Want to get your kids more involved in the kitchen? Or just want a solid way to up-cycle leftovers? A little leftover cooked rice (or noodles), some leftover vegetables supplemented with some fresh ones, an egg or two, some meat ==> Fried Rice.
KEY TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL HOMEMADE FRIED RICE
One of the keys to making fried rice is the same as one of my tips for getting kids to try new foods or foods they don’t think they like: cut things small. The ingredients need to cook (or reheat) quickly and evenly so you don’t turn leftovers into dehydrated bits.
When using leftovers, set them out of the refrigerator for 30 minutes prior to reheating. Bringing the ingredients to room temperature will reduce the amount of time required to reheat which in turn preserves the flavor and texture.
GATHER THE INGREDIENTS
What you need:
- Eggs: whisk in a bowl and cook as for scrambled eggs or an omelette; remove from pan and cut into small bites.
- Fat: to revive and unite the flavors. A combination of an Omega-3 vegetable oil blend and a small amount of sesame oil works well.
- Seasonings: e.g. fresh ginger, garlic, crushed red pepper, Thai basil, lemon, lime, cilantro, etc.
- Cooked rice/noodles
- Veggies: carrots, onions, celery, broccoli, corn, peas, peppers, green beans (fresh, canned or frozen), mushrooms, water chestnuts (Defrost frozen vegetables before cooking.)
- Meat (optional): a great way to use up leftover chicken or pork.
- Sauce: soy sauce, sweet-and-sour sauce, Sriracha sauce, Szechuan sauce, or a mixture like the one in this recipe.
Fried rice is great kid-friendly food because they can be involved in so many stages of the cooking: choosing the vegetables (just tell them there has to be at least 3 or 4 to make it look good), whisking the eggs, chopping the vegetables, measuring ingredients, and decorating their bowl with the fresh toppings.
Want to teach them to eat slowly? Give ’em chopsticks! 😉
Vegetable Fried Rice with Scrambled Eggs
- 4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce or Tabasco sauce
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger divided
- 3 cloves garlic minced and divided
- 2 tablespoons Milk
- 1 teaspoon Salt divided
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 cup sliced or diced yellow onion
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1/2 cup sliced or diced celery
- 1/2 cup sliced or diced red pepper
- 3 cups Cooked Rice
- 1 cup frozen peas defrosted
- 1/2 cup diced green onions
- Fresh cilantro
- Combine low-sodium soy sauce, honey, Sriracha sauce, 1/3 the garlic, and 1/2 the ginger in a small bowl and set aside.
- Whisk together eggs and milk. Heat a non-stick skillet on low. Pour egg mixture into pan and slowly cook the eggs, stirring slowly and frequently. When the eggs are almost done, remove from heat, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Continue stirring, allowing the residual heat to complete the cooking. Remove eggs to a cutting board. Run a knife through the eggs to break them into smaller pieces.
- Drizzle 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil into the same pan and heat to medium. Add remaining ginger, carrots, and onions. The vegetables should sizzle when they enter the pan. Sauté, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes.
- Add peppers, celery and garlic to the pan and continue to stir and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
- Sprinkle vegetables with remaining salt and stir. Make a well in the center by pushing the vegetables to the edges. Add remaining oils and the cooked rice to the center of the pan. Allow the rice to "fry" for 30 seconds. Lift and fold the rice over and continue to "fry" for another 30 seconds.
- Gently begin to stir the vegetables into the rice. Drizzle half the sauce made earlier over the rice and vegetables, stirring to distribute. Remove from heat.
- Fold the scrambled eggs into the fried rice.
- Serve with chopped green onions, remaining sauce and cilantro.
Interested in another recipe with Asian flavors and no guilt? Try this Asian Chicken (Un)Wrap!
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