We’ve seen an influx of creative takes on fried rice, from the Filipino-inspired Adobo Fried Rice at République in Los Angeles, stir-fried to a deep brown with adobo seasoning and crispy bits of fried pork belly, to the Crispy Pearl Rice at The Little Beet Table in Chicago and New York, where the rice is crisped on a flat griddle, then tossed with garlic, soy, ginger, blistered shishito peppers and topped with a sunny-side egg.
“In the ongoing quest to develop new menu offerings based on less costly ingredients, chefs are creating variations of fried rice, incorporating flavor components that reach well beyond those found in the traditional Chinese dish,” says Gerry Ludwig, Corporate Consulting Chef for Gordon Food Service.
Chefs are now moving global fried rice into the breakfast daypart, capitalizing on its comfort-food sensibility combined with a craveable mix of textures and flavors. It makes sense—fried rice is similar to the modern bowl trend in its build potential—a grain base studded with intriguing, flavor-forward ingredients, and finished with high-impact textural flourishes, like crispy onions or peppers, pickled jalapeños or pickled celery, and more.
As example, look to Dirty Habit, a globally inspired restaurant in Washington D.C. The brunch menu stars Arroz Frito, with Spanish chorizo, jasmine rice, shiitake mushrooms and soy sauce.
Chef/owner Josef Centeno brings the heat in his Green Piri Piri Rice at P.Y.T. in Los Angeles, stir-frying the rice and chile paste with lime zest and chopped green herbs, crowning it with an over-easy egg.