How to cut the salt while elevating fried rice

Tweaking fried rice cuts the salt and lifts its image.
lobster fried rice

Restaurants are the source for nearly a quarter of the sodium in Americans’ diets, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New York City recently issued a ruling mandating salt warnings on chain-restaurant menus to take effect

Dec. 1. Operators in other cities are taking the matter into their own hands. Kathy Fang, chef-partner in San Francisco’s 400-seat Fang Restaurant, has cut the salt in several menu staples, including Chinese fried rice. The dish typically gets its color from high-sodium soy sauce and contains salty canned vegetables such as carrots, baby corn and peas. Fang reworked the recipe with low-sodium, gluten-free soy sauce and fresh, stir-fried vegetables. “The dish lives up to guests’ expectations of fried rice without the salt and grease,” she says.

Fragrant Lobster Fried Rice

To make up for the reduced sodium, Fang adds ginger and garlic for their aromatic qualities and tomatoes—“not typical in fried rice,” she says—for sweet, tart and fresh notes. A little lemon juice perks up flavor and enhances the lobster, she says. The fried rice is cooked with a little olive oil to add flavor but minimize fat. “Customers who haven’t had Chinese fried rice in years are ordering this version, because it’s gluten-free, low in sodium and lighter,” Fang says.

Smart swaps

Regular soy sauceLow-sodium soy sauce
Canned carrotsFresh tomatoes
Sauteeing in oilSauteeing in nonstick pan


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