Simplest Fried Rice with Peppers

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 20 minutes with cooked rice

The easiest fried rice dish, mildly flavored, not earth-shattering, but very fast, very good, and a respectful treatment of a revered leftover. Move to the next recipe if you’re looking for something more complex or exciting.

1/4 cup peanut or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn

2 cups bell pepper strips, preferably a mixture of red and yellow

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 to 4 cups cooked white or brown rice (start with about 11/2 cups raw), preferably long-grain

2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

Put the oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat. A minute later, add the peppers, sprinkle on some salt and pepper, and raise the heat to high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes.

Add the rice, separating it with your hands as you do so. Cook, stirring and breaking up the rice lumps, until it is hot and begins to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and sesame oil, taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve.

Variation

Simplest Fried Rice with Onions. If you like, use half peppers and half onions, but cook the onions on their own for a few minutes first: Substitute 2 cups thinly sliced onion for the peppers.