Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

The New Fried Rice Fried rice is versatile, economical and shareable

Global ingredients intersect in this Kimchi Barley and Fried Rice at M Café in Los Angeles, adding complexity to an otherwise simple dish.
PHOTO CREDIT:

Whether as a permanent menu item or an LTO-driven means of utilizing leftover rice, fried rice dishes containing unexpected global ingredients appeal to the growing number of adventurous dining consumers who are seeking new flavor combinations.

Rice varieties

While long-grain rice such as basmati and jasmine work well in fried rice dishes, heirloom varieties such as brown Wehani and black forbidden rice can add texture and color. The same holds true for other grains, including farro, barley, wild rice and quinoa. Sticky rice such as pearl and Kokuho Rose do not stir-fry well, but may be used for crispy or griddled rice dishes.

Flavor additions

These options are limited only by the imagination, but some of the best from our research include puréed black garlic, XO sauce, adobo, kimchi purée, herb pesto, powdered nori, and chile pastes such as Calabrian, peri peri and harissa.

Proteins

Although there is nothing wrong with adding chunks of chicken breast to a fried rice dish, we suggest trying small quantities of highly flavorful meat proteins, including linguiça, chorizo, lap cheong, guanciale, country ham, bacon and some accompanying fat, duck confit and some accompanying fat, porchetta or cured salami. And although it is used on so many of these dishes, we still appreciate the added value of an egg topper with a runny yolk.

 

Adobo Fried Rice at L.A.’s RépubliqueGerry Ludwig | Flavor & The Menu

Adobo Fried Rice at L.A.’s République

 

The Crispy Pearl Rice at The Little Beet Table in Chicago incorporates shishito peppers and is topped with a sunny-side-up egg.Gerry Ludwig | Flavor & The Menu

The Crispy Pearl Rice at The Little Beet Table in Chicago incorporates shishito peppers and is topped with a sunny-side-up egg.

 

About The Author

Gerry Ludwig

Gerry Ludwig is corporate consulting chef at Gordon Food Service, where he creates trends-based culinary solutions for operators, conducts seminars and workshops and hosts trend-tracking tours.