Not Quite Right Fried Rice


With the exception of a few cooking magazines, most recipe sites present gorgeous pictures that trigger some mild drooling. Then there’s a recipe somewhere near the bottom. So often you never know if a recipe is good until you try it. In this case I’m divulging that this dish is missing something. Fried rice that rivals my favorite take-out spot has been difficult to master.

I have tried a few different recipes and I suspect I am missing a sauce or adding enough oil. So, I figured I would share this latest attempt, which looks good, but fell a bit flat when it came to delivering a powerful punch in the taste buds.

5-Step Fried Rice Process:

  1. Make rice. 
  2. Heat cast iron skillet to super hot. Add vegetable oil. Cook two beaten eggs and remove to a bowl. 
  3. Add a bit more oil. Sauté bag of stir fry veggies. Add to eggs in bowl.
  4. Add titch more oil, diced garlic and red pepper flakes. Add rice. Add 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce. Stir. 
  5. Add veggies and egg. Incorporate. Serve. 

That’s my process. I suspect I’m using the wrong type of oil and/or not enough of it. Anyone use a different combination of sauces other than soy sauce? I figure great fried rice must use more than just soy.

The result isn’t bad, it just lacks the addictive flavor that take-out has. Adding pot stickers from Trader Joe’s added some flavorful pop to the meal, but now I need to figure out how to make my rice as flavorful as those frozen dumplings. 

Lunch at 65


I meant to share this photo earlier.

It won’t win any awards, but the sight of this restaurant sparked a chain of memories from nearly a decade ago.

Marcel, my former journalism professor, told me of this spot (not this exact location). Eight years ago I was interning downtown for a major group of radio stations. Still on a student budget, I rarely ate out. But for some reason, likely I didn’t have time to pack a lunch or I ran out of bread, I had received the advice to lunch at 65. As I think back, I only ate there once and, prior to my moonlighting as a food critic on Yelp, penned the feedback “not bad” to Marcel.

I barely knew my way around the city. I looked up the location in Google and ventured into the sultry concrete jungle. I walked in the wrong direction, then right and wrong again before eventually finding it. The sequence of streets between my office and the train is something I know. I can navigate based on address and point tourists in the right direction 74% of the time. Now, eight years and many city adventures later, I don’t ask for directions, but I still pack a sandwich.

What are restaurant sightings that spark your memories?