From Hong Kong's hawker markets to home kitchens around the world, foodies have been enjoying fried rice since at least the sixth century, and it isn't going anywhere anytime soon. There are several reasons why this beloved dish is served alongside pretty much every entree in Chinese restaurants today. Aside from being delicious, two of the main reasons are thriftiness and versatility. It's an easy catchall for odds and ends of produce that might otherwise be approaching their deathbed in your fridge. Half a tomato? A few celery stalks? A handful of spinach leaves? Toss it all in! It's a one-skillet dish that minimizes food waste and puts a stick-to-your-ribs meal on the table, even at the end of the pay period.
You know what else can be thrifty and versatile? Canned vegetables, including canned corn — and one of the best ways to use canned corn is adding it to your fried rice lineup. Sweet-and-salty corn complements any type of protein you use, from boiled chicken to bulgogi to tofu. It would work especially well with sweet-savory char siu pork, the type of pork that many Chinese restaurants use to make fried rice. Whatever vegetables you choose, just be sure that they are relatively quick-cooking so that your delicate corn will be well-matched and not become too soggy. Snow peas, purple cabbage, mushrooms, shredded carrots, and thinly sliced bell pepper would all fit the ticket beautifully.
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Sweet-Salty Taste And Zero Waste
For a crispier mouthfeel, many cooks prefer to use day-old rice to make their fried rice, as the water content is lower. With the addition of canned corn, some residual added moisture is likely to enter the mix, too, so opting for day-old rice could be especially helpful here. Jasmine, basmati, and long-grain white rice are all awesome. Don't have any pre-cooked rice? No need to despair. Just whip up a fresh batch, then spread it across a baking sheet and pop it in the fridge for roughly 30 minutes to dehydrate.
From there, all it takes is a little culinary creativity to turn your corn-centric fried rice into a dinnertime showstopper. For a hearty, creamy vegetarian dish with a richer mouthfeel, you could stir a can of cream corn into your fried rice. To add more flavor, reserve the corn's sweet-salty canning liquid and hydrate the rice in it.
You can even make complex fried rice using only canned ingredients like mixed peas and carrots, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, edamame, pineapple chunks, or baby corn, for a corn-two-ways presentation. This canned-corn version of fried rice is also a great dish to keep in mind for the winter months if you find yourself snowed in. Instead of having to scrape off the car and brave the weather, you could raid your own pantry and enjoy rice fried inside.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.