Start by cooking the rice. Wash 1 cup raw small grain white rice 2-3 times with water until the water runs clear. We want to get rid of as much starch as possible as it makes the rice sticky and mushy. You can cook the rice over the stovetop, in a rice cooker, or in an instant pot.
Stove Top – Add the washed rice to a pan and add double the amount of water to the pan. Add a few drops of lime juice and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Cook the rice on low heat for 15-20 minutes until it is tender and all the liquid is absorbed.Rice Cooker – Add the washed rice to the pot of the rice cooker. Add a little less water than double to the pot. Add a few drops of lime juice and cook the rice as per the instructions.Instant Pot – This is my fav method to cook the rice. It comes out perfect without any effort every single time. I have a detailed recipe to make rice in the instant pot. Do check it out.
Once the rice is cooked, fluff it using a fork. Refrigerate it for 4-5 hours or overnight. If you want to make the veg fried rice instantly, then spread the cooked rice on a baking tray and cover it with a cling wrap. Freeze the tray for 15 minutes. Now you can use the rice.
Next step is to prepare the vegetables
Ginger – peel a 1-inch piece of ginger and chop finelyGarlic – peel 3-4 garlic cloves and chop finelyOnion – peel ½ onion and chop itCelery – chop 1 celery stalkCabbage – shred a small piece of cabbage thinly. We need ½ cup of shredded cabbageCarrot – cut ½ small carrots into small cubesGreen Beans – chop 4-5 green beans finelyGreen Onions – chop 2 stalks of green onion
To save time, you can use pre-cut vegetables which are easily available these days in supermarkets.
Add 2 tbsp vegetable oil to a large wok and heat it on the highest heat. The trick to making smoky rice is cooking it on high heat. Cooking on high heat keeps the rice and veggies crunchy and not soggy. Large carbon steel or cast iron wok works best for this recipe.
Note – If you are making a big portion, fry it in batches.
Once the oil is very hot, add the chopped garlic and chopped ginger and fry for 8-10 seconds. You can increase the quantity of garlic if you like its flavor.
Add chopped onion and chopped celery (recommended) and fry for 10-15 seconds. Keep stirring while frying. Since the heat is high, be very careful not to burn the ingredients.
Add chopped carrot, shredded cabbage and chopped beans and saute for 30-40 seconds.
Now add 2 tsp dark soy sauce, 2 tsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil, salt to taste, ¾ tsp white pepper powder, and ajinomoto (optional), and toss everything well.
Crumble the cooked rice to separate each grain and add it to the wok. Mix well to coat the rice with the sauces.
Cook for a minute.
Garnish with chopped green onions and serve hot.
Always try to use a day-old cold rice to make this recipe.Make sure the veggies are at room temperature. If they are cold, they will release moisture and become soggy.The choice of wok is very important. Use carbon steel or a cast iron wok and always stir fry the rice on the highest heat possible.You should be quick while stir-frying. So prepare all the ingredients and arrange them next to the stove.This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled. But make sure to fry the rice in batches for the best result.Soy sauce is quite salty on its own. So be careful of the extra salt that you add.Adjust the amount of sauces as per your liking.