Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"Hibachi" Fried Rice

                 I've been posting a lot lately on Asian style cuisine.  Partly it is because we've been studying Asia in our homeschool.  I have to say that I am quite enjoying our virtual travels to these countries.  I guess cooking these great foods is a perk to studying the countries in Asia. 

                  About 15- 20 years ago there seemed to be a huge pop up of Japanese Hibachi restaurants everywhere.  There was always Benihana, but then lots of smaller places came into being.  They would show up in strip malls, or in smaller building all unto themselves.  You would walk in and smell the varnished wood.  You would then hear the flowing of a water feature somewhere, possibly a Koi Pond or a small fountain.  Then you would have a beautiful fish tank in view filled with the most colorful fish.  You get greeted by a friendly host who gives you a small bow and even a gong with a mallet.  Once you arrive at a large hibachi table you find yourself seated with other couples or families.  Here you have the ability to converse with strangers.  Before you know it, a chef with an imposing chef's hat has his super sharp knives cutting meat and vegetables in such a way, that you say to yourself "when I go home I am going to order some of those Ginzu's".  Within 15 minutes you've got deliciously tender sliced meat along with vegetables, noodles and a dipping sauce.  What is also great is that for 45 minutes or so you were immersed in a different culture. 

                One thing I enjoy eating is Japanese Fried Rice.  I like the flavor of the sesame seeds, the extra crunch of the rice, the light flavor of the soy sauce.  It is of course possible that I enjoy it because it just looks so cool being cooked on a large Hibachi.

                Since we've been eating a lot of Asian inspired food, Hibachi Fried Rice was another recipe that could join the repertoire.

                Having seen it cooked multiple times in front of me, I kind of figured out the ingredients.  It was just a matter of finding the right amount of each.  The one ingredient that might be a taste thing would be the soy sauce.  You can add more or less.  I would start with less and just work it up to the point of your liking.  I did use a low sodium soy sauce alternative.

  1. 2 Tbl oil ( I used canola)
  2. 4 Cups cooked rice ( I used brown)
  3. 1 onion
  4. 1 carrot
  5. 1 clove of garlic
  6. 1 tsp fresh ginger
  7. 1 1/2 Cups cabbage
  8. 1 tsp salt
  9. 3 Tbl low sodium soy sauce
  10. 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  11. 1/8 tsp pepper
  12. 2 eggs
  13. 1 tsp sesame oil
  14. 1 Tbl sesame seeds
In a food processor finely dice the onion, carrot, garlic, ginger, and cabbage.

In a large frying pan, heat up the 2 Tbl of oil at medium heat.  Then saute the vegetables until they have started to soften.  You don't want them mush.  They should still have a bit of crunch.

Then add in the rice and stir to combine.
Push the rice to the side so that part of the pan is visible.  You will crack the eggs in the open part of the pan and scramble them.
 Combine the scrambled eggs with the rice.  Now add the soy sauce, salt, sugar, pepper, sesame oil, and sesame seeds.  Check for seasoning at this point.
Once I was happy with the seasonings, I continued to let the rice cook.  I let some of the rice get crisp, just as you would get at a Hibachi restaurant.
Eat as is or serve it with your favorite Asian main dish.

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