The City Magazine Since 1975

Fried Rice

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2 cups short grain rice, preferably Tamaki Gold, available at H&L Asian Market


Chef’s note: Walker prefers to cook his rice in a rice cooker and does not use any salt. If you have a rice cooker, use it as directed. No matter how you cook the rice, however, it’s important to first rinse it several times until the water becomes clear. If using a rice cooker, the same insert used to cook the rice is fine to rinse the rice. Otherwise, put it in a large bowl and swirl it with your hands so that it releases cloudy starch. Drain and repeat with changes of water until the water is clear.

To cook the rice, put the rice and two cups of water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, cover tightly, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook the rice without uncovering it for about 20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Remove the saucepan from the heat and fluff the rice with a wooden spoon. Re-cover the saucepan, but leave the lid slightly cracked, and let the rice set for 10 minutes.

Spread the rice out on a rimmed baking sheet, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate uncovered for at least 12 hours, or overnight.

Assemble the following and have ready:

8 leaves lacinato (Tuscan) kale, washed and dried, thick stem at bottom removed
1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided (do not substitute table salt)
1/2 lb. 26/30-count peeled and deveined local shrimp (about 3/4 lb. in the shell)
1/4 lb. unsalted butter
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
1 Tbs. canola oil
1 large egg
1 Tbs. finely cut chives
1 tsp. coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 Tbs. soy sauce

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place the kale on a baking sheet and bake it for 30 minutes, or until dry and crisp. Gently sprinkle the teaspoon of salt on top of the kale. (You may do this step ahead of time. Keep the kale in an airtight container once cool.)

Place the cooked and dried rice in a large bowl and, using your hands, break it into individual grains.

Toss the shrimp with the tablespoon of salt. Melt the butter in a nonstick pan over low heat. Add the shrimp and cook it until the shrimp are pink and just cooked, three to four minutes. Add the pepper, toss gently, transfer the shrimp to a rimmed baking sheet, and set aside.

Heat a 12-inch pan, preferably a wok, over medium-high heat until just before the smoking point. Add the oil and quickly swirl the pan so the oil coats the entire surface. Add the egg and, using a wooden spoon, scramble it, breaking it up into small bits. Add the rice and spread it out in the pan or wok. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook the rice without stirring for two minutes to gently toast it without getting it crispy or browned.

Add chives and coriander, then return the heat to medium-high, and toss the rice. Once the pan is hot and rice is almost steaming, add the soy sauce and shrimp. Toss again. Plate in large bowls with the crispy kale on top as a garnish.