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Celebrate Chinese New Year with Homemade Fried Rice!

by Jane Worthington-Roth

The Year of the Sheep arrives on Thursday February 19th – heralding in the Chinese New Year. In America, what we know as “Chinese food” is generally done in the style of Cantonese Chinese cooking – with a lot of sweet n’ sour offerings. This represents only a small sampling of the varied recipes found throughout China. I’ve never met anyone who did not enjoy Chinese food, but often folks are very specific about what they will – or - won’t eat at a Chinese restaurant. Some folks tend to shy away from Chinese take-out restaurants because they don’t want a meal that‘s too high in sodium, or (ugh) monosodium glutamate.

One of the most frequently enjoyed American Chinese dishes is very easy to make at home. My recipe for Homemade Pork Fried Rice is extremely versatile and can be made with beef, chicken or vegetables. And because it’s homemade, you control every item that goes into the recipe, making it a healthy and delicious way to celebrate the New Year – Chinese Style!

PORK FRIED RICE

Ingredients

6 cups cooked rice (I generally use Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice and make it with 3 cups rice to 6 cups water)
Oil for sautéing (you can use the traditional peanut oil, or whichever oil you prefer)
1½ cups cubed pork (or substitute chicken, beef, or vegetables)
1 egg, beaten in a small bowl
3 stalks celery, chopped
½ large onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced (or micro-planed)
Low sodium soy sauce (you can substitute another Asian sauce such as toasted sesame oil or chili oil)
4 scallions, thinly sliced, for serving
Serve with additional soy sauce, duck sauce and Chinese mustard

1. If you haven’t made the rice ahead of time, start that first because the rest of the stir-frying will only take a few minutes.

2. In a large cast iron pan or wok, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until just shimmering. Quickly stir fry the pork until done and no longer pink inside, remove from the pan and reserve.

3. Add a little more oil if necessary, then cook the egg well-scrambled – remove from pan, chop into small pieces, then set aside.

4. In the pan or wok, heat 3 tablespoons oil, then quickly stir fry the celery, onion and carrot until slightly soft and browned. Add in the garlic and ginger and cook until the garlic softens but does not brown. Add in the cooked pork, egg and rice – then stir well to reheat and mix together. Season with a few shakes of low sodium soy sauce or the Asian sauce you enjoy the best. Stir well to combine all the flavors.

5. Top with sliced scallions and serve.

Since Berkshire Style’s mascot is a sheep, we are very happy to be celebrating the Year of the Sheep! The Chinese Zodiac notes that the sheep is among the animals that people like most. Characteristics of people born in the Year of Sheep are tender, polite, clever, and kind-hearted. They have special sensitivity to art and beauty fondness for quiet living. Pull out your chopsticks and set your BerkshireStyle table with delicious homemade fried rice!



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