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Fried rice

September 3, 2008

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Serves 4

This colorful dish begins with leftover rice, to which you add vegetables, eggs, and meat. If you're taking it for lunch, you'll need a microwavable bowl and access to a microwave.

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 thick slice ham, cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 cups cooked rice, cold or room temperature
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 eggs, beaten to mix
2 scallions, chopped
1. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil. Add the onion, carrots, celery, red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Stir-fry for 5 minutes. Transfer to a dish and set aside.

2. Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil to the skillet. Stir-fry the ham for 2 minutes.

3. Add the rice and stir-fry for 3 minutes or until the rice is hot and the grains are separate.

4. Add the vegetables and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the soy sauce and mix well. Push the rice mixture to one side of the pan, leaving half the pan clear.

5. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of sesame oil to the beaten eggs. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of canola oil to the empty half of the skillet. Pour in the eggs and cook until they just begin to set.

6. With a spatula, gradually mix the egg, little by little, with the rice, until it is all incorporated. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and black pepper, if you like.

7. Sprinkle with scallions. Debra Samuels

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