Ah, old rice. Once cooked, it lasts for a couple of days before drying into a gross and grainy hunk. It's perfectly fine reheated, but Chinese people like to use old rice to make something fresh. It's said that old rice makes the best fried rice. In my experience, it's true. Since you're adding a ton of moisture through eggs and other condiments, freshly cooked rice would turn mushy. Soy sauce is popular for fried rice, but I'm a purist. Eggs, salt, pepper, and scallions.
However, there's another way to do it that's easy and rather tasty. It's simply named "red rice," and I'm used to seeing it served with roasted cornish game hens.
- 3-4 tablespoons of oil, any kind is fine
- 1 6 oz. can of tomato paste (use most of the can... exact amount not important)
- 3 cloves minced garlic (can be adjusted to taste)
- 4 cups cooked rice, at least one-day old
- 2 Tbsp. butter (can be adjusted to taste)
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a deep skillet or wok. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and sautée lightly. Do not burn the garlic, as it will taste bitter. Add the tomato paste to the oil and stir with a spatula. The tomato paste will not soften too much, but the oil and garlic will be incorporated. Add the rice immediately. Stir frequently to incorporate the tomato paste mixture.
If rice is still very stiff, dribble (no more than one or two teaspoons at a time) chicken stock or water into it and mix very well before adding more. This would only be necessary of the rice is really dry.
Once the tomato paste is largely incorporated, add the butter.
Incorporate the butter thoroughly, then keep tossing the rice until it is a uniform red color.
Season with salt and pepper, then serve.
It's an easy way to dress up leftover rice. Alternatively, this can be done with uncooked rice. Follow the same steps with uncooked rice, then put it in the rice cooker, add an equivalent amount of water (equal to the cups of rice) and run the rice cooker like you normally would.
It can be served with anything, but it tastes best against skin-on chicken that's roasted until the skin is crispy. It doesn't have to be cornish game hens.