Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fried Rice with Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese Spice Mixture)

I have a habit of opening a new package of frozen veggies before finishing an old one. As a result, I have many, many, many opened packages of frozen veggies that have been sitting in my freezer for probably close to a year.

This morning, I decided to clean out my freezer and use the remnant veggies from these opened packages to make fried rice for dinner.

I have written before about making fried rice. This evening, I tossed my frozen veggies (peas, corn, edamame, and asparagus) in a wok with the cold rice. As the rice warmed up in the wok, so, too, did the frozen veggies. I made a little well in the rice, broke 2 eggs in the well, beat the eggs lightly with a fork, and then stirred the eggs into the rice and veggies.

Finally, I added some soy sauce (about 1/8 to 1/4 cup), chopped scallions, and several dashes of a Japanese spice mixture called shichimi togarashi.

I use schichimi togarashi to season udon noodle soups. But I've never thought to use this spice mixture in fried rice, until I read about doing so on VeganYumYum. This spice mixture not only adds heat to the fried rice from the ground chili pepper, but also adds extra flavor. (The spice mixture contains dried orange peel and nori seaweed flakes.)

Schichimi can be found at Whole Foods (sometimes), at Asian supermarkets, and, of course, online. If you find yourself making fried rice a lot, as I do, then definitely consider buying a small vial of this spice mixture.

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