Vegetable fried rice

If you love fried rice, and have discovered how UNvirtuous it is to eat it at a Chinese restaurant, here’s your chance to eat it and feel virtuous.  (Well, almost virtuous–it’s still not a low sodium dish, but my version does cut down on the fat substantially.) I made this tonight because I had some leftover cooked brown rice–and that’s when I love to make fried rice, because it’s so low-maintenance to pull out a bunch of things I can just throw into the pan, and then have dinner 15 minutes later.  If you have to cook the rice first, it will add 30 minutes to your prep time, so factor that in.  The basic recipe is vegetarian, but you can add meat if you like.

Vegetable Fried Rice

  • 1 medium onion or 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger (or 1/2 tsp. dry ginger)
  • 1 c. mixed frozen vegetables (I used a mix of carrots, peas, corn, and lima beans, because that’s what I had–I would have preferred it without the limas, and maybe some Chinese vegetables instead, like sugar peas and water chestnuts.  You can also use fresh produce if you like–carrots, cabbage, bell peppers, mushrooms, sugar peas, broccoli, water chestnuts, baby corn, etc.–chop it small, and add cooking time to allow the veggies to soften.)
  • 3 c. cooked rice (I used brown; white works just as well; jasmine will take the flavor in a different direction.)
  • 4 TBSP soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 eggs, scrambled separately in cooking spray
  • Optional: 1/2 c. unsalted peanuts
  • Optional: 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
  • Optional:  meat ingredient, like beef, chicken cubes, shrimp, scallops, pork, etc.–cook the meat first, and add it to the mixture.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil; add garlic and onions and ginger, and sautée until translucent.  Add vegetables and continue to stir until vegetables are thawed (or cooked, if fresh.  Note that if you have a variety of fresh veggies, you’ll want to add them in sequence from hardest to softest, so as to let things like carrots cook, while keeping things like bell peppers from overcooking.)

Add rice, and continue to stir until rice is well heated and mixed with veggies.  Splash in soy and sesame oil.  If you are using meat, add it now.  Likewise, add peanuts now. If you are using cilantro, add that just before you take the skillet off the heat.  Serve immediately.