Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Japanese Fried Rice and Seaweed Salad

A few weeks ago my kids and I happened upon a sushi place and decided to check it out. Some of the food was served conveyor belt style and you just grabbed the dish as it went by. One item we tried and fell absolutely in love with was the seaweed salad. Another item that we had to order off the menu was their Japanese fried rice. We agreed it was the best rice we have ever had. If we do fried rice takeout, that is the place we are going to go!

So the other night I'm home alone and craving the rice and seaweed salad. As luck would have it, I had all the ingredients in my pantry! So here are my versions of Japanese fried rice and seaweed salad.

Japanese Fried Rice

6 c. cooked rice
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 bunch green onions, cut up, green parts also
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 t. ground ginger
Soy sauce to taste
Sesame oil

Saute the green pepper, green onions and garlic in the sesame oil. Add rice one cup at a time, mixing well.  Mix in the ginger. Sprinkle in soy sauce to taste.

I thought later how bean sprouts would have been nice, but I didn't have any. I'm not sure what makes this Japanese, as opposed to Chinese fried rice. I did later come upon some recipes that included sake. Maybe that is the secret, but I rather doubt the restaurant used it in their fried rice. I really want to go back now and see if I can figure out if and how their's may have differed.

Seaweed Salad

One package dried wakame seaweed, shredded
4 T. rice vinegar
2 T. sesame oil
4 T. soy sauce
1 t. ground ginger
1 t. sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 T. white sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 T. black sesame seeds, untoasted

Soak seaweed in warm water for 5-6 minutes until tender. Meanwhile, combine vinegar, sesame oil, soy, ginger, sugar, green onions, and garlic. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Toss drained seaweed with dressing and sesame seeds. Let sit for 10 minutes for flavors to blend.

This stuff sells for about $5 at the grocery store for the equivalent of a single serving. I made my own for much less and got a lot more.

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