Dinner Tonight: Mushroom Fried Rice with Pickled Ginger
Usually relegated to the side of some sushi tray, pickled ginger never seems to get the attention it deserves. It brings acidity to a dish that desperately needs it, yet for most people it's just sort of silent partner. Of course, if pickled ginger works so well with sushi, there's no reason it can't help out all kinds of other dishes, too. As I found, it manages to add some serious perk to a bowl of fried rice.
Any fried rice will do, but I tried to keep the grease to a minimum, eventually going with a totally vegetarian version. Thanks to a mix of meaty cremini and shiitake mushrooms, it has a strong savory base. As with all fried rice made in a home kitchen, the trick is to cook things separately, and that's especially true when mushrooms are added to the mix. To avoid becoming limp, they should be cooked in batches, a process that thankfully doesn't take too long.
Then all you have to do is add the pickled ginger right on top. Besides adding a nice spot of color, the ginger adds bite and a slight heat to this savory dish.