When my oldest daughter was in high school, she and some of her friends had each asked a date to the Sadie Hawkins dance, and they decided that they were going to cook a dinner together for their dates. Her contribution to the dinner was fried rice, and she got the recipe from a book called Teens Cook that I had given to my girls. After their dinner was over, I tasted some of the rice and thought it was really good. I didn’t have a recipe for fried rice, but I decided right then and there that I needed one. So I started with the recipe from Teens Cook and added more ingredients to it. It has become one of my family’s favorite dinners. This is the book I’m talking about.
It was written by two teen-aged girls, Megan and Jill Carle, with help from their mother, who is a professional cook book editor. The recipes have fewer ingredients than typical recipes, making them less intimidating to new cooks. Seasoned cooks would consider them to be a little on the bland side because they don’t use many spices, however my teenagers like the food. There is a photo of every recipe, and the authors have used humor (“Okay, I’m a wimp!”) that would appeal to teenagers. Teens Cook would make a great gift for any teenager with an interest in cooking.
The very first thing you need to do to make this Chinese Fried Rice is to cook the rice the day before you are going to serve it, and put it in the refrigerator. Even in the teen cook book, they tell you to do this. I’m going to go ahead and admit this so that you don’t make the same mistake. I skipped that step the first time thinking it couldn’t make that much difference. Wrong! It makes a huge difference. So just promise me right now that you will cook that rice a day ahead of time.
Recipe from Teens Cook/Adapted by Winner Dinners
Note: The rice needs to be cooked the day before!
4 cups cooked rice, refrigerated overnight (important!!)
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup cooked peas
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
6 tablespoons oil, divided
2 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons soy sauce
Cook the rice ahead of time and refrigerate overnight. Beat the eggs with a whisk. Melt butter in a fry pan and cook the eggs without stirring much. When eggs are set, transfer to a cutting board and chop them up. Chop the onions, mushrooms, and green onions. Heat 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) oil and the salt in a wok or large saute pan. Add the rice and saute for about five minutes. Remove from heat and transfer the chopped eggs to the wok with the rice. Heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil in the same fry pan that the eggs were cooked in. Saute the onions until they are golden brown. Add the mushrooms, bean sprouts, peas, and green onions and saute for three minutes. Transfer the cooked vegetables to the wok with the rice and eggs. Add the soy sauce and mix well. Heat thoroughly.