Ham and Egg Fried Rice
From Barbara Tropp, The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking
Serves: 2 as one-bowl meal, 3-4 as large bowlful, 6-8 as small portion
- 3.5 c. cold cooked rice
- 2-3 oz. honey- or sugar-cured ham (1/2 c. cubed ham)
- 1/2 c. fresh or frozen peas, or baby lima beans
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3.5-4 tbs. corn or peanut oil
- 1-1.25 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 tbs. scallion rings
- 2-3 tbs. toasted almond slivers or pine nuts (optional)
- Cook rice: I use 1-1.5 c. long grain rice (which I do not wash),
and 2X water. Bring water to boil, add rice, cover, lower heat,
and simmer for 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes, uncover, fluff,
and pour out into a large bowl to cool. Let cool completely.
- Blanch peas or lima beans in boiling water until tender, drain,
and cool under running water. (Defrosted frozen peas take about
- Heat a small skillet until hot. Add 1.5 tbs. oil, swirl, then reduce
heat to moderate. Pour beaten eggs into skillet. As bottom cooks
(several seconds), slide bottom to side and let still runny top
egg slip into pan. Keep sliding and slipping until all of the
egg is barely cooked, then slide onto plate. Break egg into
- Heat wok or large skillet until hot. Add 2 tbs. oil and swirl.
Add rice and briskly stir-fry to heat through, about 2-3 minutes.
Lower heat if rice starts to scorch, dribbling in additional oil
if needed. Add salt and toss to combine, then ham, peas or lima
beans, then eggs, then scallions and nuts. Continue tossing until
hot, then serve.
- Note that since there is no soy sauce, this dish comes out pearly
white, unlike almost any fried rice you are likely to order.
This has become my standard template for fried rice, and I serve
it with most Chinese meals. I even taught my mother how to cook
it, and she frequently paired it with the equally easy
1-2-3-4-5 Spare Ribs.
- I like to get a thick 1/4-inch cut of Virginia Smoked Ham for
this, but also like Honey Ham and Canadian Bacon. More recently,
I have small, thick-sliced ham on hand, so use that, even though
the slice is thinner than I'd like.
- The nuts are my addition, inspired by another Barbara Tropp recipe.
- The egg directions may seem delicate, but all you're really
looking for is to cook an omelet very quickly. The key thing is
to get the pan hot enough to instantly vaporize a bead of water,
then add the oil, then swirl it 15-20 seconds, by which time
the oil starts to haze a bit. From that point, the egg will
cook almost instantly, so you can work fast. But none of this
is absolutely critical: anything from slightly solid to
- The range of substitutions is probably endless. I've used
Chinese sausages, Szechuan Preserved Vegetable, and countless
other add-ins. However, I've never actually tried it with
lima beans, although I often serve
Stir-Fried Lima Beans on the side.
Keywords: Chinese, Rice.