While fried rice is mostly considered a way of recycling leftovers, there’s no earthly reason why you can’t take premium ingredients and put them together to make a rice dish that’s so good it can be a one-dish meal.
Why does the combination of salty Chinese ham and sweet Japanese sausage work? Because instead of a one-dimensional dish, you get contrast in flavors. And since both ham and sausage are cured meats, the richness is simple incredible.
When choosing the vegetables, try for variety in color, shape and texture. While carrot, peas and bell peppers are usual choices, you may opt for broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, corn or asparagus. Just remember to cut them into really small pieces.
Start building color and flavor by stir frying vegetables. The carrot and shallots go in first to give the carrot a chance to soften and the shallots to turn translucent before adding the bell pepper.
The ham and sausage are added next and the stir frying continues until the edges of the pieces of meat are just starting to brown. The sweet peas are thrown in and everything is stir fried until the peas are heated through.
The meats and vegetables are scooped out and transferred to a bowl. More oil is drizzled into the wok, beaten eggs are poured in and cooked with plenty of stirring to break the mass into small pieces.
The rice joins the eggs in the wok, soy sauce is drizzled in, and the eggs and rice are stir fried until the rice is heated through and the egg pieces are well distributed.
The cooked vegetables, ham and sausage are added and everything is tossed together. The fried rice is done at this point but it never hurts to give it a taste first to decide if the seasonings need adjustment.
If you do add more seasonings to the fried rice, remember to toss everything thoroughly to ensure that the added seasonings are distributed evenly.
Full recipe below
Ham and sausage fried rice
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil - divided
- ½ cup chopped shallot
- ½ cup chopped carrot
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ cup chopped bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped Chinese ham
- 1 cup chopped Japanese sausage - or any sweet Asian sausage
- ½ cup sweet peas
- 3 eggs - lightly beaten
- 6 cups day-old rice
- 3 to 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
- In a large wok or frying pan, heat two tablespoons cooking oil.
- Stir fry the carrot and shallots for a minute.
- Add the bell pepper, sprinkle in a little salt and pepper, and stir fry for another half a minute.
- Add the ham and sausage, and stir fry for a few minutes until the pieces of meat are starting to brown along the edges.
- Add the peas, stir fry for half a minute, and scoop out the meat and vegetables into a bowl.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the pan and pour in the beaten eggs. Sprinkle in salt and pepper.
- Cook, stirring, until no longer wet. Using your spatula, break into small pieces without removing from the pan.
- Add the rice to the eggs and pour the soy sauce over the rice.
- Stir fry until the rice is heated through.
- Take the cooked ham, sausage and vegetables and add to the rice and eggs.
- Stir fry for a minute then taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
- Off the heat, drizzle in the sesame seed oil, toss everything thoroughly and serve.