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Grace Young’s Peppery Vegetarian Fried Rice

Serves 2 to 3 as a main dish or 4 as part of a multicourse meal.

1 cup brown rice
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons minced ginger
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup ¼-inch diced carrots
4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, cut into ¼-inch dice (about 2 1/3 cups)
½ cup vegetable broth
½ cup chopped scallions
¼ cup pine nuts, roasted
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

Put the rice in a 1-quart saucepan and wash in several changes of cold water until the water runs clear. Drain and level the rice. Add 2 cups cold water. Bring the water to a boil uncovered over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer the rice until most of the water has evaporated and little craters appear on the surface, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Turn off the heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff the rice, cover, and allow to cool completely before refrigerating.

When ready to stir-fry the rice, heat a 14-inch flat- bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in 2 teaspoons of the oil, making sure the bottom of the wok is completely coated in oil. Add the eggs and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, tilting the pan so that the egg covers the surface as thinly as possible to make a pancake. When the bottom is just beginning to brown and the pancake is just set, using a metal spatula flip the pancake and allow it to set, about5 seconds, before transferring it to a cutting board. Cool, then cut the pancake into bite-sized pieces.

Swirl 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil into the wok, add the ginger and red pepper flakes, then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry 10 seconds or until the ginger is fragrant. Add the carrots and mushrooms and stir-fry 30 seconds or until all the oil is absorbed. Swirl the broth into the wok and stir-fry 1 minute or until almost all the broth has evaporated. Swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, add the scallions and rice, and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes, breaking up the rice with the spatula until it is heated through.  Add the pine nuts and soy sauce, sprinkle on the salt, pepper, and the reserved egg pieces, and toss
to combine.

Serves 2 to 3 as a main dish or 4 as part of a multicourse meal.

From STIR-FRYING TO THE SKY’S EDGE by Grace Young. Copyright © 2010 by Grace Young. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc, NY.

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