Yakimeshi or Japanese-style fried rice is a great way to use up leftover rice. You can cook and flake fresh salmon or mackerel to make it, but using canned tuna is convenient and tasty – especially on a busy day.
You can make Yakimeshi with any leftover cooked rice, but traditionally it’s made with short grain rice. This is more sticky than other types of Asian rice. So we have a special trick to give your Yakimeshi a fluffy texture and glossy look.
- 1 bowl cooked short grain rice (see tip below)
- 1 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
- 1 can tuna in brine or water, drained of liquid
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 spring onion, finely cut
- 2 tbsps oil, for frying
- Salt and pepper to taste
Break up clumps of rice with a fork. Add 1 heaped Tablespoon of Japanese mayonnaise. Mix well so mayonnaise coats each grain of rice – this trick gives fluffy Yakimeshi rice. Break big chunks of tuna into smaller pieces, so they can fry evenly.
Over medium/high fire, heat a frying pan or wok with 1 tablespoon of oil. Oil should be hot, but not smoking. Add minced garlic. Keep stirring for about 3 minutes, so it goes light golden, but does not burn. Add in rice – keep stirring and tossing rice for about 2 minutes, so hot oil coats every grain.
Push rice aside, add in beaten eggs. If your pan is not non-stick, you may need to add a little more oil. Add in drained tuna flakes, spring onion, salt and pepper. Stir to scramble the eggs.
Give everything a good toss for about 5 minutes until all ingredients are well mixed. Taste, to see if you like to add salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Serve immediately.
TIP: Leftover rice that was cooked the day before is best for fried rice. It’s because cool grains release less starch as they’re fried, and don’t get soggy.
Trish Caddy is a trained restaurant chef and a food trend analyst. Raised in Singapore and England, she is proud of her Cantonese and British heritage and loves all kinds of Asian and Singaporean cuisine and fusion food. You can see more of her food experiments at @dishheads on Instagram.