Fried rice with hickory smoked pork belly, snap peas, grated carrots, ginger, garlic and green onions.
WHAT’S GOING ON HERE:
Rice: A long or medium grain rice work best for fried rice. Plain white rice works fine especially if you have a ton leftover. Jasmine or basmati rice are even better since they add a little bit more flavor than a simple white rice.
Smoked Pork Belly: Pork belly is exactly what it says it is. The belly cut of pork. Its a fatty cut and tough one that needs a little extra attention. Pork belly unseasoned can be really hard to find so any cut of pork will do well in this dish. If the cut is leaner accommodate the cook time for the lack of fat.
Vegetables: Snap peas, carrots, green onions, and garlic are my go-to for fried rice. The green onion adds mild onion flavor, the snap peas and carrots add crunch and garlic because you can never have too much. When I’m not using snap peas I’ll often substitute them for purple or yellow cabbage since the crunch is similar.
Ginger: Ginger is a aromatic. Similar to garlic and even fish sauce it brings everything together. A little ginger goes a long way.
Soy Sauce: Soy sauce not only adds tremendous flavor but its your guide to properly seasoned fried rice. When the color of the rice deepens that when you know its more than likely at the right point. That’s why its important to leave the rice unseasoned up until this point.
TIPS & TRICKS FOR THE BEST SMOKED PORK BELLY FRIED RICE
cooking the rice: cooking the rice is most important part of fried rice. the key to good rice is making sure the rice is completely dried out before frying it in the pan. sometimes you want fried rice but don’t have 24 hours to dry out the rice. what i like to do once i cook the rice is spread a thin even layer on a sheet pan and pop it straight uncovered into the refrigerator till its time for use.
stir frying the vegetables: stir frying the vegetables properly is important. stir fry the vegetables separate before combing them with the rice. that way the vegetables don’t steam the rice. its important to keep the moisture content down.
skillet or griddle: using a giant griddle to me is the best way to make fried rice. you can have all the ingredients cook separately and combine them together in one place. if you don’t have a griddle and are cooking your fried rice on the stove top be sure to work in batches. i like to start with the protein that way it can coat the pan in extra fat so the vegetables and rice don’t stick. also, make sure the side of the pan are not too high that can cause the rice to start steaming. only add everything together once its time to start seasoning.
color correcting: use soy sauce as your guide to tell you when the fried rice is finished. fried rice can absorb an impressive amount of soy sauce, hoisin helps adds a little color and sweetness without all the salt. a deep rich brown is what you’re looking for. pale rice needs more soy sauce.
salt: soy sauce isn’t as salty as it seems and sometimes without the addition of salt it leaves the rice feeling incomplete. since this dish is saturated in soy a little pinch of salt is all it needs to bring everything together.
cooking the egg: cooking the egg can make or break fried rice. adding it too close to the rice in a pan not hot enough can throw off the texture of the rice. either crack and cook the egg away from the rice or clear a space in the middle of the pan to crack the egg into to make sure it has direct contact with the heat. make sure the egg is fully cooked before tossing it into the rice. this isn’t fried rice carbonara.
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