook with. Day-old and even week-old rice will work fine but be sure to do a sniff check and look for mold if the rice you’re using is really old. Be sure to dice up any meat or vegetables ahead of time because you’ll want to cook everything at once.

Start by scrambling the eggs while your wok or frying pan is clean, otherwise your eggs will end up with dark spots and not look as bright yellow if you cook them after everything else. There’s no need to bend over backwards to keep the egg in one piece because you’ll break it apart later. For the amount of rice I used in the video I should’ve used 4 eggs but I only used 3. After cooking fried rice more you’ll have a better gauge of how much of each ingredient you’ll need but in the beginning it’s all trial and error! Add some salt to eggs and put it back in the same bowl you used to beat the eggs in (we’ll cook the eggs again in the end).

Next, cook any vegetables you have except for shredded lettuce. Cooking lettuce will make it soften and wilt so I only cook it at the very end so it remains crunchy and turgid. Cook onions until they’re soft and translucent and peas and corn until they’re soft and start to change color. Add oil to the pan every time you change ingredients to keep them from burning because the oil will be soaked up. Put each ingredient back in its corresponding bowl to avoid washing extra dishes.

Cook the meat afterwards. 90% of the time I use leftover meat so it’s already been cooked and I’m merely reheating it. However, if I’m using raw meat I’ll need to fully cook it and then dice it into smaller pieces. If you use red meat like steak or roast pork you’ll notice that it will release fat and juices which will burn and stick to the pan/wok; if you cook the meat before the eggs, the eggs will pick up these charred pieces and look ugly. Keep stirring to prevent the meat from sticking and burning. Put the meat(s) back in the bowl(s) when they’re done.

Use a generous amount of oil when stir frying the rice because the rice will soak it up. The oil will help keep the rice from sticking to the pan and burning and to keep the rice from sticking to itself. Keep the rice moving and make sure you move the top rice to the bottom so it cooks evenly. Your arm will get pretty tired from all this. Break the rice up as best you can and try not to leave any clumps, otherwise the middle of each clump will be uncooked and flavorless.

Once the rice starts to golden a bit (the color change will be very slight), it should be about ready (taste test it). Add light soy sauce for saltiness and dark soy sauce for additional flavor and color. Mix the rice so the soy sauce is evenly distributed. Continue mixing in the other ingredients in the reverse order that you prepared them in. If you have any lettuce, add it last and turn off the flame before giving it one last mix. Good luck!