Southern Fried Rice

Foodie Friday

Jun 24, 2011 by

Yep, that’s what I said. Southern fried rice. I also do “clean out the fridge” rice…or “what do I have in the freezer and pantry” rice…;-)  Basically, work with you’ve got. Get creative, or not. As long as you have garlic and onions in the mix, it’ll be tasty.

…and I’d love to try this fella’s Southern Fried rice down in Memphis.  I might just have to fall off the vegetarian wagon for this one.

One of my little tricks/cheats is to cook a pot of rice about once a week. Then, I can do all kinds of things from there, with very little effort.  (Tip I got from Cook’s Illustrated.  Bring rice to boil on the stove, cover tightly and put in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Totally fool-proof rice. I use Trader Joe’s white basmati which is seemingly impervious to abuse;  it turns out well even if I forget and let the pot boil almost dry, then add more water and throw in the oven.)

Amount will vary depending on number of people.  I cook  about 1 cup for myself and that works for at least two meals (Depending on how much other stuff I add to the rice.)

For all variations (three given below) – start with cold rice (warm rice tends to fall apart) and a hot pan with hot oil. I use good quality EVOO and maybe a splash of sesame oil, depending on my mood. Cover the bottom of the pan, but don’t get carried away, or you’ll have way too much grease at the end.

Dump the rice in the pan. Get hot (stir a lot).

If you want eggs, make a hole in the rice after you’ve added the other ingredients (in the order given below) and pour in the beaten eggs, let sit and carefully scramble.  When, done, chop with spoon and mix up with the rice.

From start to finish it only takes 5 to 10 minutes to whip together some variation of fried rice. (The time is longer if you’re adding raw shrimp.)

1. Southern Fried Rice

Substitute real butter for part of the oil.  Add ingredients in the following order.

Chopped tomatoes

Chopped garlic (a couple of cloves)

Those eggs if you want them

Black-eyed peas (or field peas, or purple hulls) drained/cold

Chopped cold fried boneless chicken (or tempeh; I “chicken fry” that too)

Fresh spinach

Bacon bits  (I use the soy fakes and I like them still crunchy)

Diced green onions (I like lots) at the very, very last so they stay green and crunchy

2. Thai Shrimp Fried Rice

Use a good glug of sesame oil along with the EVOO

Sprinkle in about a teaspoon of fish sauce and another of soy, stir well

Chopped garlic (a couple of cloves)

Chopped white onion

Chopped raw shrimp

Those eggs if you want them

Chopped hot (or regular) basil and chile peppers (adjust to your liking)

Chopped cilantro (at the very last)

Chopped green onion if you like (at the very last)

Keep the Sriracha hot chili sauce handy to add to taste (I could drink the stuff)

Note: You can also chop up Trader Joe’s Tempura shrimp (already baked) for both of these, if you want crunchy and shrimpy.

3. Clean out the fridge Rice

Chopped onions

Chopped garlic

Whatever veggies you have in there. Peas, corn, arugula, green or red peppers that are getting kinda wrinkly. (If you do the peppers, dice them and put in right after the garlic, but before the rest of the veggies. You want to get them soft.)

That boiled egg that’s been there for two days, chopped very fine

Maybe a can of tuna from the pantry (drained) – or not

Maybe the last of that smoked salmon – or not

Maybe some crushed red pepper or a squirt of Sriracha

Add splash of balsamic at the end and stir just to get warm

About the Author

Mary Schmidt Has Written 26 Articles For Us!

Mary is a proud Corporate America refugee, having long ago decided that quality of life is far more important than quantity of stuff. However, that said, she thinks money is a very good thing - when used as a tool, not a success measurement. In addition to writing for us, she blogs about business development and marketing at and about marketing to and by women at In her consulting business, her clients have ranged from mega-corps such as Hewlett-Packard to local Mom & Pops.
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