There are some things that should always be eaten as a pair–summer’s peaches and fresh whipped cream, salty fried chicken and syrupy waffles, rich Irish butter and warm, hearty bread. And of course bacon and mushrooms. They are often a match in a number of recipes. Broil bacon-wrapped mushrooms for an appetizer, or saute up a batch as a topping for your burger. You can toss them over a cheesy pizza, or fold them into a creamy pasta dish. The combination is usually decadent, so if you’re going to do it, go all the way! If you are looking for another way to serve up bacon and mushrooms, here is a fried rice dish that is worth a try.
Why bacon and mushrooms? Well, in this case, they add the umami element that many Asian dishes crave. Umami is known as the fifth taste, and it is an underlying enjoyable savory flavor in a dish. The reason is glutamate, which is an amino acid naturally found in many foods. Mushrooms are high in glutamates, and they are also earthy, hearty and, sometimes, meaty. All very much levels of umami. Smoked bacon appeals to the olfactory system, and everything that comes through our nose hits the taste buds. It is rich, salty and pleasantly fatty, and these characteristics also hit umami right on the head. Let’s not forget the soy sauce, which by itself, is also a high-umami ingredient. As I mentioned earlier, bacon and mushrooms are delicious together, but they are often featured in indulgent dishes. This fried rice has lots of garlic chili sauce, fresh scallions and cilantro not just for garnish, but as the perfect complement to the other flavors.
- 1 cup long-grain rice
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
- 1 large shallot, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 cup snap peas
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 cups mixed mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon chili oil
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 large eggs, scrambled lightly
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
- Fresh sliced scallions, optional
- Fresh chopped cilantro, optional
- Chili garlic sauce, optional
- Cook the rice with chicken broth according to package directions. Chill overnight, or up to two days.
- Heat the first 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok over a medium high flame. Once hot, add the shallots and carrots, cooking for about 5 minutes. Add the snap peas, bean sprouts, garlic and ginger, and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from the wok.
- Add the mushrooms to the pan with 2 tablespoons water, and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Remove from the wok.
- Add the last tablespoon of vegetable oil, sesame oil, chili oil, soy sauce and salt to the wok. Add the rice, stir and cook for about 7 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients, and toss to coast. Fold in the cooked eggs and bacon.
- Serve the rice with fresh scallions, cilantro and chili garlic sauce, if desired.
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