Rice - it's a staple at big parties with my friends. Not only is rice cheap, it's also easy and will feeds a crowd of partygoers regardless of how picky they might be when it comes to food.
For years the staple at parties with my gang was rice and beans, but after making a big batch of fried rice for a recent party, this has become the must-have side for our potlucks.
If you've never eaten at a Hibachi-style restaurant, homemade fried rice can sound intimidating. It was only after going out to a local Hibachi place (and getting a wok from my mom) that I felt confident enough to attempt fried rice in my own kitchen.
I can't tell you how very easy this is to do! And what's even more great about fried rice is that you can customize it to fit your party's tastes.
Here's the basic fried rice recipe I turn to, but feel free to adjust to your own personal tastes!
1 cup white rice, cooked, drained and cold
2 tablespoons butter + 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
1/2 cup carrot, shredded
1 8-ounce pack of button mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
Start by preparing your white rice. I always do this the night before I make the fried rice if possible since you want the rice to be cooked, but drained of most of its moisture, and cold. You'll need 2 cups of boiling water per cup of rice.
Once your rice is prepared, melt your butter with a sprinkle of olive oil in a large, deep frying pan on medium heat - the deeper the better to prevent rice from going all over the place.
Add in your onion, garlic and ginger. Saute about 2 minutes, then add in your carrot. Toss, then add your eggs and mix continuously with your spoon - the idea is to get a scrambled look.
Once your eggs are scrambled up, add in the mushroom and soy sauce. Mix.
Now, increase your flame to a medium-high, then add in your rice and toss with other ingredients. Stir your rice mixture every few minutes to prevent from burning, but the idea is to cook your rice on a high heat to fry it! *Sometimes I have to add a bit more soy sauce or olive oil at this point - judge what you need and add.
After it's all cooked and there's a nice crunch to the rice, remove from the heat and sprinkle with chopped chives for garnish.
The above recipe will feed 4 people for dinner, but when I make this recipe for a party I increase my ingredients by 4 and make in batches.
It will bring your serving size to 16, but I've noticed at parties the rice stretches to feed 20 - 25 since there's generally a ton of food around.
You can make the rice ahead of time for parties and store in airtight containers for up to 2 days for the freshest taste.
Pair your homemade fried rice with stir-fry peanut chicken and peppers for a delicious and easy weeknight meal!