David's Recipe for Jewish Fried Rice

"Chinese" fried rice is quintessentially Jewish-American. If you don't believe me, read Joseph Heller's Good as Gold.

One-Dish Meal, American

  • Day-old cooked rice. The quantity I use is what's left over from cooking 1 kg of rice, after the tribe's been fed. None of the quantities are critical in any case.
  • 1 chili pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 eggs
  • A few scallions, sliced into pieces about 1/3" thick. You can use both the white and the beginning of the green, where it's still pretty soft.
  • A few stalks celery, sliced thin on a diagonal
  • 1 kg skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut into pieces about 2" x 1/2"
  • 1/4 cup or more strongly flavored olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce. The type and brand make a big difference, so choose carefully.
  1. Heat some of the oil over a high flame.
  2. Unclump the rice if necessary and fry it in the oil until it just barely starts to brown, turning occasionally. Set aside.
  3. Add more oil as necessary and fry the pepper and ginger for 1 minute. Add them to the rice.
  4. Add more oil as necessary. Open the eggs and drop them into the wok or frying pan. Stir them quickly and constantly until they are scrambled, dry, and broken into little pieces. Add them to the rice.
  5. Add more oil as necessary. Fry the celery for a minute and add it to the rice.
  6. AMOAN. Fry the chicken meat, turning occasionally, until it is evenly white, with no visible pink left.
  7. Add back the rice, including all of the solid ingredients which you have previously added to it, back to the wok.
  8. If you are using a cast iron wok or pan, or other vessel whose walls hold the heat well, it is best to turn off the flame before continuing. If not, use a heat diffuser, turn the flame low, and work quickly.
  9. Stir together the rice with all of the other solid ingredients, the soy sauce, and the scallion slices until the rice is evenly coated with the soy sauce and no longer visibly wet from it. All of the ingredients should be evenly distributed by now.
  10. Serve as a one-dish meal, or (if you insist) as a course in a Chinese dinner.

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