This time last year I started watching Gilmore Girls with my girl. We started out watching one episode at a time and while I loved it from the get go, my girl was on the fence. Soon we were binge-watching episodes over the mid-term break and then we as we came to the end of each series we started to slow down, savouring episodes, they even replaced our precious movie nights at one stage. There was lots of laughter, tears (mostly mine) and in true Gilmore style, takeaways. Our girl discovered Chinese food and all was good in the world. But I’m not keen on too many takeaways so we started making our own fake-aways. We bought fortune cookies and chopsticks and mushroom fried rice was a clear winner.
Fast forward 12 months later and we have one final episode to watch! Yikes! We’ve been saving it for a girls night in, there will be fortune cookies, I’m making this mushroom fried rice which we will eat on the couch, Gilmore style. But don’t think for one moment that I save this rice just for watching the Gilmore Girls. This mushroom fried rice has become a real favourite around here. It’s incredibly tasty, and my favourite kind of comfort food. I mean there are a lot of mushrooms, and you know I love the shrooms right! Did I mention tasty? Yep, it’s very tasty, and perfect as a main dish. You could, of course, have this as a side dish if you want, we have it as a main and it definitely satisfies any carb cravings we may have.
Right, now you can make this in no time if you have cooked the rice earlier or you have some leftover rice. I have given instructions from scratch with freshly cooked rice in the recipe. The important thing here is that you make sure the rice is cold before you add it to the hot wok. If the rice is warm it will turn mushy and no one like mushroom fried rice pudding, trust me. I use basmati rice for my fried rice as I like that extra little nuttiness it brings but if you prefer you could stick to long grain rice. For the mushrooms I used a mixture of chestnut and shiitake, but again you could mix that up a bit if you like, just bear in mind that chestnut mushrooms have more flavour than plain old white mushrooms.
This mushroom fried rice has just the right amount of heat from the chilli flakes and my girl is totally fine with this level of heat. However, if you have younger kids then you could leave the chilli flakes out and it will still taste great. I’m not 100% sure if soy sauce is vegan so if you want to make this recipe vegan I would swap the soy sauce for tamari and leave out the butter, to make it gluten free then swap the soy sauce for tamari and keep the butter. FYI that butter is really good with the mushrooms and gives the rice a lovely little bit of extra flavour. Once you make this you need to eat it, you cannot reheat rice more than once so please do bear that in mind.
Mushroom Fried Rice
Better than take out Mushroom Fried Rice. Slightly spicy and seriously tasty this is great as a meal on it's own or as a side.
- 225 g (1 cup) basmati rice or long grain rice
- 300 g (3/4 lb) chestnut mushrooms wiped clean then sliced
- 125 g (1+2/3 cup) shiitake mushrooms wiped clean, thicker stems removed, then sliced
- 125 g (7/8 of a cup) frozen peas put the peas in a bowl of cold water to defrost
- 6 spring onions (scallions) white and green part sliced
- 1 heaped tbs grated ginger
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp red chilli flakes
- 2 tbs grape seed oil
- 2 tsp butter
- 3 1/2 tbs light soy sauce
- 1 tbs toasted sesame oil
Add the rice to a pan of boiling water, reduce the heat and cook for about 15 minutes or until the rice is almost done. Transfer the rice to a large bowl and leave to cool completely. Put the bowl of rice in the fridge until you are ready to use it. The colder the rice the better.
Heat one tablespoon of the oil and one teaspoon of the butter in a wok, add half the mushrooms and cook over a medium to high heat for about 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked. Remove them with a slotted spoon and leave them sit in a bowl.
Add the remaining butter and the rest of the mushrooms, cook for 5 minutes then add to the other mushrooms.
Wipe the wok clean then add the remaining oil. Add the spring onions, garlic, ginger and chilli flakes cook over a medium heat for about two minutes or until they are fragrant.
Turn up the heat then add the rice to the wok with the soy sauce. Stir fry for two or three minutes. Then add the mushrooms, plus any juice from the bowl, and the defrosted peas. Stir fry until the rice is piping hot and the mushrooms and peas are hot. Serve immediately.
*Calories are approximate and are for 4 served as a main meal. Cup measurements are approximate, I use a metric kitchen scale to weigh all ingredients.
**Recipe slightly adapted from this recipe by Food and Wine.