You know those nights when you come home from work and you're so tired, and there's nothing in the fridge? Me too. It can be exhausting working an 8 hour day and then coming home and having to cook. But that's when you make fried rice! Throw whatever leftover greens you have in there. Are they wilty? Yeah, that's okay too. I am going to make a list of things you can put in fried rice:
1. Old Kale
5. Frozen peas
6. Frozen carrots
7. Swiss chard
8. wrinkly bell peppers
9. Green onions
10. Leftover meat of any kind
13. That weird smelling jar of something in the back of your fridge (AKA kimchi)
Fried Rice has to be one of my all time favorite foods. It makes me think of when I'd go to the hibachi grill as a kid and the guy would do all kinds of crazy fiery tricks and then heap a shovel full of fried rice on my plate. Who cares about all the other things he also heaped onto your plate? The rice was the star of the show, clearly.
This recipe is for veggie fried rice, and it's really versatile! You can add pretty much whatever is in your fridge at the time.
There are two unchangeable things that homemade fried rice must have.
Number one: Use day old cooked rice. None of that new mushy stuff will do. You need day old rice from leftover Asian food or some that you make the night before. I usually steam some rice the night before.
Number two: SESAME OIL. Do not substitute any other kind of oil. You must use sesame oil. It gives fried rice that authentic flavor.
Everything else is up to you! I prefer using soy sauce to fish sauce. I also use ginger to give things a kick and add some hot chili paste.
I've added this image above as a reminder that blogging is not all glamour. In the middle of shooting, an egg rolled off the table and cracked. Sometimes things don't go as planned. Also note my very fancy photo shoot. I usually pull my coffee table to my dining room window and use a marble pastry slab. Now you know all my secrets! My kitchen gets such terrible light. What's a girl to do?
VEGETABLE FRIED RICE RECIPE
Makes 2-3 entree servings
2 cups cooked rice, day old
2 cups kale, stemmed and chopped
1 broccoli crown, trimmed and cut into florets
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and diced finely
1-2 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp vegetable oil
Asian chili paste
In a large nonstick wok or high sided pan, add the vegetable oil and heat over high heat. Once hot, add the kale, stirring frequently until cooked down and edges blacken slightly. Add kale to a large bowl and set aside. In the same pan, add the broccoli. Saute for 2 minutes, then add a tbsp water. Continue to stir until broccoli is bright green with some charred edges. Add to the bowl of kale. Juice one lemon half over the broccoli and kale. Add salt and pepper and stir to combine.
Add 1 tbsp sesame oil to the pan and then add the ginger. Saute the ginger for 1 minute. Add the rice, stirring. Pat the rice down into the pan and let it brown from the bottom for a minute or so without stirring. Flip and repeat. Add a little salt to the rice. Drizzle the soy sauce over the rice. Start with 1 tbsp and add more if needed. Continue to stir the rice until rice is mostly browned. Push rice to the side of the pan and crack an egg in the empty space. Use your spatula to whisk the egg and scramble it until it's fully cooked. Then mix into the rice. Add a spoonful of sesame seeds to the rice, stirring. Then incorporate the kale and broccoli, heating through.
Also, if you really want to do it up, add a tablespoon of butter to your rice and stir. Now we're talkin!
Add chili paste if you like things spicy. Taste to see if it needs more salt or soy sauce. Serve hot with a fried egg on top if you like.