Quick & easy beef fried rice with a fusion of middle eastern flavours made with egg fried rice and cumin ground beef. Great on its own or with a side of hummus!
This cumin beef fried rice was inspired by a Turkish breakfast that I used to love snacking on for lunch. My memories of Turkish breakfast consisted of a few fried eggs, some fried Sujuk (aka Sucuk) which is a very garlicky cured sausage (or in some cases Doner!) served with bread and a few slices of tomatoes.
The combination of ingredients gave a creamy texture with hints of cumin and just the right about of saltiness. It's such a simple dish that's PACKED with flavour that I absolutely had transferred it to a beef fried rice so this can be enjoyed with a bit more substance for a one-bowl meal. 🙂
INGREDIENTS FOR CUMIN BEEF FRIED RICE
All ingredients for this cumin beef fried rice can be found at the local grocery stores.
This can be made with ground lamb as well!
**Note** I didn't include sumac in the photography, but if you can find it, I would definitely add 1 teaspoon of it into the fried rice.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
To make fried rice, always use cold, day-old rice. The reason for this is because freshly cooked rice is very soft and fluffy and full of moisture.
If you were to fry freshly made rice, your rice would turn out gluey and very wet. Not very good eats when you have gluey wet fried rice.
Cold rice, on the other hand, is more dry, and firm. It can withstand the heat better. The result would be fried with a more dry texture but a texture where you can see every individual grain of rice and not gluey.
If you don't have day-old rice, you can make a pot of rice and put it in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours. When you break the rice apart, it should not feel sticky and gluey. If it is, then keep it in the fridge a bit longer. The texture you are aiming for is granular when you separating the big chunks of rice
To flavour this dish, I add the spices and salt to the meat and not the rice. The oils and grease from the meats help the spices and salt spread out more evenly which makes the fried rice evenly flavored. I found that when I added the salt and spices on the rice, it would clump up and stick to one particular area of the rice so you come out with a more patchy spiced and salted rice.
Tip #2: Toast the spice! It brings out the flavour and nuttiness. But be careful not to over toast it, spices burn quickly!
Tip #3: Pre-break apart your cold rice before you start making the beef fried rice. It's a lot easier, and it's a lot less messy to do it ahead of time in a bowl instead of breaking it up over the pan. I find the best tools for this is your hands 🙂 just grab a hunk of rice and gently squeeze it, it should break apart in your hands.
Tip #4: If you find that your fried rice is too dry, you can sprinkle a bit of water over it during the frying. Sprinkle a little at a time, you can add more later if it's not the texture you want but you can't take out the water if you put too much.
OHHH! I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner, but a random afterthought! I bet this would taste fantastic with a side of hummus (aka hummus)! The tang and creaminess of the hummus would mix so well with the salty spiced meat! Let me know if you try this out!! 🙂
Cumin Beef Fried Rice
- 500 g ground beef (or ground lamb)
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 4 cloves garlic (finely minced)
- 2 x 2 cm ginger (grated or finely minced)
- 2 eggs
- 3-4 cups rice (cold, preferably a day old)
- 1 green onion (finely chopped)
- ½ teaspoon sumac (optional)
- salt to taste
- Using a frying pan, set the stove to medium heat and add a bit of oil
- Add in the cumin and toast it for 30 seconds. Watch it carefully to make sure it doesn't burn!
- Add in the ground beef. Break up the meat into tiny pieces and cook for about 5 mins or until the beef is fully cooked.
- Add in the salt, ginger and garlic and cook for another 2 mins
- Add eggs into the pan and let it cook for a little before mixing it in with the beef. (approximately 30 seconds), Then break the yolks and swirl the egg around and mix it with the beef and cook for an additional 3 mins
- Add in the rice. If the rice is not broken up into smaller pieces, break it up now and cook for 10 mins constantly mixing the rice into the meat and spices until they are evenly mixed.
- Turn off the heat, and add the green onions.
- Enjoy with a meal or on its own!
- Use cold day old rice! It keeps it's shape and gives a better textured fried rice. (Fresh rice used in a fried rice gives a gluey result)
- Add the salt into the meat and not the rice, the grease from the meats spreads out the salt more evenly. Salt added to the rice tends to clump into one area.
- Toast your spices for a more robust and nutty flavour but be mindful of how long you do it for, it burns quickly!