The Quickest Fried-Rice Recipe Ever

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embedIMG_0418PHOTO: COURTESY OF ERIN PHRANER.
We’re calling it: Highbrow riffs on takeout Chinese favorites will be the hot (must-order) food items of 2014. Just look at what’s going on in New York City. Chefs like Jonathan Wu of Fung Tu and Han Chiang of Han Dynasty are serving their brilliant takes on egg rolls, scallion pancakes, and wonton soup — and people can’t get enough of it.

In tribute to the new wave of Chinese-American cooking sweeping the nation, we decided to try our hand at an easy fried-rice recipe you can make at home. We kept things super simple so you can pile on whatever extras you’re craving (or just happen to have in the fridge), like chicken, beans, tofu — whatever!

The trick to this incredibly speedy meal: frozen, cooked white rice. Look for brands like Birds Eye Steamfresh or 365 at Whole Foods. Can’t find 'em? Try a microwaveable pouch, like Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice, or just use leftover rice from your last Seamless order. If you’re into planning, make the rice one day ahead and chill it, uncovered — dry, leftover rice works best here.

Easiest Fried Rice Ever
Serves: 2

Ingredients
2 strips bacon, chopped
3 tbsp vegetable oil or peanut oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 scallions, white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced, plus more for serving
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
¾ tsp sea salt
1 cup packed shredded cabbage
2 cups dry, cooked long-grain white rice
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar or white-wine vinegar
1 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
2 tsp Sriracha, plus more for serving (optional)

Directions
1. Cook the bacon in a large wok or skillet on medium heat until crisp, about six minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon. Discard drippings; reserve the skillet.

2. Heat the vegetable oil in the same skillet over high heat until shimmering. (Make sure you have all of the ingredients ready to go!) Add the shallots and scallions and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until soft, about three minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and salt; cook one minute. Add the shredded cabbage and cook, stirring, one minute or until wilted. Add the white rice and cook, stirring, until evenly coated and glossy, about two minutes.

3. Push the rice mixture to one side of the skillet. Add the beaten egg to the other side and cook, stirring until the egg begins to set, until just firm; stir the cooked egg into the rice mixture, breaking it up with the spoon if needed. Stir in the bacon, soy sauce, rice vinegar, fish sauce, and Sriracha. Season with more salt, if needed. Serve with sliced scallion, Sriracha, and anything else you’d like.