Tilapia Fried Rice

By Unknown - 1:15 PM

Fried rice is the Asian version of casserole where leftovers come together beautifully in a delicious bowl of fried rice.

Having grew up in Vietnam & Thailand eating white rice is the ultimate ritual -- the savory meat & vegetable dishes require plain white rice to balance the flavors and textures of the entire meal.
It can be found at all meals, from breakfast to dinner to dessert, in various guises and preparations, but it is overwhelmingly consumed in its simplest state - steamed. I always looked forward to those days when Mom would "change it up" and makes fried rice. I have to say, Mom makes fantastic traditional lạp xưởng (Chinese Sausage) fried rice with carrots & peas. But the beauty of fried rice is anything goes & you can change the ingredients based on what vegetables & protein you have on hand. And anything in your fridge that need to go (and is still edible) can be saved by a quick stir-fry in the wok or skillet.

Making fried rice is easy in theory, but getting it right does take a little know-how. I don't know about you but I've dished up my fair share of soggy fried rice, clumpy fried rice & simply not very good friend rice. Regardless of what ingredients you use, here's the three important things you need to know about making fried rice.
  • The Rice - The key to good fried rice is having a cold day-old rice in the fridge. Just freshly cooked rice is hot, steamy, very moist & a little sticky. All of those things would make a very clumpy & soggy fried rice. That's why day-old rice makes the best fried rice - flaky & light which allows the individual flavors of the ingredients to really shine through. Also, use medium to long grain rice, not short grain sweet/sushi rice or glutinous rice. Medium grain Jasmine rice is my favorite for fluffy, sturdy grains that don't clump or fall apart when fried.
  • The Fish Sauce - It is the seasoning Asian version of salt & is used in a lot of Southeast Asian cooking, especially Thai & Vietnamese. Many of my non-Asian friends typically respond with "ewwww...." Don't let the name or its smell intimidate you because it taste & smell nothing like it! A few shakes from the bottle in the dish add a nice salty-sweet flavor to it --  I use fish sauce because it rounds out the flavors that can't be replicated with sugar & salt. Note: use it very sparingly. A little goes a long ways!
  • The Heat - Crank up the heat to high once you add your rice to the wok. Your wok or saute pan has to be so hot that it heats up every single grain of rice through the core. It helps meld the flavors together to create a cohesive dish & evaporate any extra moisture from the rice & liquid seasonings (soy, fish sauce, wine).

I have several tilapia filets sitting & waiting in my freezer for me to do something with them.
So I thought why not make Tilapia Fried Rice?
Oh boy, am I glad I made it.
It is scrumptious & super easy!

If you want to make some, you'll need the following:
*Remember, you can always substitute the ingredients!!!
Tilapia filets, thawed if frozen
3 cups cooked rice
2 stalks green onions, minced
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 - 1 cup vegetable (carrots, peas, corn, etc)
1 tsp cooking wine or dry sherry
1/4 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
Salt & Pepper

1. Cook your tilapia filets -- follow Bobby Flay's Baked Tilapia recipe.

2. While your fish is cooking in the oven, get your veggies chopped.

3. Heat up your wok to medium-high. Add eggs and season with a little bit of S&P. Add cooked tilapia. Fry the mixture gently until eggs cooked through but still very soft. Remove.

4. If your wok doesn't have any oil left, add 1 TBS spoon of cooking oil to the wok. Turn heat to high. Once the wok is very, very hot, add carrots, stir fry for couple minutes. Add green onions & stir fry for 30 seconds. Add the rice. Stir fry until all is hot.

6. Add fish sauce, soy, and S&P. Mix to combine liquid seasonings. Add the egg-tilapia mixture. Stir fry until all ingredients are combined & steaming hot. Right before turning off the heat, add sriracha sauce - trust me.

Transfer into serving bowls, sprinkle minced green onions on top & enjoy.

Need to clean our your fridge? Use this recipe as a guideline and see what deliciousness you can whip up.
If you stumble up on something appetizing, please share with me!

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