Best fried rice recipe (work in progress)

This is an evolving recipe. Please post any suggestions.

You will need:

• 1 cup rice uncooked rice or 3 cups cooked rice.
• 3 to 4 T toasted sesame oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
• 3 cups other veggies (can be anything, but I like baby carrots cut in half lengthwise, sliced mushrooms, and chopped zucchini)
• one package firm tofu
• soy sauce
• a really hot chili sauce (we use the "cock sauce," pictured right)

Make the rice.

Make it the day before and put it in the fridge (or just use leftover rice from another dish that's already been in the fridge). There is no other way to get the right texture. Although, if you cannot wait 24 hours, you can get close by slightly undercooking the rice.

Press the tofu.

My method is to set down a flat plate, then some paper towels, then the tofu (sliced so it can lay in one half-inch flat layer on the plate), then more paper towels, then another plate, then about 10 heavy cookbooks. I let the books press the tofu for about 2 hours if I have that long. The longer, the better.

Afterwards, slice it into strips or cubes.

Heat the oil in a wok, and add tofu.

You want to brown the tofu a bit before adding any other veggies. Use high heat.

Add the veggies.

What order depends on the vegetables, of course. With the ones I suggest, add in the carrots first and brown them slightly before adding anything else. Then add the zucchini, and let that go for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the garlic and onion. Now things should be smelling pretty good.

Stir frequently after this so that the garlic doesn't burn.

Add the rice.

Stir fry for about 10 minutes on high heat. I often add a dash more toasted sesame oil at this point.

Add the eggs one at a time.

If you don't mind gloopy rice, the easiest way to do this is to crack the egg over the whole mess and just continue to stir fry. But what I do instead is to push aside the rice from a section of the bottom of the wok and fry the egg there for a couple minutes before stirring it in to the rest of the rice.

Stir in most of the cilantro. Stir fry for 2 more minutes.

If you hate cilantro, you can use fresh basil.

Remove from heat.

Add soy sauce and hot sauce to taste.

Garnish w/ a little cilantro. Serve with spring- or egg-rolls and Kirin Ichiban beer.

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