Broadcaster and mum Yumi Stynes is not only a clever cookie on the radio (and in her ABC podcast, Ladies We Need To Talk), she’s also a genius in the kitchen! Her brand new book, The Zero F*cks Cookbook, is the proof in the pudding, jam-packed with the sort of delicious recipes you’ll want to cook for your friends and family every gosh-darned night. Take this fried rice, for instance … yum attack!
Most Asian home cooks tend to have a lot of left-over rice. My mum wraps individual portions in plastic and freezes them. I don’t bother – with all the humans living in my house, leftovers get used up before I need to freeze them.
This recipe works best with left-over rice that’s been in the fridge as the rice holds its shape really well. Once you nail the basic idea of fried rice, I recommend you get creative with whatever other ingredients and leftovers you tend to have lying around. For some reason this is the only rice dish I like to eat with a fork and spoon instead of chopsticks.
Yumi Stynes’ very good, very easy fried rice
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Prep time: 15 minutes
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 garlic clove, grated
1 small knob fresh ginger, grated
1 onion, finely chopped
2 bacon rashers, cut into matchsticks
4 cups of leftover cooked rice
1 cup frozen peas
1 carrot, grated
1/2 red capsicum, diced (optional)
3 tbsp soy sauce
- Whisk the eggs together with the sugar in a small jug, then scramble gently in a small non-stick frying pan. Set aside.
- Heat the oils in a large wok over a medium–high heat then add the garlic, ginger and onion and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent but not coloured.
- Add the bacon and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, then add the cold rice to the pan and mix it through the other ingredients, pressing with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps. (If the lumps are holding ﬁrm, sprinkle a teaspoon of cold water over them and continue to work with the back of the spoon. They will yield.)
- Add the peas, carrot and capsicum to the wok and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring continuously, so that all the elements are exposed to the heat.
- Stir through the soy sauce, then toss through the cooked egg and garnish with ﬁnely chopped spring onion.
- Serve immediately.
1. The only essential ingredients here are the rice itself and the soy sauce – if any of the other ingredients is missing you can still make a perfectly good fried rice. The veg here can also be switched around for whatever you have in the fridge – if you don’t have any red onion you can always use spring onion or the white part of a leek here, for example.
2. Try adding in leftovers like left-over san choi bao, roast chicken or pork belly at the same time as the bacon for extra yumminess.
This is an edited extract from The Zero F*cks Cookbook by Yumi Stynes published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $39.99 and is available in stores nationally.
Photographer: ©Chris Chen