Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Fried Rice with Shrimp and Bacon

I have what could be called an infatuation with fried rice, but have never stopped and thought through every step until I came across this recipe from Eileen Yin-Fei Lo's Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking. It's one of the most meticulous accounts of fried-rice-making I've ever seen. It features a marinade and a sauce, and a fairly complex set of instructions, which has you turning the heat up and down often. Luckily the results were worth all of the fussy instructions.

To be sure, it looks like a lot of ingredients, but many of the ingredients in the marinade are used again in the sauce. The only trouble I ran into was how to find a Chinese sugar ham. Lo has a recipe for it in the book, and while it isn't exactly the hardest thing to create, you will have to buy a ham shank, cure it, then baste it with sugar. Not exactly perfect for a weeknight meal. I took a short cut and just used some hickory smoked bacon—I figured it would have a little sweetness already. To keep the rice from getting too greasy, I cooked the bacon first, and drained away most of the fat.

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