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Thai Fried Rice

If you have rice in your pantry, you’re well on your way to a great meal—something you have in common with home cooks around the globe. Martha offers a lesson on the world’s most common grain, starting with a perfect pot of fluffy white rice, which you can incorporate into a main course or serve as an accompaniment to a host of other dishes. From there, she’ll show you her tried-and-true techniques for flavorful pilaf, risotto, and Thai fried rice.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 4 to 8 cloves garlic, minced (or more if not using optional ingredients)
  • 1 to 2 ounces thinly sliced boneless pork (optional)
  • 2 cups cold cooked rice (preferably Thai jasmine)
  • 1 cup torn Asian greens (such as cabbage, mustard greens, or bok choy)
  • 2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce, or to taste
  • Garnish and Accompaniments
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves
  • 6 thin cucumber slices
  • 1 small scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced on the bias (optional)
  • 2 lime wedges
  • 1/4 cup Thai Fish Sauce with Hot Chiles

Directions

  1. Heat a large heavy wok over high heat. When it is hot, add oil and heat until very hot. Add garlic and stir-fry until just golden, about 20 seconds. Add pork, if using, and cook, stirring constantly, until all the pork has changed color completely, about 1 minute.
  2. Add rice, breaking it up with wet fingers as you toss it into wok. With your spatula, keep moving rice around wok. At first it may stick, but keep scooping and tossing it and soon it will be more manageable. Fry rice, sometimes pressing against wok with back of spatula. (Good fried rice should have a faint seared-in-the-wok taste.) Cook for about 30 seconds. Add greens, then fish sauce, and stir-fry for 30 to 60 seconds.
  3. Turn out onto a plate and garnish with coriander, cucumber slices, scallion, and lime wedges. Squeeze lime onto rice as you eat it, along with chile sauce — the salty, hot taste of the sauce brings out the full flavor of the rice.