Turkey Fried Rice with Crushed Potato Chips

Do you guys watch Top Chef? If so, you may remember Angelo from the season in D.C. (and All Stars too, I think). He was all about Asian-inspired cuisine, and though his giant ego made him a bit tough to root for at the start, it definitely made for good tv. He popped up in this month’s issue of Food & Wine, where he was challenged to create a dish using a five ingredient basket selected by the magazine. He also had access to pantry staples and could select any two additional ingredients he wanted. One final rule – the dish had to be ready in 30 minutes or less. If you’ve ever watched Chopped on Food Network, it was basically along the same lines, minus the always entertaining commentary from some of the tougher judges (I’m looking at you Alex, Scott and Geoffrey).

Turkey Fried Rice with Crushed Potato Chips

Anyway, Angelo’s basket of ingredients included potato chips, ground turkey, lemongrass, cooked rice and mint, and this fried rice was his creation. I love the fried rice from my local Chinese restaurant, but I’ve never actually tried to make my own. I’m not sure what inspired me to start now, but it was super easy. You really need to prep all of your ingredients ahead of time, which typically I never do, but things move fast here so if you’re stopping to chop lemongrass or crack eggs, you’re likely going to overcook, or worse, burn something else. I probably spent 5 minutes prepping ingredients and about 10 cooking the dish, definitely one of the fastest dinners I’ve ever made.

I wasn’t sure how this dish would be received by Shane, but he wound up really enjoying it. That said, I think he thought it was going to be a side dish, and was left wondering where the rest of his dinner was :) I forgot to pick up the mint for the dish, so I threw in some parsley (mostly for color, this isn’t exactly the most visually appealing dish), but I think the mint really would worked better here so be sure to include it, if possible. Shane skipped the potato chips completely on his portion, but I liked the crunch they added so your call there. I’m itching to try other fried rice recipes now so this probably won’t be the last one you see here!

Turkey Fried Rice with Crushed Potato Chips
from Food & Wine, June 2012

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
4 oz ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups leftover (cold) cooked rice
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/2 cup plain potato chips, lightly crushed
hot sauce, for serving

Set a large work or nonstick skillet over medium-high to high heat. Let it get very hot, then add the oil, ginger, garlic and lemongrass. Cook, stirring constantly, just until fragrant, about 30 seconds (if you let the garlic go too long, it’ll burn and get bitter). Add the turkey and the salt and use a wooden spoon to break up the meat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is just cooked through and no longer pink. Create a well in the center of the ground turkey and add the eggs, cooking just until they set into large curds, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook until it is heated through and the individual grains are separated, about 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce and let the mixture continue cooking until the sauce is absorbed. Mix in the sesame oil and transfer the fried rice to bowls for serving. Add some of the scallions and mint to each bowl and garnish with the potato chips.