It’s the staple of most Chinese take-out dishes, and usually one of the less healthy items that people order. But fried rice can actually be both delicious an more healthy for you. With a little preparation, you can throw together a great meal, or even a side dish in minutes.
Fried rice, though easy, does take some planning. To make your dish successful, it’s better to use day-old cooked rice. If you’re making this dish on the fly, try to cook the rice in enough time that it can cool down before being prepared. After that, it’s a matter of gathering up tasty veggies, the more variety the better, and a protein source (eggs, chicken, ham or even shrimp). To make my dish super packed with nutrients, I use a ratio of one to four for rice to veggies.
- 1 cup day old rice
- 4 cups diced veggies, separated
- 1/2 cup protein (chicken, pork, shrimp)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp oil (coconut, grape seed, sesame) separated
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a skillet to medium heat, add 1 tsp oil.
- Crack eggs into skillet and scramble. Remove from skillet to bowl for later use.
- Bring skillet back to medium heat add remaining oil. Add hard veggies like carrots, celery, potato and your uncooked protein source.
- Work in medium hardness veggies such as mushrooms, broccoli, and onion. Finish with soft veggies like bamboo or water chestnuts.
- Add rice to skillet, and mix with veggies and meat. Sprinkle soy over dish and stir to incorporate. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with fresh tomato or leafy greens and serve.
One of the most wonderful things about fried rice is that it can be made as many different ways as your imagination will allow. If you don’t want chicken or some other meat, try adding tofu. Beans like chickpeas or lentils, though not traditional, make for a great hearty compliment to fried rice, and still give you protein.
When you’re adding vegetables, you can make it as simple or complex as possible. I usually go for the standard of peas, carrots, onion and broccoli, but any vegetable will really work great. For a light summer dish, I love to do a fried rice with wilted spinach, rice, onion and bacon.
Try making this dish at home. It’s a great compliment as a side, and re-heats well for a workday lunch. Branch out and try some different vegetables that you don’t normally see at your local Chinese take-out. I think you’ll be surprised at how versatile this dish can really be.