Italian Fried Rice Recipe For National Fried Rice Day - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures Italian Fried Rice Recipe For National Fried Rice Day
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Italian Fried Rice Recipe For National Fried Rice Day

September 20th is National Fried Rice Day. No doubt, everyone who enjoys Chinese food has had fried rice. We can eat a big plate of it as a main course! But today, we offer you something different: A fusion Italian Fried Rice recipe.

What makes it “Italian” fried rice?

Instead of rice, the recipe uses orzo, a rice-shaped pasta (“orzo” means barley in Italian). It also uses Italian vegetables (asparagus, zucchini) instead of bean sprouts and bamboo shoots—not to mention Parmesan cheese.

Orzo is used most traditionally in soups, but this versatile pasta has been widely adapted by chefs in Italy and America for both main courses and side dishes. You can even use it to make risotto!

> The history of fried rice.

> Check out more fried rice recipes below.

> The different types of rice.

> More grain types (plus beans).

This recipe, sponsored by Barilla, was created by Brandon Cook, Executive Chef of Culinary R&D at The Cheesecake Factory, using Barilla orzo.

Chef Brandon advises: “Have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go along with the crispy fried egg. Once you start cooking, the dish will come together very quickly!”

You can purchase sofrito in a jar, or make it with the recipe below.
Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • Coarse salt, as needed (kosher or sea salt)
  • 8 ounces Barilla orzo
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ounce spicy soppressata, diced ½-inch pieces (substitute coppa di testa, posciutto di Parma, or any dry Italian salami)
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) carrots, celery, onion, cut into ¼-in dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Olive oil, as needed to sauté
  • 1 shallot, sliced 1/8-inch pieces
  • 1 ounce 1/8-in slices zucchini, quartered
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 large Calabrian chiles, sliced in 1/8-inch pieces (see substitutes in *footnote)
  • 4 spears asparagus, blanched, stems sliced into 1/8-inch coins, 1½-inch long tips reserved
  • 1/2 teaspoon colatura di alici or other fish sauce
  • 12 basil Leaves, torn
  • 1 chunk Grana Padano cheese(substitute Asiago, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano—the Italian grating cheeses)
  • Salt and pepper, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

    1. SAUTÉ the diced vegetables in olive oil. Set aside

    2. SOFT-POACH poach the eggs in simmering water and shock them in ice water. Drain and pat dry.

    3. SEASON the panko with salt and pepper and the grated Parmesan. Bread the poached egg in the seasoned flour, beaten egg, and seasoned breadcrumbs. Deep-fry the egg at 350°F for 45 to 60 seconds. It’s important that the eggs are cold going into the fryer so that the yolks remain runny after frying. Remove the eggs from the fryer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with a pinch of coarse salt.

    4. BRING a pot of salted water to a boil with added Parmesan rinds, if available (keep them in the freezer for occasions like this, and for making soups). Cook the orzo until al dente. Drain.

    5. HEAT a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the soppressata and sofrito to the pan, tossing to incorporate.

    6. ADD the shallot, zucchini, and tomatoes to the pan, stirring to incorporate. Continue to cook until the tomatoes begin to blister and shallots begin to caramelize. Add the chiles, asparagus, and orzo to the pan, stirring and tossing to incorporate.

    7. DRIZZLE the colatura into the pan. Add the torn basil and Microplane (or substitute another tool) an even layer of grana over the ingredients. Stir and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

    8. MOUND the fried pasta in two shallow bowls and sprinkle the reserved asparagus tips and toasted pine nuts all over. Top each serving with a crispy poached egg and Microplane more Grana Padano over the entire dish. Crack the second egg over the dish. It’s ready to enjoy!

    You can make “fried rice” with any grain, from brown rice to quinoa. It’s a great way to use leftover grains.

  • American Fusion: How To “Americanize” Fried Rice
  • Ginger Fried Rice Recipe From Jean-Georges Vongerichten
  • Kimchi Fried Rice
  • Leftover Pasta Fried Rice
  • Pork & Apricot Fried Rice
  • Quinoa Fried Rice

    *Substitutes include serrano and Anaheim chiles, or red chili flakes. You can also use hot sauce to add spice.




    Italian Fried Rice With Orzo Recipe
    [1] Italian fried rice. A poached egg coated in panko sits on top (photo © Flavor & The Menu | Carlos Garcia).

    Box Of Barilla Orzo
    [2] Italian fried rice uses orzo, a rice-shaped pasta (photo © Barilla)

    Platter Of Shrimp Fried Rice
    [3] Classic fried rice, topped with shrimp for a main course (photo © Good Eggs).

    Omelet Filled With Fried Rice
    [4] What looks like a stuffed crêpe is a sophisticated take on Shanghai Fried Rice from Tao Downtown in New York City (photos #4 and #5 © Tao Group).

    Shanghai Fried Rice
    [5] Inside the “stufffed crêpe.”

    Red Quinoa Fried Rice
    [6] You can use any grain to make “fried rice,” including quinoa. Here’s the recipe (photo © P.F. Chang’s).



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