I cook. I don’t make super complicated meals, muchly because I find that I just don’t have a very eager audience for anything other than basic kid foods, but I enjoy a wide variety of different cuisines, and have to give my Mum a lot of credit for that because my Dad’s always been a meat and potato sort of guy. I don’t know that there’s a country’s cuisine that I haven’t tried, actually, from Tibetan to Norwegian to Ethiopian.
One of my favorite meals is something simple and basic, though: Chinese fried rice. I have a fancy rice cooker and am quite capable of cutting veggies up to prep, but a lot of time I make fried rice from leftovers and frozen ingredients, and that’s what I’m illustrating herein.
The ingredients start with leftover white rice, as you’d get from a Japanese or Chinese restaurant excursion. Add to that a cup or so of frozen vegetables, a few eggs and both some sesame oil and soy sauce and you’re ready to get started.
Let’s do this visually, though! Here’s our starting point:
Truth be told it’s just as good with non-organic veggies, it’s just that organics are healthier. On the other hand, this particular mix includes brocolli, while the mix I often use is just corn, peas and cubed carrot bits, a more traditional mix of vegetables for Chinese fried rice.
Start by tossing 1 – 1 1/2 cups of frozen veggies into a wok along with a tablespoon of sesame oil and about a 1/2 cup of water. It’ll look like this when you’re just starting:
I like to stir and move this around a lot on a pretty high light: you need to heat up and cook things from frozen, after all.
Once the vegetables look like they’re about halfway cooked (usually just 3-4 minutes), you can just dump in the rice straight out of the to-go container.
It can look like a sand castle, actually:
Getting there, actually. Only two more ingredients to add.
At this point use a cooking spoon or chopsticks to break down the lumps of rice as evenly as possible, adding 1/4 cup of additional water to keep the rice from sticking too badly on the wok surface.
Give it a minute or two, then crack your eggs into the mix:
Yeah, raw egg on top of cooked ingredients.
Fortunately once you stir things up, it’ll start to look — and smell! — a lot more like the fried rice you’re used to eating at your local restaurant.
Now add about two tablespoons of soy sauce (I recommend the low sodium so the salt isn’t overpowering) or tamari if you prefer to avoid the gluten and mix, mix, mix.
That’s it. Done! Ready to serve:
Now you have to admit, that looks darn tasty and darn healthy too, and it is!
For a fun variations, add some meat. I’d suggest a chicken breast, chop it down to about 1/4-inch cubes then stir fry it with teriyaki sauce or similar, then put it aside. Cook the fried rice as per the previous and when it’s just about done toss in the previously cooked chicken and give it a minute or so. Delicious!
Prefer tofu? No worries, turns out you can also cut it up into cubes and fry it in the wok with some teriyaki sauce. Or fish. Or beef. It’s all good.