It’s always tough to know what to do when you have leftover rice. Rather than tossing it, or letting it moulder away in the refrigerator, repurpose it for fried rice. There are two reasons why the rice should be cold rather than warm. First, the texture of fried rice is best when it’s chewy. The way to achieve that perfect bite is by drying out the rice. Chilling it for a day or so, or even freezing cooked rice until you’re ready to use it, removes excess moisture that would be there if you were to make fried rice from fresh, just cooked rice. Second — and actually more of a corollary — is that you want the grains to be distinct, not clumped together. That way, the rice will soak up the sauce and flavors of whatever ingredients you fry it with.
Here, ground pork and scallions create an easy, flavorful meal. Top with quick-to-make Vietnamese refrigerator pickles, called Do Chua from strips of daikon radish and carrots. It keeps for up to one month in the refrigerator, so go ahead and double the batch. The pickles are perfect toppers for this fried rice, or toss onto grilled or steamed fish with a sprinkle of soy sauce.
Vietnamese Pork Fried Rice Recipe
Ingredients for Refrigerator Pickles:
- 1 small daikon radish, peeled and sliced into thin strips
- 1 large carrot, peeled, halved, and sliced lengthwise into thin strips
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup white sugar
Ingredients for Vietnamese Pork Fried Rice:
- 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, trimmed, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 green onions, trimmed and coarsely chopped, plus 5 green onions, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons sriracha, divided
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce, divided
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 pound ground pork
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- 4 cups cold cooked white long grain rice
- 2 large eggs, lightly mixed
- 1 tablespoon low salt soy sauce
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
- Place daikon radish and carrot strips in colander and set in the sink. Sprinkle with salt and massage until vegetables bend in half.
- Combine white vinegar, water, and sugar in medium bowl, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add radish and carrot, stirring to submerge in liquid. Cover and refrigerate for one hour and up to one month. Drain liquid from vegetables before using.
- Meanwhile, using either a food processor or small hand blender with a cup attachment, place lemongrass, garlic, and green onions in processor bowl. Finely chop and remove to large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon sriracha, 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce, salt, and pork. Using either your hands or a large fork, blend all ingredients.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large, deep skillet or wok over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add pork and brown, crumbling into small pieces. Remove pork mixture to a clean bowl.
- Add remaining oil to skillet and warm. Toss green onions in skillet and lightly brown, about 1 minute. Add rice and stir fry until any liquid rice exudes evaporates and rice grains are separated, about 3 minutes. Feel free to add more oil if rice is dry or sticks to the pan too much. Return pork to skillet, stirring to incorporate with rice. Mix in eggs, using a fork to separate strands of egg as it cooks so that it is spread evenly into the rice mixture.
- Combine remaining sriracha, fish sauce, and soy sauce in small bowl, mixing to combine. Pour over rice mixture, tossing gently to coat.
- Serve in bowls. Top with refrigerator pickles and strew with cilantro.