Aliza's house fried rice

I feel the need to urge you to develop your own house fried rice recipe. Fried rice is a breakfast, lunch, and dinner staple in our house that never gets old. Maybe it's because it always changes a bit, using up leftover grains and vegetable drawer odds and ends. Maybe it's because it's a conduit for some of our favorite condiments like kimchi and chili crisp. But it's simple, satisfying, and a helpful recipe to have in your repertoire. I usually have everything I need to make it on any given day since I often use Trader Joe's pork belly (which comes cryovac packed and lasts for weeks if unopened), eggs, and frozen rice (long story, but after berating my husband about bringing already cooked rice into my kitchen, I discovered it's great to have on hand for fried rice.)

Our house fried rice defies several traditional fried rice fundamentals. I cook it in the cast iron pan that lives on my stove (instead of the wok buried in my cabinet.) I add the egg at the end, I season it with soy sauce, and I add lots of stuff to it… I use it as a catchall for ends of broccoli and green cabbage (I don't understand peas and carrots here) and other cooked grains like farro or black rice or brown rice.

Here's our basic method:

½ container Trader Joe's cooked pork belly, diced 

Broccoli florets, baby broccoli, and/or shredded cabbage

1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 Arbol chili

3 scallions, thinly sliced

4-6 cups cooked rice (I often use 2 bags of Trader Joe's organic frozen brown rice)

1 egg

Soy sauce

In large cast-iron, render diced pork belly over medium-low heat along with an Arbol chili. Once it's rendered but not yet caramelizing, I often remove some of the rendered fat but keep it on the side in case I need more later. Add the broccoli and cabbage, stir to coat, and season with some salt and black pepper. Then add the white parts of the scallion, ginger, and garlic and let them soften and flavor the grease. When the vegetables, ginger, and garlic are cooked to your liking, remove everything from the pan except for the fat. There is still enough fat in the cast iron, crank up the heat and add the cooked rice. I let it sit until it starts to get crispy, then stir it. Season the rice with soy sauce and stir to coat. Turn down the heat and stir the veg into the rice along with the sliced scallion tops. Push the rice over to one side of the pan and pour your scrambled egg into the empty part of the pan. Stir the egg until it's soft scrambled, and then incorporate it into the rice. (Top with chili crisp.)