Say “fried rice” and most people think of Chinese-style fried rice. Eggs, char shiu pork, sausages, carrot, peas… Delicious, sure, but there’s more than one way to cook fried rice, as any cook worth his or her salt will tell you.
But why garlic, basil, thyme and oregano? Because those were what we had in the pantry on the day this dish was cooked. If you’re wondering if other herbs and spices can be used, the answer is a resounding yes.
Think of the “holy trinity” — not in any religious sense but as a flavor base associated with Cajun and Creole cooking. One part onion, one part carrot and one part bell pepper. It’s a modification of the French mirepoix which has onion, carrot and celery.
Now, think of creating your own flavor base. You like Southeast Asian flavors? Try combining lemongrass, ginger and chilies. Japanese? The trinity of soy sauce, sake and mirin form the base of so many Japanese dishes. So many options, really.
Whatever flavor base you choose, just remember that a good rice dish is not only rich in flavor but in texture as well. And seeds not only give fried rice texture but a delightful aroma too.
- Crumble the rice to separate the grains.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan.
- Lightly brown the garlic over medium heat.
- Add the basil, thyme and oregano. Cook, stirring, for half a minute.
- Turn up the heat to high.
- Add the rice. Season with salt and pepper. Stir fry until the rice is heated through.
- Off the heat, add the flax, chia and hemp seeds.
- Toss to blend well.
- Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
- Add the scallions, toss a few more times.
- Serve the herb and seed fried rice with your meat, seafood or vegetable main course.