It’s surprising how many Japanese recipes use ketchup.
Ketchup fried rice is a more modern Japanese recipe that took ingredients introduced to Japan during the post WWII times (aka ketchup) and incorporated it into their cuisine. What resulted is a whole other subcategory of Japanese cuisine that I haven’t really dedicated much time to during this month of Japanese cooking.
While you won’t likely see ketchup fried rice served anywhere, if you order a “omurice” from any Japanese-style diner, ketchup will likely be used in the rice within.
This dish is popular with kids in particular, due to the sweetness imparted by the ketchup, but it also works as a flavor variation of fried rice for adults.
Similar to the pork and egg chahan, this recipe starts with mixing the rice and ketchup together to break up the short-grain rice clumps and separate the grains. The ketchup helps with this process.
Traditionally, ketchup fried rice has hot dogs or chicken as the protein base, but I used what I had, which was pork belly. I also included some edamame and mushrooms for some color and nutrition.
Ketchup Fried Rice
- 1 non stick pan
- 1 cup leftover rice
- 1 TBSP ketchup
- 1 TBSP oil (optional) omit if using a fatty cut of meat (the fat will come from heating the meat instead)
- 1/4 cup pork belly
- 1/4 cup diced onions
- 1/4 cup diced mushrooms
- 2 TBSP de-shelled edamame
- 1-2 TBSP diced green onions
- 1-2 tsp gluten free soy sauce or tare if you have it
- Combine leftover rice and ketchup, breaking the rice clumps with your hands or a spatula and mixing until all the rice grains are separated and coated in ketchup.1 cup leftover rice, 1 TBSP ketchup
- On medium heat, add the diced pork belly. If you are using a less fatty cut of meat, add oil first, then add the meat to cook.1/4 cup pork belly, 1 TBSP oil (optional)
- Add in onions and use your spatula to stir and cook until translucent.1/4 cup diced onions
- Once onions are slightly translucent, add mushrooms. cook until softened1/4 cup diced mushrooms
- Add the ketchup rice and stir and toss with the spatula to cook. Mix to fully incorporate into the dish.
- Once the rice is mostly dry, add the edamame, green onions, and soy sauce and mix to full disperse the flavorings.2 TBSP de-shelled edamame, 1-2 TBSP diced green onions, 1-2 tsp gluten free soy sauce
- Once everything is fully mixed and the rice is mostly dry, turn off heat and serve!