A number of years ago, I lived in Taiwan for a year teaching ESL to children. There was so much amazing food in Taiwan, but my favorite dish was an incredible bacon fried rice at a café in my neighborhood. I went every weekend to get that rice.
My Bacon Fried Rice Story from Taiwan
Bacon fried rice was something I'd never experienced before. Embarrassingly, I didn't realize it was bacon in the rice the first few months I ordered it. I thought it was some kind of thinly sliced pork, obviously, but I truly didn't realize it was bacon. They tend to undercook bacon in Taiwan so it doesn't quite look like what you're used to. I sat there thinking, why is this fried rice so good?
The same woman was always at the cafe and she would look at me smiling and nodding and I would smile and nod. That was how I ordered my bacon fried rice. Magically, a few minutes later, it would appear before me. And I'd devour it.
One little detail: they also put raisins in the fried rice! I skipped it for this recipe because it's probably strange enough that there is bacon in fried rice. However, if you're feeling daring, throw ¾ of a cup of raisins in there at the end and give it a good toss!
It took some time, but I think I replicated that recipe from the Taiwan cafe. You've really got to try this. Also, I love making more than I need. Nothing pleases me more than giving extra fried rice to my friends and family. They have also become addicted to it.
Bacon Fried Rice with a Secret...shhhh
Lastly, it's worth noting this recipe contains no soy sauce. In fact, I've never eaten fried rice in Asia that contained soy sauce. That goes for sesame oil too. Never understood sesame oil in a fried rice recipe. I've lived and worked in South Korea and Taiwan. Been to Thailand many times, Vietnam, India, and Nepal. My fried rice experiences in these countries existed without that zap of umami. However, I've never been to mainland China so I don't know if they use it there. I really do appreciate the rice without it! To me, it's the secret to amazing fried rice. A flavor base without soy sauce.
To me, making a gourmet fried rice is about building layers of flavors. The bacon, garlic, ginger, carrot, zucchini, onion mixture is the flavor base of this dish. Plus, properly salting ingredients as you work through the cooking process creates a good balance. The raw egg at the end is critical too. It turns into cooked egg the moment it hits the wok so don't worry. But it creates this nice coating over the rice that I think sets it apart from other recipes out there.
In conclusion, most fried rice recipes on the internet contain soy sauce. But if you create a powerful enough flavor base - you simply don't need it.
So for seriously amazing bacon fried rice - give this recipe a try!
If you're looking for more international recipe ideas, check out my Mie Goreng - Indonesian Noodles with Rotisserie Chicken, a crazy delicious Croque Monsieur Sandwich, or my Beef and Cheese Empanadas.Print