Yakimeshi (Fried Rice)

やきめし

Tasty quick staple of Japan – leftovers reminiscent of childhood and Obasan

Yakimeshi, like ojiya, illustrates the practical efficiency of Japan. With rice eaten daily, there accumulates some leftover cooked rice unless you have a teenage boy. This fried rice is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner and it often eagerly anticipated. Each household makes it slightly differently and each time it is made it can be different as the assorted leftovers added to the rice may vary. Yakimeshi is more simply flavored than Chinese fried rice, as it essentially is only flavored with soy sauce. It is also a great way to clean out the corners of the fridge.

Servings: 2 to 3 (about 1 cup cooked rice per serving)

Ingredients:
• 2 to 3 cups of day or two old cooked rice (some use rice that has been stored in the fridge since it is drier)
• 1 onion, chopped
• 2 to 3 green onions, diced thin
• 1 egg
• ¼ cup ham or other chopped meat (optional)
• 1 to 1½ tablespoons oil
• 1 small carrot, chopped or diced
• ¼ to ½ cup vegetables (peas, chopped spinach, diced celery, chopped green beans, or other leftovers)
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce (more or less to taste)
• optional a few diced shitake mushrooms, ginger, garlic or other favorites to personalize the dish

Directions:
1. Chop/dice vegetables and optional meat. Beat egg in separate container and set aside

2. Heat oil in heavy pan, wok or non-stick pan over medium heat. Add onions first and cook to caramelize

3. Cook other vegetables to begin to warm and soften.Do not over cook. Cook meat in the same pan

4. Push vegetables off to one side of pan, cook egg and then break it up and mix with the vegetables

5. Add rice and stir fry for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Break up rice and stir to keep from burning, or sticking to pan. Some recipes call for turning down the heat and covering with a lid for a few minutes. This method can result in a crust on the bottom that can be broken up to give the yakimeshi more texture

6. When nearly done, add finely sliced green onion and soy sauce to taste

7. Mix thoroughly and serve warm. Some add pepper or shichimi togarashi to taste

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