Browned Butter Fried Rice Topped with a Fried Egg


Yesterday morning – Saturday, that was – I woke up at 5:20 am, went downstairs and made Chana Masala. This was not my plan, but a serendipitous silver lining to my week of 4:30 am wake-ups – on Saturday I bolted awake at 5:20, instantly panicked that I had slept in and they were about to go to World Report without me standing by with my scrawled notes on the status of Deerfoot Trail. Because I had my alarm set for 6 am Saturday in order to be in Red Deer for 8 to teach two back to back brunch classes, I got up instead of trying to milk that last half hour of sleep. While packing the ingredients I needed for my classes, I noticed the Roma tomatoes I had bought a week or so ago with the intention of making Chana Masala, now a nice deep red and about to go over to the dark side. Curries like C.M. always do taste better after spending some time in the fridge, so I thought I’d be on the ball and get dinner ready to reheat upon my return at around dinnertime.

I hadn’t anticipated the agony that would come when newly-awakened eyes, still devoid of contact lenses, were subjected to strong chopped onions. I’ve always worn contacts, and the few times I’ve had occasion to chop onions in my glasses were a nasty shock. So this is what everyone makes such a big deal about! All this time I thought they were all just being wimps. Turns out those teeny (but expensive) thin plastic discs that help me see better also act as an effective defense against onion vapours.

Then I chopped a jalapeño pepper, before going upstairs and putting in my contacts. What a rookie move. All just a little too much drama before 6 in the morning.

Over the course of the day I taught two hands-on brunch-themed classes – we made crab cakes Benedict, crêpes with sautéed apples and whipped cream, espresso caramel sauce, stuffed baked French toast, homemade pork sausage patties, lamb sausage rolls with orange and fennel, potato latkes and chunky browned butter rosemary applesauce (oh yes, the recipe is coming).

In the afternoon class I met some lovely followers of this blog – hey guys! so nice to meet you in person! – which was completely fantastic. One of them, from Texas, told me about a Cuban dish she makes with browned butter, in which eggs are fried in said butter and set atop rice, with the extra browned butter drizzled overtop. The eggs are then cut roughly up so that their yolks have a chance to ooze into the rice. I fantasized about this for my entire drive home. No really.

Which was fortunate, because the Chana Masala I had so ambitiously made was far too hot to eat – Mike sweated it out for several bites, but I gave up after one or two and made myself another egg. Having started with cold rice, I quickly browned some butter (this is just a fancy way of saying I put a blob of butter into a hot skillet without oil, so that it turned brown straight after it melted) and reheated the rice by way of sautéing it in the butter. I tipped the rice out and added a tad more butter (it was a long day) before cracking in a couple of eggs, and they made everyone happy.

Tonight I made a quick pizza out of a flatbread I picked up at a Greek grocery store – two enormous oval flatbreads for $3.50.

Tomato paste + cheese + heat = pizza. W is in his cheese-pizza-only phase, which meant we couldn’t sully it with pepperoni or mushrooms or roasted veg or anything of the sort. The best thing about the big long oval slabs of dough? Cutting them – I love making angled slices, so you wind up with big triangle slabs, as if you had a big ol’ round pizza to begin with.

Think I may be getting punchy – best go arrange my mangoes. Don’t watch tomorrow morning –
I have bad hair.


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21 comments on “Browned Butter Fried Rice Topped with a Fried Egg

  1. Jen Hendrick
    March 29, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Hey Julie,

    Awesome brunch class and it was really nice to see you again. I can’t wait to make the crab cakes Benedict sometime soon!

  2. Simply Luxurious
    March 29, 2010 at 6:45 am

    Oh, I would love to take a cooking class from you. I wish that we had cooking classes where I live, alas, no. If I’m ever in Calgary, i’ll have to look you up? =)
    Enjoy your Monday!

  3. Vivian
    March 29, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Julie, where do you hold these classes in Red Deer and how does one find out when. A quick drive from Edmonton to Red Deer wouldn’t be bad at all. I’ve always wanted to attend one of your cooking classes! Great idea for the naan pizza too, so easy.

  4. JulieVR
    March 29, 2010 at 9:28 am

    They are always at the Cooking Room – you can see the schedule at!

  5. Jessica
    March 29, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Glad you liked the eggs and rice. That’s about the most unexciting Cuban dish that I know of, but it’s fast and good. I almost hesistate to label it Cuban, but my inlaws fixed it regularly at their house for dinner when my husband was growing up, and they ARE from Cuba, so there you go!

    My taste buds thoroughly enjoyed the class, and it was great to meet you. I’ll have to keep practicing those crepes. :o)

  6. julie
    March 29, 2010 at 9:36 am

    I am making pizza tonight with leftover naan from your naan recipe! I think I have made that recipe 4 times since trying it for the first time last week – it is good for everything!

  7. Fiona
    March 29, 2010 at 9:46 am

    You’ve just reminded me I need to zip over to the little Lebanese grocery store around the corner from me and buy some of that bread. And their pita, which is like candy.

  8. Laurie in Burnaby BC
    March 29, 2010 at 10:36 am

    *Love* left over rice fried in butter with eggs. It was a favrouite of mine as a little kid. We had no connection with Cuba – my mother’s family lived in Malaysia from the mid-19th century until the second world war. We’d always thought it was a Malaysian breakfast.

  9. sue.d
    March 29, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    ummmm…is ‘arranging mangoes’ a euphemism for something? I’m so out of touch.

    More seriously this looks like a subtle new take on a very simple dish – sounds like heaven to me!

  10. Stephanie
    March 29, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    I had the same experience of chopping onions in my glasses recently — I remember thinking oh, RIGHT. This is what everyone is complaining about.

  11. Chelsey
    March 29, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Haha! Funny story about your contacts. It reminds me of the time I was on break at the restaurant and I heard my boss scream like a school girl in the washroom. When He came out I asked him what had happened. He looked down embarrassed and confessed he that he had just finished cutting jalapenos!

    Do you do your brunch class at the cookbooks co? I would totally come it sounds amazing.

  12. eroica
    March 29, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Another yummy rice and egg version is Mark Bittman’s take on Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Ginger Fried Rice.
    It was featured in the Minimalist column of the NYT a couple of weeks ago,

  13. KC
    March 29, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    I love fried egg on rice dishes, including Korean Bi Bim Bap and the eggs we had for supper growing up…fry in hot oil til crispy on the edges, flip, serve seasoned with white pepper and drizzled with oyster sauce. Kylie Kwong even has a version of this recipe in one of her books…

  14. kickpleat
    March 29, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    I could totally go for a bowl of rice and eggs right now. Dinner time is a-calling! Looks very delicious and I like the use of a nutty brown butter. Mmmmm.

  15. LisaMer
    March 29, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    All this time I thought I had some superpower that made me immune to onion vapours but it’s only been my contacts?!? 😉

    BTW, hubby and I had a date night at Thomsons and partook of the Earth Hour menu. AMAZING!!!! The soup was to die for! Too bad for me that I didn’t have enough room for all of my dessert. 🙁

  16. Amber
    March 29, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Well I tried the rice and eggs recipe but not sure I ended up with “browned” butter. It still tasted good tho! Used leftover brown rice, slightly flavoured with vegetable bouillon. Yum!

  17. Theresa
    March 30, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    My dog had an upset tummy so I **HAD** to cook rice and give him some…..

    of course if I’m going to cook rice I can’t make a small amount…… so yes, fried rice, eggs and browned butter was a big hit.

    How much of the day should I be spending thinking about food? 😀

  18. Noor
    June 26, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    The blog photo caught my eye right away. Looks like a classic Hyderabadi (Hyderabad is a city in south India) breakfast dish my mil eats all the time, with a few additions. Heat through a teaspoon of minced garlic&ginger paste in hot vegetable oil in a skillet with some cayenne (optional* add a tsp of whole cumin seeds). Fry this for a minute and then add cold leftover rice and stirfry the rice until heated through well and evenly spiced. PLate it out and add a sunny side egg on top and enjoy the runny yolk over the fried rice! I find it too heavy for breakfast but a welcome treat for dinner once in a while.

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