Chinese Take-Out…At Home

It’s Thanksgiving week, so I know lots of us are already prepping for that big meal. Every year there are days-worth of leftovers…and every year we try to find something new to do with those leftovers. Well, this post isn’t about that. I figured I’d go ahead and enjoy some different flavors before all the traditional favorites. 

This meal comes together pretty quickly and is fairly easy to assemble when you have some key ingredients on hand.  Have I ever mentioned how much I love to buy in bulk…or purchase seasonings/sauces just in case I need them? Well, I like to collect Asian sauces in case I want to make a quick noodle meal or stir fry. Let’s get to how I made chicken stir-fry and fried rice. 

Experience has taught me that fried rice has a better texture when you let the cooked rice cool a bit before “frying” it, so I prepared the rice about an hour before I did everything else.  

I diced about a pound of chicken breast, cooked in a skillet with a bit of oil, drained, then seasoned.  Since most of my flavor came from the Asian sauces, I only used about a table spoon of minced garlic, seasoned salt, pepper, onion powder, and ground ginger. 

Next, I used a terrific shortcut…you know I love time savers…frozen stir-fry veggies. I used the whole bag and cooked on medium heat for about 10 minutes (until the veggies were slightly tender). 

After the veggies were tender, I added soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, and honey. 

Honestly, I planned to just use a bottle of teriyaki sauce, but surprisingly I didn’t have a bottle in the pantry. Again, this is why I keep a variety of sauces. You never know when you’ll need to create flavor combinations. 

Anyway, I let this simmer for another five minutes then covered the pan and turned off the heat.  Meanwhile, I prepared the fried rice.  Sometimes I add chicken or shrimp, but today I kept things pretty simple.  

Remember, I already had a pot of cooked rice. I probably should have used my wok, but I didn’t feel like getting it out…so I used a non-stick skillet instead. 

I fried my white rice in enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet, but not so much oil to submerge the rice.  Next I seasoned with seasoned salt, pepper, a little sesame oil, and soy sauce.  You really don’t want to go too heavy with the sesame oil because the flavor can be overwhelming…you just want a hint…a light drizzle.

After mixing in the seasonings, I made a well and added a bit more oil to scramble three eggs. While the eggs are scrambling, the rice is still frying and getting those nice, slightly crispy edges.  Finally, I mixed in the eggs and added frozen peas & carrots. Since these veggies are so small and didn’t need to get mushy, I covered the skillet and turned off the heat to let them cook from the residual heat. 

All that was left to do was give each dish a final stir, then I was ready to plate the meal. Quick, easy, and tasty. Just like I like it! 

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