I’ve never made an exceptional fried rice. Maybe my ratios are off. Maybe it always tastes better when someone else makes it. My dad once made fried rice with kabocha and it was delicious. When I tried making it, it was very mediocre.
But this recipe isn’t about kabocha, but about two of my favorite things: bacon and shiso! Oh, and let me tell you—it was as delicious as it sounds. Shiso is wonderfully fragrant. Sometimes used in sushi as an accent, fried in tempura batter, or pickled, shiso’s distinctively bright flavor makes it one of my favorite herbs. Add bacon and how can you go wrong?
We’ve started eating brown rice, but I have to admit I don’t like it with certain traditional dishes. Surprisingly, I prefer brown rice in this dish because it gives a nice hearty chew. Remember to use rice that’s been cooked and refrigerated for 2 days. Fresh rice will be too sticky and make it hard to incorporate the ingredients. For me, 2 days in the fridge is optimal because the rice has the right firmness.
I’m disregarding any past attempt at fried rice. This one’s a keeper.
Bacon and Shiso Fried Rice
Adapted from きょうの料理 2000年9月号
Makes 2 servings
8 ounces cooked rice, refrigerated for 2 days
2 strips of bacon, sliced thinly
10 shiso leaves, halved lengthwise, then sliced in thin strips
1 large egg
1/4 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. sake
3/4 tsp. shoyu
Crack the egg in a small bowl and add a pinch of salt, pepper, a dash of sesame oil, and whisk well. Set aside.
Heat a wok or large pan over medium heat and add bacon. Fry until almost crispy and let cool on a paper towel-lined plate.
Clean the wok with a paper towel, heat the oil over medium heat, and coat the bottom and sides well. Turn down the heat to low and add the ginger and onion and cook until fragrant. Increase the heat to high and add the rice, breaking up clumps with the back of a wooden spoon and continue stirring until everything is incorporated. Add the bacon and toss to mix. Make a well at the center and pour the egg and scramble. Toss to combine.
Add the sake and shoyu, then salt and pepper to taste. Toss until combined. Turn off the heat, mix in the shiso leaves and serve.