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Ginger Fried Rice

Made with just a few ingredients, this fried rice is highly aromatic thanks to a heavy dose of fresh ginger. In traditional Chinese medicine, ginger is a key ingredient in postpartum care and is believed to help balance the body’s yin and yang (cold and heat), restoring the heat lost during childbirth. More widely, ginger is used to aid digestion and treat stomach upset and nausea, so consider this recipe as a pick-me-up when feeling poorly. While many fried rice recipes include garlic; this one does not because I don’t ever use garlic in my fried rice, and there are purported theories that garlic may alter the breast milk and cause babies to be colicky.

While ginger is the undeniable star of this dish, you can vary the amount to your liking. For optimum bright flavor and warmth, it is added to the skillet after the rice and cooked minimally (the longer ginger cooks, the sweeter it gets). While the recipe calls for a cast-iron skillet, a wok can certainly be used—just skip the step where the rice is cooked undisturbed to crisp up. The wok will accomplish this naturally due to its larger surface area.

As always for fried rice, cold leftover rice is best, but if you need to make rice from scratch, here’s what to do: Cook the rice, let it cool about 10 minutes, then transfer to a baking sheet and spread out into a single layer. Let cool 10–20 minutes more before chilling, uncovered, 1–2 hours. The cool air of the fridge dries out the rice, rendering it more suitable for frying.

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Ingredients

4 servings
3 scallions
5 large eggs
2 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt, divided, plus more
3–5 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
5 cups chilled cooked white or brown rice
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. soy sauce or tamari, plus more for serving
1 2″ piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
Freshly ground white or black pepper

Preparation

Step 1

Remove dark green parts from 3 scallions and thinly slice; set aside. Thinly slice white and pale green parts; set aside separately.

Step 2

Whisk 5 large eggs and ½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt in a small bowl to blend.

Step 3

Heat a dry large cast-iron skillet over medium-high until very hot and wisps of smoke appear, about 3 minutes. Swirl 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in skillet to coat. Pour in egg mixture, swirling pan to coat. Cook, undisturbed, 5 seconds, then stir in a circular motion with a heatproof rubber spatula or wooden spoon until curds are just set, about 20 seconds more. Scrape eggs into a small bowl.

Step 4

Wipe out pan and return to medium-high heat. Drizzle in 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil. Add 5 cups chilled cooked white or brown rice and 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. soy sauce or tamari; sprinkle with 1½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1 tsp. Morton kosher salt and toss to combine. Cook, tossing constantly, until rice is softened and heated through, about 4 minutes. Add one 2″ piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped, and cook, tossing to distribute and adding up to 2 Tbsp. more oil if pan looks dry, until mixture is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Increase heat to high and continue to cook, undisturbed, until rice is crisp underneath, about 3 minutes more.

Step 5

Return eggs to skillet, breaking up into smaller pieces. Add reserved white and pale green parts of scallions and season with freshly ground white or black pepper; toss to combine. Remove from heat. Taste and add more soy sauce and/or season with more salt and/or pepper if needed. Top fried rice with reserved dark green parts of scallions.


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