The leftover rice from last night’s dinner, sitting cold and discarded in the fridge, is a blessing in disguise when concocting delicious fried rice. The unwanted steamed rice can withstand some rough treatment in the wok, as the grains, having dried out and cooled in the fridge overnight, prove much more resilient than freshly cooked rice. The firm rice grains from the fridge hold their shape when cooked, so try and avoid wet rice that may not hold up in the wok.

The leftover rice, a medium sized egg and about a quarter of an onion form the three leading ingredients of your fried rice. Making fried rice gives you a great opportunity to use up leftovers, so feel free to hunt down some protein from the fridge.

How about some vegetables?  I’ll be honest, the less the better. In fact, the old-school fried rice method just involves adding a handful of thinly sliced cucumber and tomato on top of the dish before serving. But if you really feel like some veggies in your stir-fry, I would accept about ½-¾ cup of chopped vegetables per serve. But don’t go too over the top with the vegetables, otherwise your fried rice will end up mushy.

Fried rice has a pretty easy-going personality, so it gets along well with all different ingredients. Dream up the flavours you feel like eating. If you feel like garlic and coriander based fried rice, go for it.  Seeking something a bit more boisterous, you can use up the rest of that curry paste in the fridge and make a Thai basil and curry paste fried rice. The key is to not get too radical with the quantities of trimmings added.

Try my basil fried recipe for a speedy gluten free one-wok meal, and if you have some spare time make some of our prik nahm pla from our other post to go with it.