Chāhan (also known as Yakimeshi) is the Japanese version of fried rice. It is different from others by the use of short grain rice and the cooking of the eggs. Instead of being scrambled before adding to the dish, the raw eggs are mixed right into the rice, creating a glossy coating. I made a basic version with eggs, carrot, ginger, and a leek. I usually use green onions, but they were looking rough and floppy at the grocery store this week. The leeks were a great substitution and I loved the mild onion flavor they brought to the rice. Chashu (Japanese braised pork), chicken, or seafood would be great additions to this dish. Chopped peppers, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, peas, corn, or other vegetables can also be added based on personal preference.
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To slice the carrots quickly, I used this julienne cutter. It creates uniform matchstick slices out of many types of vegetables.
Japanese rice (uruchi-mai, Japonica, sushi) is a short to medium grain rice that is stickier after cooking than other types of rice. I am able to find it at my local grocery store and Asian food markets. For use in fried rice, I like to let cooked rice refrigerate overnight (or up to a couple of days) and sit out 30 minutes at room temperature before frying. The rice tends to become mushy if it is cooked right before frying due to too much moisture.
Chāhan (Japanese Fried Rice)
Adapted from Take It and Like It
Chahan (Japanese Fried Rice)
- 1 carrot
- 1 leek (white and tender green part only) or 3 green onions
- 1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon rapeseed (canola) oil
- 3 cups cooked short-grained (Japanese/Sushi) rice
- 1 tablespoon sake or mirin
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- Prepare the vegetables for the rice. Peel and julienne (cut into matchstickthe carrot. Cut the leek or green onion into thin slices.
- In a large wok, heat the oil over medium high heat. Fry the leek and carrot 1-2 minutes, until soft. Stir in the grated ginger and fry for another minute. Add the cooked rice, breaking up any large chunks. Once heated through and mixed, quickly stir in the beaten eggs until the rice is well-coated. Stir in the sake and soy sauce. Serve immediately.