The last time Mom made her Fried Rice for a party I was going to, everybody there wanted to know what the secret was. I know it sounds gross, but the secret is old rice. And since the rice we'd used was nearly a week old and had been drying out in a plastic grocery store bag in her fridge the whole time, I really wasn't kidding.
Of course, when my mom makes Fried Rice, it's one of those everything-but-the-kitchen-sink recipes. In addition to bacon, she also added a crumbled-up bratwurst, then cooked up some chopped celery, bean sprouts and sliced green onions with the other veggies. I would have added the same if I had the ingredients, but like her, I just use what's in the kitchen whenever I make Fried Rice.
So the following should be taken as more of a base recipe. Be sure to add any of your favorite ingredients: cooked chicken, Chinese sausage (yum!), water chestnuts, cooked carrots, bamboo shoots, baby corn, etc. And if you're going meat-free, just add a little more sesame seed oil or vegetable oil when you cook the veggies. And have fun!
4 cups cooked rice (2 cups uncooked)
1 t. vegetable oil
2 eggs, scrambled
2 slices bacon, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 c. frozen peas, thawed
2 t. soy sauce, divided
1 t. sesame oil, divided
1 t. salt, divided
Heat oil in nonstick skillet and cook scrambled eggs as you would an omelette. Flip when the bottom is done and try to keep it pretty. Remove from pan when done, then cut into bite-size strips after it cools.
Cook bacon over medium-high heat until crispy, then remove with slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Add onion to bacon grease and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add bell pepper and cook for 3 more minutes. Add about 1/2 t. salt, then remove vegetables from skillet and set aside.
Put 1/2 t. sesame oil in skillet and cook put half the rice in the skillet. Smoosh it down a little with a spatula, and let it cook for a minute or two. Use a spatula and chopsticks to turn the rice over and smoosh it down some more. Keep cooking and turning for another couple of minutes until clumps begin to form, but don't let the rice burn. Add about 1 t. soy sauce and mix well, then set aside with cooked veggies and cook remaining rice in same manner.
Put everything - cooked veggies, rice, thawed peas, 1/2 t. salt, sliced eggs and cooked bacon - in the skillet and mix well. Add more soy sauce or salt to taste.