How many times do you look in the fridge and declare “There is nothing to eat?” all the while knowing full well that there is, it just isn't appetizing. Rather, it just isn't appetizing in its current form. The quick meal that our home always turns to is Fried Rice .
Plain rice is a constant staple to be found in our ice-box. On its own, it will fill the hole and stop the grumbling, but it yearns to be something greater. It dreams of being as tasty as it was the day of its creation when it was smothered in a scrumptious sauce. It longs to become a taste filled expression of culinary art. It pines for adoration from gastronomic brilliance. It covets the cravings we express for pizza. It aches to become….
Okay, okay, I know it is just plain rice, but like us all, it holds so many possibilities to become something magnificent! Although fried rice is commonly thought of as a Chinese dish, it is more a cooking technique that easily lends itself to other cuisines.
The key to good fried rice is day old, very cold rice. I make big batches of brown rice every week, so it is always available and I freeze potions so it is ready anytime we need it. Another key to successful fried rice is an extremely hot pan. For this reason, do not use a non-stick pan, since Teflon will release toxins at high heat.
Here are the basics and three different versions to get you thinking about how to use what is in your pantry Fried Rice Basics for 2 servings 1 1/2 cup cooked rice, any variety 2-3 Tbsp oil 1 1/2 cup veggies 2 eggs, scrambled 1/2 cup protein, diced 1-2 tbsp aromatics Salt & pepper to taste Garnish
Rice – day old, cold rice of any kind Oil – Vegetable oil, bacon grease, schmaltz, coconut oil, olive oil Protein – Egg, seafood, poultry, pork, tofu, beans, bacon Veggies – carrots, celery, green beans, peas, a bag of whatever is frozen in the freezer Aromatics – soy sauce, roasted Szechwan salt and pepper , herbs, spices, garlic, sesame oil, citrus zest or juice, Caribbean seasoning, Greek seasoning, Bragg’s liquid Aminos Garnish – green onions, feta cheese, seeds, nuts, fresh herbs, fruit
The basic technique: Have all ingredients prepped and at the ready.
1. Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat. Add a bit of oil and fry eggs; remove from pan and set to the side. 2. Add a bit more oil and stir-fry vegetables (and protein if uncooked) until crisp tender. 3. If needed, add a bit more oil and bring to high temperature. Add cold rice and stir-fry until hot. 4. Add aromatics, protein (pre-cooked) and eggs, tossing to distribute evenly. 5. Transfer to serving dish, garnish and serve with a smile.
Chinese Fried Rice
1 1/2 cup rice 2-3 tbsp oil 1 1/2 cup carrots and peas 2 eggs 1/2 cup diced pork or chicken or shrimp 1-2 tbsp gluten-free, low sodium soy sauce or Bragg’s to taste 1/4 tsp roasted Szechwan salt and pepper (optional) Garnish with sliced green onions
Greek Fried Rice
1 1/2 cups rice 3 tbsp olive oil 2 eggs 1 1/2 cups green beans, diced carrots, sweet peppers & onions 1 large handful of spinach torn into smaller pieces 1/2 cup chicken Aromatics2 tsp Greek seasoning -or- 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1/2 tsp lemon zest 1 Tbsp fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried 1/2 Tbsp fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried 1 tsp fresh dill, or 1/4 tsp dried Garnish OptionsKalamata olives Feta Fresh ground pepper Fresh chopped mint
Add spinach and aromatics just prior to adding rice.
Tropical Fried Rice
1 1/2 cups rice 3 tbsp coconut oil 2 eggs 1/2 cup diced sweet pepper 1/2 cup diced ham Aromatics1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger 1/2 tsp orange zest 1-2 Tbsp gluten-free, low sodium soy sauce or Bragg’s to taste Garnish Options1 small can of crushed pineapple, drained or 1/2 cup diced mango Chopped macadamia nuts or cashews 3 green onions, thinly sliced Salt to taste
Add ginger just prior to adding rice.
Michelle Doyle is the author of Domesticity Nouveau , a blog dedicated to living the frugal, gluten-free life that would make a grandma proud by utilizing the wisdom from generations of women and the blessings of modern appliances. In 2009 her world of food changed, and she is so happy that it did! While most people would consider the diagnosis of Celiac Disease a curse, it has been one of the biggest blessings in her life. Michelle has always been one to declare the importance of eating REAL, unprocessed foods. A determination to eat well following a gluten free diet, along with eating whole foods has given Michelle a determination of spirit she has never known before. Domesticity Nouveau is the result of that passion.