Adapted from traditional Chinese fried rice, Japanese fried rice (chahan) has become a staple meal throughout the country. While it is often served as a side dish at ramen restaurants, fried rice is also a popular meal to cook at home. Easy to throw together and endlessly versatile, fried rice is a delicious and convenient way to use up any vegetables or proteins you have lying around your fridge!
In this version of fried rice, we use the classic pairing of beef and negi (spring green onion) to create a satisfying and addictive dish. Start by marinating beef in a sweet and salty soy-based marinade reminiscient of teriyaki sauce. The flavorful, garlicky marinade helps to season the whole dish.
Next, soft scramble two eggs until they are half-cooked. Rather than stirring the eggs directly into the rice, prepare them separately so that they form small, distinguishable pieces.
Then, fry up the marinated beef in fragrant sesame oil. The sugar and soy sauce in the marinade will caramelize, releasing a smoky, grilled flavor. If you would like to add any extra vegetables such as frozen peas and carrots, throw them into the pan during this step and cook until soft.
Next, mix in the cooked eggs and rice. Day-old, refrigerated rice works best. This is because cold rice is firm, allowing it to retain its shape as it is stir fried. Conversely, freshly-made rice has the tendency to break down and turn into mush.
Lastly, add in negi for a dose of freshness and bright green color. Season with salt and pepper, and dig in!
Cooking time: 10 mins
Serving size: 2
- 150g beef (thinly sliced)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp cooking oil
- 2 cups rice (cooked)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 10 negi (spring onion stocks) (finely chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine beef and beef marinade into a separate bowl. Mix well
- Scramble eggs in a separate bowl.
- In a pan on medium heat, add the cooking oil and scramble the eggs from step 2 and until half cooked then remove.
- In the same pan on medium heat, add the sesame oil and beef from step 1. Stir fry until cooked. Add the rice and eggs from step 3 and mix until homogenous. Add the onions at the end.
- Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!
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Introduction courtesy of Britney Budiman
Britney Budiman (@booritney) is a writer, minimalist, aspiring effective altruist, and runner-in-progress with a penchant for saying “yes.” Previously, she has worked in Cambodia at a traditional arts NGO, in Brazil as a social sciences researcher, and in San Francisco at a housing start-up. She currently lives in the countryside of Kagoshima, Japan, where she teaches English. Her favorite thing in the world is good conversation.