Polynesian-Style Fried Brown Rice
Like most fried rice, this recipe is completed in two steps – cooking the rice and cooling it, then frying it with the other ingredients. To make things easier, we bake the rice ahead of time in the oven, a recommendation we learned from Alton Brown. We used a combination of orange juice, chicken broth, chunks of ginger and sesame oil to give the rice plenty of flavor, even before frying. Brown rice has a resilient texture that makes it our favorite choice for this dish but if you prefer white rice, by all means use it – it wouldn’t compromise the finished product at all.
- 2 cups uncooked brown rice
- 2-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, quartered
- 2 strips thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- Vegetable or peanut oil
- 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 3 tablespoons soy or fish sauce
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the brown rice in a shallow 3-quart casserole or 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Add the chicken broth, orange juice, and sesame oil.
- Smash the ginger pieces with the side of a large knife to help release the flavor, then add them to the rice. Stir once and cover tightly.
- Bake for 1 to 1-1/4 hours, or until the rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the oven, fluff with a fork and cool completely, about 90 minutes.
- Heat a wok or large pan over medium-high heat and fry the bacon until just barely crisp. Raise the heat to high and add about 1/2 of the rice.
- Stir fry for about 2 minutes, tossing constantly with a spatula. Make a well in the center of the rice, add a bit of oil, then add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic.
- Continue cooking for another 1 to 2 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent and combine with the rice thoroughly.
- Once again, make a well in the center of the rice and add a little more oil.
- Start adding the remaining rice in small increments, continually stir-frying until all the rice is heated through and golden brown.
- Make another well in the center of the rice and add the egg. Cook until set, scramble and distribute throughout the rice.
- Stir in the pineapple and soy (or fish) sauce, mix thoroughly and serve.
You can easily cook the rice a day in advance and refrigerate it until ready to stir fry. Just break up the cold clumps with your fingers before using.