The great thing about fried rice is that pretty much anything goes, which makes it a fabulous way to show off seasonal produce. It is especially fabulous in the spring when farmers markets are abundant with greens that you've probably never heard of, like komatsuna and garlic scapes. I like to serve with an assortment of condiments, such as soy sauce, duck sauce, Thai sweet-hot garlic dipping sauce, and chili garlic sauce.
Tip: Make sure all of your ingredients are prepped before starting. The bacon and eggs cook slowly, but once they are done, this dish takes moments to prepare.
This recipe calls for leftover rice. If you have to use fresh rice, cook it an hour in advance and spread it onto a cookie sheet to place it in the freezer for 20 minutes. —The Spiced Life
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: The Spiced Life is a recovering history major with a passion for discovering dishes from around the world.
WHAT: A springtime rice dish to inspire a trip to the farmers market.
HOW: As you would with any fried rice, sauté the vegetables (komatsuna, snow peas, garlic scapes) in a large skillet—but this time, do it in bacon fat. Add in the rice along with scrambled eggs and bacon, then toss it with honey and soy sauce to serve.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This dish takes all of the vegetables we're coveting at our local farmers market and combines them into a simple, fresh weeknight dinner. The entire process takes a matter of minutes and delivers a bright dinner (or breakfast) that betrays its short preparation time. —The Editors
large eggs, whisked
Oil for coating
thick slices bacon, diced
red onion, sliced into half moons
6 to 8
cloves garlic, minced
garlic scapes, cleaned and chopped
shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed, thinly sliced
cooked leftover rice
komatsuna leaves or spinach, stems removed and roughly chopped
fresh or frozen peas
2 to 3 tablespoons
Chinese soy sauce, plus more to taste (I prefer dark but light is more traditional)
Begin by scrambling the whisked eggs in a large nonstick skillet or wok, lightly brushed with oil. Be careful not to overcook them. Remove the eggs and set aside in a bowl when just done.
Place the bacon in the skillet and cook over medium heat, tossing occasionally. When the bacon is browned, remove it with a slotted spoon and place in a separate bowl. Set aside. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease and return the skillet to the heat.
Turn the heat to high and add the onion. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring until it is wilted and slightly translucent. Add the garlic cloves, ginger, and scapes. Cook, tossing, for another 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for another minute.
Add the rice. If your pan is dry, add a drizzle of oil. Depending on your rice, you may need to vigorously break up the clumps while tossing it (I used a leftover sticky Japanese rice so it was quite clumpy). Toss and break the rice up for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the komatsuna, fresh peas (unless you're using frozen peas), and soy sauce, then toss for another minute. Add the snow peas and frozen peas (if using) with the sesame oil and toss. Add the bacon and eggs back into the mixture and toss to distribute until everything is heated through. Add the honey, then taste for additional soy sauce.