Jackie and June make fried rice together over Zoom, east coast meets west!
JUNE XIE: Now I'm going to clap. And Jackie, you're going to clap. And we're going to clap on three. 1, 2, 3. Oh too late. Hi, guys. Today, we are meeting up with Jackie over Zoom to make pork fried rice. I'm super excited. The construction workers outside are also super excited. I don't know. They've been going at it for about three weeks now. I'm a little bit insane. New York City, it can be a bit much sometimes.
Fried rice is one of my favorite dishes. And today, I will be walking Jackie through Lauren's version of pork fried rice. Now that recipe calls for a leftover rice because leftover rice is the best rice to use for fried rice. Jackie already made some last night. And I'm super excited to see how she made it because apparently it was her first time making rice.
JACKIE IADONISI: Hey, everybody. Welcome back to "Delish." It's Jackie. And today, I am going to be learning how to make a recipe that I've wanted to cook for a very long time, pork fried rice. I don't know if you guys saw, but a few weeks back, June actually taught my husband and I how to make dumplings.
JUNE XIE: You can use your other hand or you can turn the dumpling around if you feel more comfortable doing it with one hand.
JACKIE IADONISI: And they turned out so delicious. And that is just proving that June is a phenomenal teacher. She's knowledgeable, she's patient.
JUNE XIE: This will be a train wreck.
JACKIE IADONISI: And we learned so much in such a short amount of time. So we thought, why not do a round two? I really am not fearful going into this time. Last time, I was very nervous. Something that you want to keep doing? But what I learned last time is just listen to June and everything will go right. So let's give her a call and let's get this cooking lesson going.
JUNE XIE: Are you ready to make some fried rice?
JACKIE IADONISI: I'm so ready to make some fried rice. I love fried rice. Again, just like pot stickers, I eat fried rice quite often. So I'm excited to finally learn how to do it myself so I could save some money.
JUNE XIE: So you told me that you've never successfully made rice before on your own. But I walked you through on Slack yesterday how to make rice. And how did that work out?
JACKIE IADONISI: It worked out really great. Honestly, June. It's so funny because I mean, making rice obviously is a very simple thing. But the way you break things down detail by detail, I think, really helps the process. But last night, I followed your steps. And it came out really good. I was very happy with myself. I know people are probably watching this and they're like, Jackie. It's rice. But it's a big deal for me.
JUNE XIE: Yeah. So basically I told you to follow package instructions minus 2 tablespoons of water. And then as soon as you're done cooking it, you unlid, you push it out onto a sheet tray, and you just left that rice dry off a little bit and cool completely before storing in the refrigerator. And we did this because fried rice is actually best when you're using leftover fried rice. Something happens with the starches inside when it kind of gels up a little bit. It dries up a little bit overnight in the fridge. And then when you go to cook your actual fried rice, it turns out that nice chewy, crispy texture.
JACKIE IADONISI: You make it sound so good.
JUNE XIE: Let's just run over the ingredients list because fried rice kind of happens pretty quickly. And we want to get our mise en place all ready and set to go. So I know you've already prepped some vegetables. So let's just check off our list. So the first thing you'll need is some cooking oil, vegetable oil, olive oil. Whatever you got. Just not toasted sesame oil. Hell, you can even use butter if you want a little bit of extra richness.
JACKIE IADONISI: OK.
JUNE XIE: Do you have three eggs?
JACKIE IADONISI: Yes three eggs.
JUNE XIE: Cool.
JACKIE IADONISI: Nick is so sad that he couldn't be here today.
JUNE XIE: I'm so sad that Nick can't be here today.
JACKIE IADONISI: I told him. I was like, I'm filming with June today. And he was like, what? I was like, I know. You have to work. He was just like, OK. I see how it is.
JUNE XIE: You snooze, you lose, Nick. You got a real job like a real adult. You don't get to cook and have fun like us. You got a half onion chopped?
JACKIE IADONISI: I did a quarter of an onion chopped. I think I might need more. Do you think I need more?
JUNE XIE: It's totally up to you. And everything also depends on the size of your pan. Lauren's recipe calls for 4 cups of cooked rice. But my pan is only small enough to hold 2 and 1/2, 3. So I think less is fine for now because you want to make sure that you're not layering or stacking too many things on top of each other. They tend to steam and they tend to not crisp up or toast very well. So smaller batches is better always.
All right. Our next ingredient is one carrot. And I didn't even peel mine because mine looks super clean. And I was like, I need that extra fiber in my grandma life.
JACKIE IADONISI: I didn't cut mine yet. So let me just do that really quick. Keep the fingers in.
Almost done, June. Just cutting them up in little small pieces.
JUNE XIE: I'm just having a delightful time staring at you chop.
JACKIE IADONISI: So fried rice for you, is this something that you eat quite often?
JUNE XIE: I mean, if I ever have leftover rice, it normally turns into fried rice. And to be honest with you, Aaron is the one cooking a lot of the fried rice. He really likes to jazz it up with a lot of spicy oils, super massive amounts of garlic, and just whatever we have hanging around in the fridge. Fried rice is such a forgiving recipe because it was basically born out of leftovers, leftover rice, leftover anything. And you just toss it all in the same pan, heat it up.
JACKIE IADONISI: Oh, I love that.
JUNE XIE: All right. After carrots, you're going to need a half pound of ground pork.
JACKIE IADONISI: OK.
JUNE XIE: So Jackie, I'm going to be leading you step by step through a traditional pork fried rice according to Lauren's recipe, but I'm going to be using some mushrooms today for a vegan version.
JACKIE IADONISI: Nice.
JUNE XIE: Mushrooms, especially Shiitake mushrooms brown up really well. And they can even get crispy if you cook it at a high heat. And they turn into this super crunchy, slightly meaty texture if you mince it fine like this. So it's actually an amazing vegetarian substitute for pork. Remember when last time Nick couldn't find the weight of the pork?
JACKIE IADONISI: Also last time when you were giving me measurements, I kind of went on my own there. Wasn't really paying attention. So I'm going to really try my best this time to listen carefully.
JUNE XIE: Fried rice is so forgiving. It truly does not matter if you don't have the precise amount. You need kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper just for seasoning later. So just pull those out and have them at the ready.
JACKIE IADONISI: OK.
JUNE XIE: And then you're going to need-- yeah. Let's grab a tablespoon of ginger. And we're just going to mince it. You can grate this with your microplane if you have it. But I basically just took my chef knife, I peeled off the ginger because my ginger was a little bit old. And I just gave it this very fine mince. It almost looks like the minced garlic that you get in jars.
JACKIE IADONISI: I love the smell of ginger so much.
JUNE XIE: It makes everything smell fresh.
JACKIE IADONISI: I cut myself, June. I got a little too excited.
JUNE XIE: Is it bad? Is it bad?
JACKIE IADONISI: No, no. It's a little nick. It's a battle scar.
JUNE XIE: Oh, boy. Hey, if you're the only one eating it, it just adds flavor. Right?
JACKIE IADONISI: I think I've gotten confident since the last time we cooked together. So I'm chopping things up, grating the ginger all fast, and then I cut myself. That's what I get. I need to humble myself a little bit, be like, OK, Jackie. Calm down.
JUNE XIE: Jackie, I would actually recommend that we just stand here for 40 seconds and you just apply pressure on the cut. And just hold it for 30 seconds, 40 seconds. Because that'll actually help it stop bleeding. And now we get to do our Zumba. That's it. This is a new age Zumba, guys.
JACKIE IADONISI: All right. 10 more seconds, ladies. Keep it up. And 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Great job.
JUNE XIE: Then we're going to take a couple of cloves of garlic. And we're just going to mince them or dice them. Lauren calls for mincing them. But just be aware that the smaller you mince your garlic, the more likely it is to burn. And so I like to keep my garlic really nice and big, and hunky, and kind of a bigger dice. Because not only does this prevent me from burning my garlic. It also helps me get more garlicky bites in every single spoonful of my fried rice. And Jackie, if you look on over to my screen, I do not have three cloves of garlic here. I have seven.
JACKIE IADONISI: You like your garlic, huh? OK.
JUNE XIE: Sometimes on my most stressful days, I'll just take some cloves of garlic and I'll just peel them slowly one by one. And I get into a very zen mode of being in time and space with my garlic.
JACKIE IADONISI: It is very soothing.
JUNE XIE: I love garlic so much.
JACKIE IADONISI: Let me see one more time. Are we just peeling garlic together right now?
JUNE XIE: Yeah.
JACKIE IADONISI: Oh no. People are not going to be OK with this. Oh no. OK. OK. I think I need to do something with my finger. I don't think I have a Band-Aid. So I'm going to have to makeshift one.
JUNE XIE: You don't have a Band-Aid, Jackie? Oh, goodness gracious.
JACKIE IADONISI: Here you go, June.
JUNE XIE: What did you concoct that out of?
JACKIE IADONISI: It's a rubber band and a paper towel. So it will do for now. And the good thing about this, though, the rubber band will hold it down and compress it so the blood won't come out. So truly this is better than a Band-Aid. That noise is probably really bad. I think my neighbors are showering. Do you hear that?
JUNE XIE: Listen guys, we're just in a noisy world right now. We're just going to cook. We're going to let the noise flavor our food.
JACKIE IADONISI: OK. I have some garlic going on here. I actually have high expectations today because the last time I followed all of your instructions step by step, I had some of the best dumplings I ever had. So and I made the rice last night, best rice I've ever had, or ever made myself. So I have a feeling that this is going to be some of the best fried rice I've ever had.
JUNE XIE: Lovely. After your garlic is nicely diced or minced, you're just going to need a half cup of frozen peas.
JACKIE IADONISI: Got that.
JUNE XIE: Jackie, have you ever just snacked on frozen peas before?
JACKIE IADONISI: No.
JUNE XIE: How is it?
JACKIE IADONISI: Well, peas aren't my favorite. But something about the cold and the texture is really nice.
JUNE XIE: I also like to do this with frozen corn. The next ingredient after your frozen peas are measured out will be your rice. Now Lauren's recipe calls for 4 cups. But I only have about 3 cups here.
JACKIE IADONISI: That's my rice that I'm very proud about, OK?
JUNE XIE: All right. After that, it's all basically condiments and garnishes. We're going to need about 2 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce. You're going to need some hoisin sauce.
JACKIE IADONISI: Hoisin sauce.
JUNE XIE: Fun fact. Hoisin I believe means [MANDARIN] in Mandarin. I'm probably closer in sound to hoisin in Cantonese. And it literally means seafood sauce. But there is no actual seafood in modern day hoisin sauce. And then you'll need three scallions, AKA, green onions. Super important when it comes to scallions that you rinse them thoroughly. There is often some grit trapped in between the stocks. And especially the parts where the white part of the scallion meets the green part of the scallion, it can get super gritty. So you want to make sure that you rinse it really well.
That's it. That's all of your knife work for today. We're going to turn our skillet over medium heat. And the first thing that we're going to cook here is your scrambled eggs. So make sure that you have a bowl that your scrambled eggs can go back into. Sometimes I just use the same bowl that they came out of because we're going to dump them back into the hot rice again so they'll get cooked again. So don't worry about any remaining raw egg in there.
So you're using a nonstick there. You can go a little bit lighter on the oil if you're using nonstick. But I'm going to go in with about a tablespoon here. And I'm going to wait until that oil is nice and rippley. So if I move it across the bottom of the pan, it should look like there's slight little waves and ripples. That means my oil is hot enough.
And Jackie, when you go in with your eggs, just make sure that you have a rubber or silicone spatula ready on hand. Because as soon as they hit the pan, we're going to try to be moving the curves around so that they're nice, and light, and fluffy, and not overcooked, and rubbery.
We can turn our heat down a little bit to medium low. And you can go ahead and spill in your eggs gently across the surface. And once you start to see the edges of your eggs solidifying and turning opaque, I just want you to tilt your hand up a little bit and to use your silicone spatula and to kind of move the curds off to one side of the pan and then to go around the edge of the pan to kind of hold it onto itself. So you're trying to create layers of scrambled eggs.
And you don't have to do it too frequently. You should always wait for that bottom layer of the egg to set a little bit before you go and scoop it and fold it. We want to fold the eggs when they're still kind of glistening and a little bit puddingy.
JACKIE IADONISI: So take it out.
JUNE XIE: Yes.
JACKIE IADONISI: So they're still a little mushy.
JUNE XIE: OK. And we're just going to go ahead and sprinkle those eggs with a little bit of salt and pepper. And just let them sit with that seasoning. That way, we are seasoning every single component of this fried rice so that we don't get any bite that feels like it's bland. You're going to go in with a tablespoon more oil.
JACKIE IADONISI: A tablespoon more of oil. OK. I thought that was a lot.
JUNE XIE: So once you have the oil in there and it looks hot, you're going to go in with the onion and the carrot. Yes. You don't need to go to heavy handed. But I would just add a small pinch of salt in there. Again, we're layering in the saltiness, and flavoring, and seasoning every single component of this dish so that no bite is bland. And you're just going to stir it occasionally until the onion and the carrot look a little bit more translucent, potentially, a little bit more golden.
And you can also go ahead and turn your heat up to a medium slash medium high. I would just go at a pace where nothing is burning but everything seems like it's sizzling nicely.
JACKIE IADONISI: What do you think the main difference will be between cooking it in my non stick skillet versus your skillet?
JUNE XIE: I mean, I think nonstick skillets can still turn things golden, and delicious, and brown. But I just feel like cast iron gives it a much better crust most times. So I really like how there's a lot of layers of minute crispiness built into every dish cooked in a cast iron that I just feel like nonstick can give you crisp. But it can't give you crisp crunch. And cast iron can.
JACKIE IADONISI: Looking good. And it's smelling good. I made enough, right?
JUNE XIE: Yeah. I think that looks good. Once the vegetables are tender, the next thing that's going to go in is your pork. But I would just go in with the pork at a medium high heat now. And I would also grab two wooden spoons. If you already have one that you're cooking with, I would grab another one. And I like to do a two spoon method for breaking up your meat into smaller, smaller bits.
JACKIE IADONISI: OK. OK, OK. Good. I've had chicken fried rice, shrimp fried rice, pineapple fried rice. I've never had pork fried rice.
JUNE XIE: Really?
JACKIE IADONISI: Yeah.
JUNE XIE: I remember growing up and I remember my mom making me fried rice with hot dogs.
JACKIE IADONISI: I grew up on beans and weenies. So I get it.
JUNE XIE: Beans. And at any point in your cooking process, if you also want to sprinkle in a little bit of black pepper, sprinkle it in, girl. Wow. I'm a mess. I just keep flinging stuff all over the place today.
JACKIE IADONISI: I like to make a mess in the kitchen. I don't like to think-- I know there's those people that cook and they're very tidy. And I don't know how they manage to do it. But while they're cooking, they know how to keep it tidy the whole entire time. I'm not one of those people.
JUNE XIE: I think if you've worked in a restaurant for a few years, that is one of the key things that you walk away with is you have to keep cleaning as you go, especially when you're in a restaurant with so many other people working alongside you. You can't ever just be like, I'll leave that for 20 minutes later. Because somebody else would need that space right away.
JACKIE IADONISI: Did you used to work in a restaurant?
JUNE XIE: Yeah. I was in it for 4 and 1/2 years, babe.
JACKIE IADONISI: Really? As a chef?
JUNE XIE: I was mostly a pastry cook. And it took me about three years before I figured out I didn't want to be a chef chef. And then it took me another year and a half to actually get out of the restaurant.
JACKIE IADONISI: Yeah. I was in the service industry too. I was in the service industry I want to say for about seven or eight years as a server though. I think it's one of the best jobs that anybody could have, honestly. I loved meeting all different types of people. And I just felt it was a good way to get to know and how to talk to different types of people from all walks of lifes. This might be really strange, but I enjoy serving people.
JUNE XIE: I like that.
JACKIE IADONISI: I find it really enjoyable. Obviously there's those areas where you can't stand people and they get on your nerves because they're picky or they're mean. But for the most part, when you meet those genuinely nice individuals or those fun individuals, the job is so much fun.
JUNE XIE: There's a lot of picky customers though. So it's not always easy job. But yeah. Front of house, you guys can make a killing sometimes. How's your pork smell?
JACKIE IADONISI: Smells delightful. Smells so good. I just want to start eating it already.
JUNE XIE: Are any of the best browning yet?
JACKIE IADONISI: Not yet. It's definitely cooking. But it's not crispy brown yet or anything.
JUNE XIE: All right. I would say let's turn up the heat a little bit.
JACKIE IADONISI: OK.
JUNE XIE: And we're going to go until you get pieces with edges that look deeply golden brown and they look almost like rendered bacon bits.
JACKIE IADONISI: Oh. How are you doing over there?
JUNE XIE: My mushroom is turning very fragrant. I love it. I'm adding a little bit of salt. I'm adding a little pinch of pepper, which you're welcome to do to your pork too.
JACKIE IADONISI: OK. This looks nice and golden brown.
JUNE XIE: Nice. All right. Let's go in with the next step. Once your pork is no longer pink, and once it's caramelizing, we are ready. We are ready to go in with the ginger, the garlic, and the peas. [INAUDIBLE] ginger going in and the peas that I couldn't stop snacking on.
JACKIE IADONISI: There is something nice about eating the cold peas. You're on to something.
JUNE XIE: Welcome to the weirdo club, Jackie.
JACKIE IADONISI: [INAUDIBLE]
JUNE XIE: And we're just going to stir all the vegetables until they're nicely coated in you're rendered pork fat. And you want to make sure that everything is basically getting fried, shallow fried in that pork oil. And if you start noticing that your garlic is already browning, turn down your heat. Because this is when your garlic will start burning at a very high heat. So adjust accordingly.
JACKIE IADONISI: While I'm stirring this, I take a minute to really think about what it looks like and me in the kitchen. I know what I'm doing. And I'm like, man. I wish Nick could just see this right now. But it's really cool. Honestly, I don't make a lot of stuff. And when I do, I keep it very simple. And I don't know, obviously fried rice is a simple thing to make. But just I feel good. I feel like every single time that I make something on "Delish" or learn something with you, it just shows me that cooking isn't that scary, that you can follow a recipe, or not even follow a recipe, and just have fun with it.
And this looks beautiful. This looks delicious.
JUNE XIE: I mean, I think it's because we've built an entire industry, many industries in fact, telling people there's a right way to do things. And there actually isn't just one right way to do things. And so when you tell people you can only do this this way, and if you do it any way else you're wrong. But how is it possible to have only one way to do things, folks?
JACKIE IADONISI: Exactly.
JUNE XIE: So once that is all good, we can go in with our rice. So we're going to go in with our rice. And we're going to let that get nice and coated in whatever remains in your oil. And if you feel like at any point that rice concoction is starting to look a little dry, just drizzle in a little bit more oil and treat yourself.
JACKIE IADONISI: I might need to do that because it does look a little dry.
JUNE XIE: And once that rice is nicely mixed in and you've added enough oil in there to make it look sleek again, you can actually just turn your heat down to a medium and just let it all hang in the pan. And try not to disturb it too frequently now. Because what you're trying to do is get some nice crispiness on the bottom of that pan. And will stir it every now and then. But for the most part, we want to hear that rice kind of crackle, and sizzle, and pop.
JACKIE IADONISI: That was the one thing I think that with the rice that I didn't do the first time I ever attempted rice. I kept trying to peek at it and stir it. Obviously, you're not supposed to do that.
JUNE XIE: All right, Jackie. Once your rice is starting to crackle and pop, we're going to add in our soy sauce, our hoisin, and our scallions. Why don't you take a spoon and just taste your rice? Blow on it a little bit so you don't burn yourself. Taste your rice. See where your seasoning is at right now before you add in your soy sauce. See if it's actually bland ish.
JACKIE IADONISI: It's somewhat seasoned.
JUNE XIE: So you can go in with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce first and then add more if you want it more salty. I'm going to go in with a squirt of my hoisin. Mine is pretty bland. So I'm OK with salting it.
JACKIE IADONISI: Actually, I'm going to put a little bit more because I like salty.
JUNE XIE: All right. Once your soy sauce and hoisin is kind of all mixed in, let's go in with our scallions. And I would just hold back a little bit 2 tablespoons of scallions for topping for garnish just to make it pretty later. All we're going to do after this step is fold in the eggs. But before you fold in the eggs, you have to make sure that the rice texture is what you want it to be. So if you want soft and kind of moist rice grains, you can stop it right now. Or if you want crispy crunchy bits of rice to be strewn throughout the mixture, you can go a little bit longer until you get there.
But whatever you do, you got to make sure that you like that rice texture. How are you doing, Jackie?
JACKIE IADONISI: It looks really good. It looks beautiful. Just want it to get to that flavor.
JUNE XIE: Now you're cooking.
JACKIE IADONISI: Now I'm cooking. How does yours taste?
JUNE XIE: I think mine needs a little more salt too. You got a lot of notifications going on.
JACKIE IADONISI: I know. I'm sorry.
JUNE XIE: Jackie, once your eggs go in, you should take your rice off the heat now. Because we don't want to overcook the eggs too much. And we are ready to eat.
JACKIE IADONISI: So you don't leave the eggs in there for too long.
JUNE XIE: No. It's just to fold them back into the mix because they're basically already cooked.
JACKIE IADONISI: Oh, oh, oh, oh. I see. I see.
JUNE XIE: So before you put in the eggs, always make sure that your rice is exactly where you want it already. Show me. Oh my gosh. Yours looks like straight up breakfast burrito fried rice. That looks so good.
JACKIE IADONISI: It really does.
JUNE XIE: I'm going to put a little bit more of my green onions on top. Oh, Jackie. I forgot something. Sesame oil. We got to go in with our sesame oil.
JACKIE IADONISI: While it's cooking?
JUNE XIE: We can just go in now. Sesame oil doesn't need to be heated. It's just a little bit of flavoring. So about 1 teaspoon drizzle in there. And just make sure you mix it in. And as soon as you pour in that sesame oil, you should smell the toastiness perfume through your entire kitchen.
JACKIE IADONISI: That's the finished product. I have crispy bits, June.
JUNE XIE: I love crispy bits.
- I didn't want to walk in and start talking because I don't know what the deal is with your videos. But I did want to say that when I came home and opened the front door of the apartment building on the first floor, it was the most incredible smell. And I was like, there's no way that's June all the way from the third floor. And then I followed the scent all the way up here. And lo and behold, it was your incredible fried rice.
JUNE XIE: Jackie, how does yours taste?
JACKIE IADONISI: Tastes incredible. They taste so good. I love it.
JUNE XIE: Do you get a little bit of smoky slight burniness, but toasty burn, and not bitter burn?
JACKIE IADONISI: Yeah. No, it's toasty burn. I get why you want to cook this on a cast iron to get that crunchiness a little bit. But I'm still really happy with the flavor and everything. I think the only thing is missing is that little bit extra crispiness.
- Well, this has tofu skin. Thanks, because that's one of my favorite ingredients.
JUNE XIE: Yeah. So in my version, I don't have pork. But I have mushroom. And I don't have egg, but I have tofu skin.
JACKIE IADONISI: This is great. I'm very happy with myself, June. I made fried rice. And I actually enjoy it. And the texture of the rice is amazing.
JUNE XIE: I am so delighted, Jackie, that we cooked together. And despite all the noise that tried to keep us apart, we made it from coast to coast.
JACKIE IADONISI: This is delicious. I could serve this to Nick. And I think he would really like it.
JUNE XIE: Do you have enough for him? Or are you going to eat it all?