Here are a few secrets to making the best fried rice recipes. Use a wok (or large cast-iron frying pan). After cooking the rice, let it cool and refrigerate and/or freeze into portions. For a quick meal, use the leftover rice. Break up the clumps of rice before putting in wok. Use high heat. Always heat wok before using. Cut vegetables and/or other ingredient’s that you may be adding into small pieces. Add ingredients to wok, according to the time they take to cook – hard ingredients first. Rice is usually the last ingredient to be put in wok, as it is already cooked and only has to be warmed.
Hint: Good fried rice should be moist but not wet. Some fried rice dishes are topped with wet ingredients after they are cooked.
Note: Should you decide to add a marinated ingredient, stir-fry it first, so the moisture is absorbed, before adding the “cold” rice.
THAI KALE, FRIED RICE WITH COCONUT
Preparation time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 10 minutes. Serves: 2
2 Tbsp. coconut oil or other high heat oil, divided
2 eggs. Whisked together with a pinch of salt
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
¾ cup chopped green onions
2 cups of chopped vegetables: e.g. bell pepper, carrots, etc.
1 medium bunch kale (curly green), ribs removed, chopped
1/2 tsp. sea salt
¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes (not shredded coconut)
2 cups cooked and chilled brown rice*
2 tsp. reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
2 tsp. chill garlic sauce or sriracha
1/2 lime, halved and squeezed
Garnish: Handful fresh chopped cilantro and half lime cut into wedges.
Heat a small frying pan then add 1 teaspoon oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom. Pour in the eggs and cook, stirring frequently, until the eggs are scrambled and lightly set. Set pan aside. Heat a wok, or large cast-iron pan, over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp. oil to the pan and add the garlic, green onions, and additional vegetables. Cook until fragrant or until the vegetables are tender, stirring often, for a couple of minutes. Add the kale and salt. Continue to cook until the kale is wilted and tender, stirring frequently. Add the scrambled eggs. Pour the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the egg pan, then add the coconut flakes and cook, stirring frequently, until the flakes are lightly golden, about 30 seconds. Add the rice to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is hot, about 3 minutes. Add coconut-rice mixture into the wok. Once warmed, remove the pan from the heat. Add the tamari, chili garlic sauce and lime juice. Lightly mix together, taste. Add more as needed.
To serve: Place the fried rice mixture into individual bowls. Garnish with wedges of lime and cilantro. Serve with extra tamari, chili garlic sauce and/or red pepper flakes, for those who like it “hot”!
HEALTHY, EASY FRIED RICE
Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 5 minutes. Serves: 2
1 Tbsp. avocado or coconut oil, divided
3 large eggs
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper or to taste
½ cup shredded or finely cut carrots
½ cup green onions (scallions)
½ cup frozen peas
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
2 cups cooked brown rice, chilled
3 Tbsp. organic tamari or low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. no sugar added rice vinegar
¼ tsp. sea salt or to taste
In a wok, heat ½ Tbsp. oil over medium heat. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs together with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the eggs to the pan and scramble. Remove to a warm plate and save. Add remain ½ Tbsp. oil to pan over medium heat; add the carrot and sauté a couple of minutes. Add the scallions and cook until both are softened. Add frozen peas to the pan, stir for about 30 seconds before adding the ginger and rice. Turn heat to low and cook another few minutes until everything is warmed through. Just before serving, add tamari, rice vinegar, and sesame oil, stir and serve.
Note: You may add any other vegetables you like – water chestnuts, bean sprouts, edamame, etc. Or, plain shredded chicken or other protein.
Jan Robinson, Yacht Captain, Health Coach, 2019 CYBA Hall of Fame, Chef Competition Coordinator/Judge and author of the Ship to Shore Cookbook collection; available on Amazon and www.shiptoshoreinc.com. CaptJan2@gmail.com