Sunday, February 21, 2010

Nueske's Bacon Fried Rice

At the risk of sounding passé, I adore bacon.  Specifically Nueske's bacon. Yes, I know bacon was sooooo last year's food trend, but it's still my absolute favorite pork product.  Whenever I cook Nueske's, it immediately conjures up memories of the Sunday morning breakfasts of my childhood.  My dad would cook us each an egg over easy, two slices of crispy, liberally buttered toast, and a slice or two of smoky, delicious Nueske's bacon.

As an adult, I found myself searching for clever ways to incorporate bacon into some of my typical recipes, which is where I came up with bacon fried rice. 

This recipe seems to change each time I make it, as I substitute various veggies that I have in my crisper.  The one constant is the bacon, and I highly recommend using the Nueske's brand for the perfect smoky flavor.

I like to start every recipe by preparing all of my ingredients, particularly if they involve a substantial amount of chopping and cutting as this recipe does.

-1/2 peeled and coarsely chopped carrots
-1 small yellow or white onion chopped
-3 green onions chopped
-5 slices bacon - cut into lardons
-3/4 cup frozen peas
-2 eggs - beaten
-4 cups pre-cooked, chilled short grain rice
-2 tbsp soy sauce
-2 tbsp oyster sauce

Once you've prepped your ingredients, scramble the two eggs first.  This way won't discolor from the soy sauce you'll be adding later.  Once the eggs are scrambled in small pieces, set aside.

Next, you'll fry your bacon.  Pop it into the heated wok and let the lardons fry until they are crispy. The bacon grease will also serve as your oil when frying the vegetables and rice. 

When the bacon is crispy, add your carrots and yellow onion and fry for a few minutes until both are softened.  It's very important to let the bacon cook completely before adding the veggies, as the moisture in the vegetables will prevent undercooked bacon from properly crisping.  Add the peas a couple of minutes later -- they basically have to steam.

Once the veggies are cooked, you'll add approximately four cups of cold, precooked, short grain rice.  I like to cook my rice in a rice cooker the day before and let it sit in the refrigerator and harden a bit, making it much easier to cook and less likely to get mushy when fried.

You'll need to break up the clumps and stir the rice until it mixes with the vegetables and bacon and begins to brown.   Once everything is combined, leave it alone and let it cook for a couple of minutes before turning it.  Be very careful not to overstir your rice. 

Next, add two tablespoons of oyster sauce and two tablespoons of soy sauce.   I like to start with those amounts, gradually adding more soy sauce until the rice reaches the light brown color I am looking for.  Keep in mind, it is easy to add more sauce, but adding too much will result in a super salty and not very tasty dish.

Now that the sauce has been added, stir it in completely and let the rice continue to fry for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Turn off the heat and mix in the eggs that you scrambled earlier.  Garnish with green onion.  Enjoy!


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