Monday, February 16, 2009

Fried Rice

Last night I made some delicious fried rice, and really, I was just winging it. It turned out GREAT! I served it with all-natural vegetarian spring rolls that I got from the freezer section of the grocery store. There's a lot of room to improvise and stylize with fried rice. Here's basically what I did:

3 c. cooked white rice (You need to cook the rice in advance and let it sit in the fridge for a while. For whatever reason, fried rice is not right with just-cooked warm rice.)
1 egg
1 T. plus 3 T. canola oil
1/4 t. crushed red pepper
1 cup frozen or fresh broccoli pieces
1 large carrot, peeled, cut in half length-wise, then sliced into half-moons
1/2 small onion, chopped
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 t. celery seeds
5 or 6 large leaves of kale, washed, large stems removed, cut into ribbons
1 T. sesame seeds
soy sauce, to taste (I'd say at LEAST 1/2 cup. You could also use tamari or shoyu instead.)
salt, to taste

Heat 1 T. canola oil over medium-high heat in a small non-stick skillet. Beat the egg, then pour it into the hot oil. Cook it scrambled, busting it into small pieces while it's cooking. Once it is quite done, remove from the heat and set aside.

Heat 3 T. canola oil and crushed red pepper over medium high heat in a large deep-sided skillet. When it is nice and hot, add the broccoli and carrot, and stir them quickly while they cook. If using frozen broccoli pieces, take care, because the water from the frozen broccoli will cause the hot oil to spit and splatter. After you've cooked them for a couple of minutes at most, add the onion, garlic, celery seeds, and ginger. Stir them in the hot oil until they're cooked the way you want them. Add kale and sesame seeds. Stir-fry until the kale is just wilted. Stir in the cooked egg pieces. Add the rice, ensuring any clumps are busted up to individual grains. (NOTE: You may have to add more oil here, too, if things are sticking. You may have to turn the heat up or down. You be the judge.) Begin adding soy sauce (or tamari or shoyu) as you stir-fry everything. You want at least enough to color all the rice brown, but add more if you like more. When it looks done, taste for salt. Add whatever amount of salt you like, and you're all set! Enjoy! (This served about 3.)

There are lots of other things you could stir-fry into this: celery, scallions, snow peas, baby corn, water chestnuts, tofu, mushrooms...these are just a few ideas that would be great! Omit the egg to make this vegan. Have fun!

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