A century ago, San Francisco had a thriving Chinese community.
Quick, name two Chinese dishes from that era.
Right, 1) chop suey and 2) chow mein.
Of course, the cuisine at that time was certainly more varied, and more authentic — chop suey and chow mein were even then regarded as American inventions.
Still. Doesn't make them any less tasty, authentic or not, as long as they're made well.
What the hey. Maybe those Sino-American concoctions were a case of "make do with what you have on hand." I'm told "chop suey" translates as "odds and ends."
What I had on hand was some rice, eggs, vegetables, a little leftover pork and seasonings.
Well, that surely adds up to fried rice. Or as my blog pal Passionate Eater calls it, "the resting place for retired vegetables." (She's only joking a little; the post featuring her recipe was prompted by an upcoming trip and a need to clean out the fridge.)
I gather that eggs were fairly expensive in early San Francisco, so perhaps this isn't a perfect example of Barbary Coast cooking. But, see, it's what I had on hand. And since a previous recipe (scroll down) of Passionate Eater's had turned out so good, I was willing to give this great cook and blogger another go.
I embellished: added more vegetables (peas and mushrooms) and a bit of meat. But other than that, I followed her ingredients and technique and it came out superb. Sweet, light, ungreasy, unsalty — unlike restaurant fried rice, where they probably are cleaning out their refrigerators. (A commenter on PE alluded to restaurants possibly even using "leftovers"; yikes, you mean food diners didn't finish?)
I know I said I wasn't going to bother you with local boasts anymore, but other than the soy sauce, fish sauce and sesame oil, it was local.