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Jocelyn Hsu / Spoon

Yummy!: National Fried Rice Day

This September 20 is National Fried Rice Day, and what better way to celebrate than to talk about this steamy and comforting dish which I have held close to my heart since childhood.


The one thing I love about fried rice is its versatility. In my life, it has been one of those “everything but the kitchen sink” kind of dishes. You can put almost anything in fried rice. 


Some of my favorite ingredients include:


  • Chinese sausage—This pork sausage was my all-time favorite food when I was little. I would sometimes ask my mom just to fry it until crispy in a pan and let me eat it straight. 


  •  Onions—I don’t always add onions, but when I do, it adds a nice tang. Plus, they smell so good when they are frying in oil on the stove. 


  • Spinach/leafy greens—Not only is spinach one of my favorite vegetables, but adding it to fried rice along with other leafy salad greens not only adds a little extra flavor and texture but can help you use up the little leftover you might have in those rather big plastic store-bought tubs that you are likely left with. So, no waste!


  •  Anchovies—This is a more recent favorite, but when you fry these little fishies on the stove until they are crispy and crunchy, they are amazing, especially mixed in with the soft texture of the rice.   


  • Chives—I feel like whenever I add these, it just brings the dish up another level. They are tangy and garlic-y and make the dish feel oh-so fancy. 


Like I mentioned earlier with the leafy greens, fried rice is also a great way of using up some of your leftovers. 


If you have leftover chicken that is cooked, whether it's seasoned or not, you can strip it off the bone and add it to fried rice! If you have leftover cooked pork chops, you can cut them into little pieces and add them, too!


Have vegetables being forgotten in the fridge? You can add old carrots, peas, cabbage and even mixed vegetables from a bag in the freezer. The possibilities actually stretch fairly wide.  


With all these ingredients, all you need is some cooked rice, some oil, a little bit of garlic, an egg or two, some soy sauce, salt and a large enough pan to mix everything together, and you’ve got yourself a nice steaming plate of fried rice!


Hopefully this inspired you to try making some fried rice of your own or at least made you appreciate this delicious dish on this September 20. 


Anjuli is a senior at Winona State University majoring in applied and professional writing and minoring in psychology. She is interested in broadening her writing abilities and writing about topics that she is passionate about. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her three cats, going to the movies and traveling.
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