A tasty sauce and an easy technique means you can use this fried rice recipe as a template and substitute other veggies when they come into season. I created this recipe as a vegetarian fried rice, but I sometimes saute (and set aside) about a half pound of peeled, raw shrimp (cut into bite-size pieces) before I start cooking everything else. Then I fold it back into the finished rice. Speaking of rice, you can use white or brown, but I'm particularly fond of the substantial texture of short grain brown rice. Whichever rice you choose, it should be cooked and completely cooled down.

Yields 5 cups, serves 4

Susie Middleton

For the sauce

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon low-sodium
  •  soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sherry or mirin
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese oyster sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Asian chili-garlic sauce

For the rice

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced asparagus, cut on a diagonal (about 1/4-inch thick and 2 inches long) or 2 generous cups very small broccoli florets
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 3 cups cold cooked white or brown rice (I like short-grain brown rice)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, mint, cilantro, or a combination
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds or toasted sliced almonds (optional)
  • 1 egg, cooked into a flat omelet and cut into strips (optional)
  • 4 lime wedges for serving

For the sauce

In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, sherry or mirin, oyster sauce, 2 teaspoons water, brown sugar, and chili-garlic sauce.

For the rice

1. In a large (12-inch) nonstick stir-fry pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.

2. When the oil is hot, add the asparagus or broccoli and 1/2 teaspoon salt, turn the heat to high, and cook, stirring, until the veggies are crisp-tender and all the pieces are lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Add the garlic, the ginger, and half the scallions. Stir-fry for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

4. Add the rice and cook, stirring and breaking the rice up with a spoon, until the rice is heated through, broken apart, and slightly “toasted” (you will hear it crackle), 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Carefully pour in two-thirds of the sauce, and stir until well incorporated. (Stir in the remaining sauce unless you like a slightly drier fried rice.)

6. Immediately remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the herbs and transfer the rice to a serving platter. Garnish with the remaining scallions, the toasted sesame seeds or almonds and egg strips, if using, and the lime wedges.