Let me tell you a story. Well, its not really a story, its more of a statement. I just need a forum in which I can express my feelings toward sesame oil. Throughout college, stir-fry was always a common meal that I would make. Rice, veggies, and soy sauce? Mmm, mmm, good. Then, after spending some time at home after graduation (in my mother’s fully stocked kitchen), I discovered how much sesame oil could enrich a meal.
I mean, I had used sesame oil before, but only when specific recipes called for its presence in the dish. Then, one day, I decided to try some sesame oil in my run-of-the-mill stir fry. Run-of-the-mill, no longer. Let me tell you.
Now, one of my go-to meals to whip up is fried riiiiice. For some reason, my brain keeps saying fried rice like that. Not out loud, but in my brain. It’s fun, riiiiight? Okay, I’ll stop.
And the key ingredient in said fried rice is sesame oil. I’ve been on a mission to convert all of the people in my life to use sesame oil in their fried rice, stir fry, another rice dish really. If you are not yet a sesame oil worshipper and I haven’t come after you yet, consider this the first step in the intervention that I am planning for you. So much more flavor! And the smell! Sesame oil definitely makes its presence known to your olfactory senses.
Another tip for fried rice that you may or may not know is that you should use cold, leftover rice. If I know that I am going to be making fried rice in an upcoming week, then I’ll make fried rice, as I am making my dinner for that night. Then, I’ll stick that rice in the fridge to be made into fried rice within the next couple of days. If you use fresh steamy rice and cook it with oils over heat, it will become squishy and risks becoming more of a sticky rice paste. Cold rice that has lost some moisture and hardened a bit will be able to hold its shape amidst the hot oils.
Got it? Day old rice. Sesame oil. And you’ll end up with some rad fried riiiice (oops, I did it again).
Here’s what ya do:
yields 4-6 servings
1 c. dry rice, cooked ahead of time
olive oil (I usually use about 1/4 c. overall)
2-3 tsp. sesame oil
3 Tbsp. tamari sauce, or gluten-free soy sauce
2/3 c. baby carrots, sliced
2/3 c. edamame
1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
In advance: Cook 1 c. of rice at least 6ish hours ahead of time. I tend to cook it the night before I make fried rice.
First, I cook the eggs. Using a medium-large skillet, heat about 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over fairly low heat. After heating the oil for a minute or two, crack the three eggs into the skillet and use a spatula to scramble the eggs while they cook.
Once the eggs have set, transfer to a plate and set aside for later.
In the same skillet, heat about 2 Tbsp. olive oil and 1 Tbsp. sesame oil over fairly low heat. (It’s good to start out with about a 1:3 ratio of sesame oil and olive oil. I usually end up adding a little more sesame oil, just because I’m such a big fan.) Then, throw the cooked rice in.
Using a wooden spoon, break up the rice and mix it into the oil. Scoot the rice to the sides of the skillet and make way for the carrots and edamame in the middle to get those cooking.
After the veggies have cooked for a couple minutes, mix them into the rice.
At this point, the rice starts to look a little dry, so I drizzle another Tbsp. of olive oil, as well as another tsp. sesame oil (or to taste). Also mix in the tamari sauce and eggs, and toss. Let it cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Once the rice is looking ready to go, sprinkle the scallions and sesame seeds into the fried rice.
Toss everything together once more to move sure everything is evenly mixed and cook for another few minutes.
And you’ve got yourself some fried rice! Be careful… it’s addicting. Once you start, it’s difficult to stop eating! Partially, because this stuff is also good cold. Which means it is just too easy to walk by the fridge and casually snatch a bite every 10 minutes. Too. Easy.