Craving take out, but don’t want to spend the money, wait for delivery, or feel (*insert greasy/bloated/word of choice here*)? I have just the recipe for you! It is endorsed by three others who I made it with so I am feeling pretty confident about this one. A classic, chinese food take out staple: Fried Rice. This recipe is great because it can be completely vegetarian, vegan, or you could add proteins of your choice (chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, tofo, etc). The recipe is originally from this website — I have included the instructions below, while editing them with my suggestions (in blue).
- 1 ½ teaspoons + 2 tablespoons avocado oil or safflower oil, divided (We used olive oil because we didn’t have either of these and it turned out just fine.)
- 2 eggs, whisked together
- 1 small white onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 medium carrots, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
- 2 cups additional veggies, cut into very small pieces for quick cooking (options include snow peas, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, bell pepper, and/or fresh or frozen peas—no need to thaw first) (We used broccoli, bell pepper, and celery, but as someone who LOVES peas, I would probably add those if I were to make this again!)
- ¼ teaspoon salt, more to taste
- 1 tablespoon grated or finely minced fresh ginger (Powdered ginger works as well!)
- 2 large cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (These definitely added a little heat to the dish–omit if you don’t want your fried rice to be any bit spicy. As someone without a huge spice tolerance, I found this to be delicious and not overwhelming.)
- 2 cups cooked brown rice (*see notes!) (We used white because that is what we had, but using brown makes this a bit healthier.)
- 1 cup greens (optional), such as spinach, baby kale or tatsoi (We used spinach AND kale #health)
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (We didn’t have this, so we omitted it!)
- Chili-garlic sauce or sriracha, for serving (optional)
- To expedite the cooking process, make sure you have all of your veggies chopped before you begin cooking! Also, the rice can be made in advance. I’m suggesting that you start over medium-high heat, but if at any point you catch a whiff of oil or food burning, reduce the heat to medium.
- Warm a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet (or Wok) over medium-high heat until a few drops of water evaporate within a couple of seconds. Immediately add 1 ½ teaspoons of oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom. Add the eggs and swirl the pan so they cover the bottom. Personally, low and slow is my motto with scrambling eggs. It takes a while, but it is worth it–keep stirring! Transfer the eggs to a bowl and wipe out the pan with a heat-proof spatula.
- Return the pan to heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent and the carrots are tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining veggies (not the greens!) and salt. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally (don’t stir too often, or the veggies won’t have a chance to turn golden on the edges), until the veggies are cooked through and turning golden, about 3 to 5 more minutes. In the meantime, use the edge of your spatula or a spoon to break up the scrambled eggs into smaller pieces.
- Use a big spatula or spoon to transfer the contents of the pan to the bowl with the cooked eggs. Return the pan to heat and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Honestly, we did this with the onions, but you could do it here as well. It would be interesting to see how it influences the flavor. Add the rice and mix it all together. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is hot and starting to turn golden on the edges, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the greens (if using) and green onions, and stir to combine. Add the cooked veggies and eggs and stir to combine. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the tamari and sesame oil. Taste, and add a little more tamari if you’d like more soy flavor (don’t overdo it or it will drown out the other flavors) or salt, if the dish needs an extra boost of overall flavor.
- Divide into bowls and serve immediately. I usually serve mine with chili-garlic sauce or sriracha on the side. Leftovers store well in the refrigerator, covered, for 3 to 4 days (if you used purple cabbage, it might stain your scrambled eggs a funny blue color, but it’s fine to eat).
RICE NOTES: You’ll need to cook about 1 cup dry rice to yield enough for this recipe; be sure not to over-cook it or it will stick to the pan. I prefer short-grain brown rice since it’s a little chewy, but medium-grain or jasmine rice will work, too. You can use freshly cooked rice if you spread it onto a large tray and let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes first (this gives it a chance to dry out a bit so it doesn’t steam itself in the pan). Day-old leftover, refrigerator rice is great, too. Just break up any clumps of rice before you add it to the pan.