In our household, fried rice is usually something mishmashed together with leftovers. But when I found the recipe for Five-Spice Fried Rice (try saying that five times fast) with Sweet Potato in Thug Kitchen, I thought this is like a step beyond from just using soy sauce on fried rice.
Chinese Five-Spice is mixture of cloves, star anise, cinnamon, Szechuan peppers and fennel. There are other variations of it with different ingredients. The fragrant spice blend is fantastic on meats.
Fried rice is best made using cold, leftover rice. If you do not have any, cook some rice and allow it to chill. You can cook one cup of rice to yield about three cups of cooked rice.
– 1 sweet potato (about ¾ to 1 pound), peeled, and chopped in small cubes
– 2 tsp sesame oil
– 2 tbsp water, and more if needed
– ½ small onion (white or yellow will work), chopped
– 1 carrot, chopped.
– 1 sweet red pepper
– ¼ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1½ tbsp low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
– 1 tbsp rice vinegar
– 1 tsp chili paste or Sriracha (omit this if you do not want spiciness)
– 3 cups cooked rice (can use brown, jasmine, etc.)
– ½ cup green onions, thinly sliced
– 1 cup frozen or fresh peas or edamame
If you want to keep it vegetarian, incorporate some greens like watercress, arugula or mustard (which are suggested in Thug Kitchen). I wanted to add some meat in my fried rice, so I used three links of Chinese sausage (lap cheong), a pork sausage that is cured and smoked. It has a savoury-sweet flavour with those little pockets of pork fat. So good.
1. In a large skillet (or wok), heat 1 tsp of oil over medium heat and add the sweet potato and water. Stir often. If the potato begins to stick, add more water. Cook until the potato is tender and browning on some sides.
2. Add onions, red peppers and carrots and cook until the onions are just translucent.
2. If you are using Chinese sausage, you can cook it in a rice cooker if you are cooking rice. Simply nestle the sausages above the rice bed and water. This will also impart some flavour into your rice. You can also steam it (which is what I did) by placing the sausages on an a heatproof plate. Put a steaming rack stand in a pot of water and put the plate on top of the stand. Let the water boil and steam for 15 minutes, covered.
3. Cut the sausages on a bias and set aside.
4. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar and Sriracha.
5. Heat remaining oil in the skillet over medium heat.
6. Add rice to the skillet and stir-fry until the rice begins to warm.
7. Drizzle the sauce onto the rice and mix to incorporate.
8. Add the cooked vegetables. Stir to mix everything.
9. Fold in green onions, peas and the sausages (or greens if you are using that).
10. Remove from heat and serve immediately.