Blistered green beans give this fried rice a smoky flavor. [Photographs: J. Kenji López-Alt]
Bulk up carb-heavy fried rice with a good dose of green beans in this easy recipe. The beans get blistered in the wok until smoky and charred, while fresh basil adds a ton of flavor and color to the finished dish.
Why It Works
- Starting with freshly cooked or well-chilled rice guarantees it won’t clump up as you stir-fry it.
- Frying in batches compensates for the low heat output of Western stovetops.
- Blistering the green beans adds smoky flavor.
- Keeping the seasoning very light allows the flavor of the rice and aromatics to come through.
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil, divided
- 2 cups cooked white or jasmine rice (12 ounces; 350g) (see note)
- 1/2 pound (225g) green beans, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced (1 ounce; 30g)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons; 5g)
- 1 to 3 Thai bird chilies (adjust according to taste), thinly sliced, plus more for serving
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) Asian fish sauce, plus more for serving
- 1 large egg
- Kosher salt
- 1 ounce (30g) roughly torn Thai or sweet Italian basil leaves
- Freshly ground white pepper
- Sugar, to taste
- 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges, for serving
- 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced, for serving
If using day-old rice, transfer to a medium bowl and break rice up with your hands into individual grains before proceeding. Heat 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large wok over high heat until smoking. Add half of rice and cook, stirring and tossing, until rice is pale brown, toasted, and has a lightly chewy texture, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with another 1/2 tablespoon oil and remaining rice.
Add 1/2 tablespoon oil to now-empty wok and heat over high heat until smoking. Add green beans and cook, stirring and tossing occasionally, until deeply blistered and charred. Add scallions, garlic, and chilies and cook, stirring and tossing constantly, until aromatic, about 30 seconds.
Return rice to wok. Add soy sauce and fish sauce and toss to combine.
Push rice to the side of wok and add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil. Break egg into oil and season with a little salt. Use a spatula to scramble egg, breaking it up into small bits. Toss egg and rice together.
Stir in basil leaves. Season to taste with salt, white pepper, and sugar, and serve immediately with lime, cucumber, and extra fish sauce and sliced chilies if desired.
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