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Fried rice is another good staple to be able to whip up. This Thai version is made with lots of blended ingredients that are great together.
Fried rice is flexible and a great way to use up what you have on hand. This version is flavored with garlic, mushrooms and pork but feel free to use another vegetable or protein.
Thai Fried Rice
1 1/4 cups brown or white jasmine rice
Water (2 1/2 or 2 cups)
8 ounces boneless pork chop (about 1 chop), trimmed
3 tablespoons peanut oil or canola oil, divided
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 cups chopped mushrooms
2 scallions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1/2 cup whole cilantro leaves
1 lime, cut into wedges
1/2 medium cucumber, sliced
1. Combine rice and water (2 1/2 cups for brown rice; 2 cups for white rice) in a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed (40 to 45 minutes for brown rice; 20 minutes for white). Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, spread the rice on a large baking sheet and let cool at least 15 minutes.
2. Thinly slice pork chop crosswise, then cut each slice into long thin strips about the width of a matchstick. Place a large flat-bottom carbon-steel wok over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and swirl to coat the pan, add garlic. Cook, stirring, until just starting to change color, about 20 seconds. Add the pork and cook, stirring, until it is no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon to a clean plate. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the wok. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they soften, 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Sprinkle in the cooked rice and stir-fry, tossing and then pressing it against the hot wok, then tossing and pressing again, until all the rice has been exposed to the hot wok, about 1 minute. Add scallions, fish sauce and the cooked pork and cook, stirring for 30 seconds.
4. Transfer the fried rice to a platter. Garnish as desired.
Susan Woody has been a food writer for over 20 years and is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.