cups uncooked white or brown rice, or 5 cups leftover cooked rice
cup unsalted cashews, coarsely chopped
4 large eggs
5 tablespoons canola oil, divided
teaspoon red-pepper flakes
18 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 small carrots, peeled and finely diced
3 scallions, white parts thinly sliced and green parts cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
cup soy sauce
2-3 teaspoons fish sauce (sold in the Asian aisle of most supermarkets as nam pla or nuoc nam)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (sold in the Asian aisle of most supermarkets)
3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
If making rice from scratch, cook according to package directions with water and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Transfer it to a jellyroll pan or other large baking sheet with sides, spread it out, and allow to cool. If using leftover rice, spread it out on a baking pan as well. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, preferably overnight. Remove from the refrigerator at least an hour before cooking and allow to come to room temperature. According to "The Food of China," this step is key to non-lumpy fried rice.
Center a rack in the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the nuts in a single layer on a pan or in a skillet, and toast until golden and fragrant. Start checking at 5 minutes. When done, remove from pan and set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs well with a fork.
Heat a large wok over medium-high heat until the first wisp of white smoke comes off the wok. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, and tilt the wok to coat. Add the eggs, and quickly stir until just cooked, about 30 seconds. Remove the eggs from the wok, and set aside on a plate.
Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in the wok over medium-high heat. Add the red-pepper flakes, and stir-fry for 15 seconds. Add the shrimp and stir-fry until pink and almost cooked through, about one minute. Add the carrots, and stir-fry for one minute. Stir in the white parts of the green onions. Add the rice, and stir-fry for two minutes or until heated through.
Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce and sesame oil, and continue to stir-fry for one minute. Stir in the eggs and cashews.
Transfer the rice to a bowl, sprinkle with the green parts of the green onions and cilantro, and serve.
Adapted from one by chef Curtis Stone on kitchendaily.com