Smoked Ham and Edamame Steamed Fried Rice

It seems like a piece of cake when you see a chef at a Chinese restaurant lifts and turns the wok as he tosses and mixes the fried rice ingredients in mid-air. But when you attempt this classic restaurant dish at home, for some strange reason the entire process is the exact opposite of what you had witnessed at the Chinese restaurant.  The rice is nowhere near the air.  As a matter of fact, it sticks to your wok like a glob of glue and you end up spending more time scrapping rice off the wok than actually eating it.  

Typically, in order to avoid a “sticky rice” situation, most fried rice recipes will call for cold cooked rice.  But what if you’re craving for fried rice now and you don’t want (or have time) to wait until the rice gets cold?  Well, my dad (a retired Chinese restaurant chef) taught me how to “fry” rice without having to actually fry the rice.  This manner of preparing fried rice is not only less time consuming, but it is also healthier as it requires less oil than the traditional method.

Serves 3 - 5

3 cups uncooked brown rice/or white rice
4 large eggs
Pinch of salt
Pinch of ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup frozen edamame, thawed and rinsed (can substitute with green peas)
1 ½ cups diced carrot, fresh or frozen
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup low sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 scallions, diced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cups diced (thick cut) smoked ham

1.  Steam rice in rice cooker, but use slightly less water than what the instruction calls for.
2.  Meanwhile, beat eggs with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet and scramble eggs. Using your spatula, cut the eggs into smaller pieces as you scramble them.  Put eggs on a plate and set it aside.
3.  Using the same skillet, in high heat with lid covered, cook vegetables with salt and chicken broth for 3-4 minutes, until liquid has evaporated.  Put vegetables with the scramble eggs.
4.  Heat oil in the same skillet and sweat the scallions for about 1-2 minutes.  Pour 1 tablespoon of soy sauce in a sauce bowl.  Pour scallion oil into soy sauce bowl and set it aside.
5.  Using the same skillet, lightly brown the ham for about 1-2 minutes.
6.  Once the rice is cooked, loosen (fluff) the rice with a pair of chopsticks.  Gradually add sauce and continue to fluff the rice until sauce and rice are evenly combined.
7.  Add eggs, vegetables and ham to the rice.  Stir until all ingredients are evenly combined.   

Note: If your rice cooker is too small, you can first transfer the rice into a wok or a large soup pot then proceed to steps 6 and 7.

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