Lifesaving One-Pot Fried Rice

¼ cup plus 1½ teaspoons grapeseed, canola, peanut or vegetable oil

2 large eggs, beaten

One 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger root, minced (1 tablespoon)

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1 medium carrot, cut into ¼-inch dice (peeled or scrubbed well; ½ cup)

½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels, defrosted

¼ cup fresh or frozen green peas, defrosted

2 cups cold cooked rice

¼ cup chopped scallions (white and green parts)

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

1½ tablespoons soy sauce

¼ cup pine nuts, almonds, peanuts or cashews, toasted (optional; see prep note)

Heat a 12-inch stainless-steel skillet over medium-high heat. When a few drops of water flicked over the surface evaporate in a second or two, the skillet is at the right temperature.

Swirl in 2 tablespoons of the oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add the beaten eggs and tilt the skillet so that they spread, covering the surface like a crepe. Cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, until it's just set. Use a thin spatula and flip the eggs over; cook for 5 seconds to make sure they are thoroughly cooked through. Slide the eggs onto a cutting board, then cut into strips.

Wipe the skillet clean, then return it to medium-high heat. Repeat the water test to make sure the skillet heat is the right temperature.

Pull the skillet off the heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil, swirling the pan to coat the bottom and sides. (If the oil begins to smoke, the skillet is too hot. Let it cool for a few minutes, wipe it clean, wash and start again.)

With the skillet back over medium-high heat, add the ginger and crushed red pepper flakes; stir-fry for 10 seconds, or just until fragrant.

Add the carrots; stir-fry for 30 seconds, or until they turn a brighter shade of orange. Add the corn and peas; stir-fry for 1 minute.

Make a small clearing in the center of the pan and pour the remaining 1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons of oil into the skillet, then swirl to distribute. Add the rice and scallions; stir-fry for 2 minutes, breaking up the rice with a spatula until the rice is heated through. Season with the salt and white pepper.

Prep note: Toast the nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes, shaking the pan a few times to avoid scorching. Let cool completely before using.

Pour the soy sauce around the edges of the skillet, then stir-fry to incorporate it. Return the cooked egg to the skillet, along with the nuts, if using, tossing to incorporate. Stir-fry just until the egg is just warmed through.

Serve right away.

Calories: 360; Total Fat: 23 g; Saturated Fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 95 mg; Sodium: 580 mg; Carbohydrates: 33 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Sugars: 3 g; Protein: 9 g.

Adapted from a recipe by cookbook author Grace Young posted on

Fried rice can be the best way to use up your leftover takeout rice. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post.
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