Tonii’s Fresh Rice Noodle
83 Bayard St., Chinatown, Manhattan

Fried rice is a staple among myriad Asian American households, an easy dish to make in bulk for a large family, using common ingredients of the Asian pantry. Liz Yee temporarily added this archetypal Chinese fried rice dish to the Tonii’s Fresh Rice Noodle menu to combat her family’s rice roll fatigue and invoke a bit of much-needed nostalgia during the COVID-19 lockdown in New York City. 

Cover art for "Made Here: Recipes & Reflections from NYC’s Asian Communities"
Lap Cheong Fried Rice and other recipes are featured in “Made Here: Recipes & Reflections from NYC’s Asian Communities.” Cover credit: Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet, Tina Zhou, Nat Belkov

“My mom is the one who taught me how to make fried rice,” Yee explained. “It reminds me of being a kid. Chinese sausage, eggs and some day-old rice; we always had leftover rice as a family of eight!” This is a classic, “use-what-you-got” kind of recipe, featuring household ingredients like lap cheong (Chinese cured pork sausage), canned corn and day-old rice. Think of this as a template: Anytime you find yourself with leftover rice, you have a large-format meal to feed a crowd (or yourself) for a couple of days. Cooking the eggs first and adding them into the dish later preserves their texture and prevents them from gumming up the rice if cooked at the same time. Use whichever veggies you have on hand, chopped fine to integrate uniformly into the medley, and serve hot. “It’s not a perfect recipe; everything is basically to taste,” admitted Yee. “My mom told me to just throw in sauces till it tastes good!” 

Prep time: 10 – 15 minutes • Cook time: 20 minutes • Serving size: 4-5 

Ingredients

    • 3 tablespoons vegetable, canola or grapeseed cooking oil 
    • 6 to 8 large eggs 
    • 1-1 1⁄2 cups fresh or frozen carrots, diced 
    • 1-1 1⁄2 cups fresh or frozen green beans, roughly chopped 
    • 1 can corn, drained (optional) 
    • 3 links lap cheong (Chinese cured pork sausage), diced 
    • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, minced
    • 
4-5 cups day-old cooked jasmine rice 
    • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce

    • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce

    • 1 teaspoon white sugar (optional)
    • 
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions for making Tonii’s Fresh Rice Noodle

    1. Place a wok or large sauté pan over medium-low heat and add the oil. 
    2. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Once the oil begins to ripple, but before it smokes, add the eggs to the wok, using a spatula to push the cooked egg to the sides of the wok, allowing the uncooked egg to flow into the center. When the eggs are mostly set, transfer them back into the same bowl you used to whisk them. 
    3. Increase the heat to high and add the carrots, green beans and corn (if using). Season with salt and cook until tender and heated through (cook time will be longer for fresh vegetables). Remove and set aside. 
    4. Decrease the heat to medium and add the lap cheong. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the sausage darkens and is slightly crispy. 
    5. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the minced ginger, cooking until fragrant, about 2 minutes. 
    6. Add the day-old rice and use a spatula to spread it evenly across the hot pan. Let the rice sit for 2 to 4 minutes without disturbance so that the grains that are in contact with the hot wok will brown and crisp. 
    7. Add the cooked vegetables and egg back to the wok, along with the soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar (if using). Toss to combine, and then taste and adjust seasoning as needed with salt, pepper and sugar. 

Get creative

Fried rice is a make-it-your-own dish designed to use up day-old rice and whatever else you have on hand. Leftover stir-fries, wilted vegetables from the crisper drawer and anything else are all fair game. Leave out the lap cheong — or replace it with dried, fresh or frozen shrimp for a pescatarian-friendly version of the dish. Replace the oyster sauce with hoisin to make the recipe vegetarian. You can even leave out the egg for a vegan-friendly meal that still satisfies. Consider this recipe as a template that you can adjust depending on your preferences and what’s available in your fridge or pantry. 

Excerpted from Made Here: Recipes & Reflections from NYC’s Asian Communities. The result of countless hours of work by dozens of volunteer photographers, writers and illustrators, recipe testers, translators and many more, Made Here is a cookbook and a concept driven by New York’s community. Produced by the nonprofit initiative Send Chinatown Love, the cookbook features the stories of New York’s Asian-owned mom-and-pop restaurants and shops — many of which were hit early and particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Top photo by Will Stevens


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