The key side dish in any Chinese restaurant, fried rice is a real crowd-pleaser. Providing a limitless array of ingredients and flavors, it can satisfy vegetarians and carnivores alike. But for those of you looking to serve Asian cuisine in your own home, this recipe for broccoli egg fried rice is a great place to start.
Offering a balance of textures between the fluffiness of the rice, the creaminess of the eggs, and the gentle crunch of the broccoli, this dish is delicious, inexpensive, and sure to appease even the pickiest of eaters. This recipe can be modified to incorporate many of the leftovers you have in your fridge – spare vegetables, a bit of chicken breast, maybe even some cabbage – but for now, let’s stick with the broccoli-fried egg combo.
- 1 head of broccoli (small or large, depending on how much you want)
- 1 large bunch of scallion green onions
- 4 large free range eggs
- A pinch of kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 small piece of fresh ginger
- 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 3 cups of cooked rice, cooked the previous day and refrigerated
- 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
One of the plus points of this dish is that you don’t need very much to make enough for four main servings, and a lot of these ingredients are available in a standard grocery store. So here’s what you need to do with all those ingredients.
Make your rice the day before
The key to a good fried rice dish is, rather obviously, the rice. It’s important to avoid freshly cooked rice, opting for rice that’s been steamed the day before and thoroughly refrigerated. Even lukewarm rice won’t fry very well and just give you stodgy lumps when put on a hot pan.
If you’re in a rush, though, you can cook a fresh load of rice and deposit it into a shallow baking dish. Wrap that in cling film and put the tray in a freezer for about a quarter-hour, just enough time for it to become chilled and not frozen!
Chopping up broccoli
Take your head of broccoli and cut off the florets into smaller bite-sized chunks. You can also use the stem here, so cut off a piece that’s about an inch and a half in length; then peel the stem so that you’re left with a smooth stalk and chop that up into chunks a similar size to those of the florets. Put your broccoli chunks in a medium-sized bowl.
Now, trim off the roots and the top ends of your scallions. Position the scallions horizontally on your chopping board and slice them into small O-shaped chunks. Scrape your diced scallions into the bowl with the broccoli, which we’ll come back to a little later.
Prepping the eggs and flavorings
Crack open the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk them together with a ½ tablespoon of salt. In another smaller bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of sugar, all of your soy sauce, a tablespoon of salt. Then grate your piece of fresh ginger over the top of the mixture and whisk that all together.
Fried eggs and vegetables
Now it’s time to create the base of your fried rice. Heat up a large wok to a medium-high heat and pour in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil; leave it until it’s just about starting to smoke, before adding your bowl of chopped broccoli and scallions. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and stir them into the pan so that they’re coated with the oil; cook them for five minutes, with minimal stirring, before adding anything else. You want the broccoli to have a lot of direct contact with the wok to ensure it isn’t too raw and crunchy!
Once they start to brown a bit, and the scallions have wilted in the heat, scoop your vegetables back into the bowl you put them in originally. We’ll come back to these later. Pour in the leftover 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil into your wok, this time over a medium-low heat.
Add your eggs and cook them, moving them with a spatula all the time so that a large curd forms inside the wok. This should take around half a minute, and you want the eggs to be on the side of undercooked, as you’re going to end up with excessively spongy eggs if you let them cook properly.
Making fried rice
The trick to getting fried rice that’s a little bit crispy is to let the rice brown a bit on the bottom, so let the rice have a lot of contact with the wok and be sure to cook it over a high heat. Let the rice sit for a few moments between stirrings, as this will allow it – and the vegetables – to brown up and give you a crisper texture.
Scoop the refrigerated rice into the wok, alongside the cooked eggs, and then add your soy sauce mixture as prepared earlier. Gently toss all of these ingredients together in the wok and then leave to cook, occasionally stirring to allow maximum exposure to the hot surface.
Next, tip in your broccoli and scallions and gently stir those into the fried rice. Take the wok off the heat, pour in 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, and give this mixture one final stirring to combine everything together, providing the fried rice with its distinctive coppery brown color.
And serve! With a meal that’s simple to prepare and made with cheap, easy-to-find ingredients, you’re going to have enough here to feed four hungry adults. Before digging in, however, you may want to taste a little first and decide whether more soy sauce is needed – or if you’re feeling brave, you could drizzle some hot sauce over your serving for some extra fire in your fried rice.