I’m calling this one Vegetable (not) Fried Rice because it’s like fried rice but not (in case that wasn’t obvious). I love fried rice but it is usually so insanely oily that I decided to lighten it up a bit. Since I reduced the oil to just a couple of tablespoons, the rice can’t really put in a hot wok or skillet without it sticking like crazy. I learned this the hard way (see photos below). I’ve posted an alternative method for those of you who don’t like scrubbing off layers of hard rice from your pans. If you have a non-stick wok, then you’re good to go, “fry” away.
Items to buy, #1,427: Non-stick Wok.
Anyway, I love this recipe because it’s packed with veggies, ultra versatile and totally satisfying. I chose to put carrots, peas, green onions and green bell peppers in this batch. I’m not super crazy about the bell pepper so I might leave it out next time. It didn’t seem to match the other veggies but perhaps that’s because I sliced it rather than diced it.
The rice is seasoned with the usual players: garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil. If you want a more savory rice, I suggest leaving out the ginger; it added a faint sweetness and lightened up what is usually a pretty heavy palate of flavors. You can also experiment with dried chili flakes, yellow onion, mushrooms, cabbage, spinach, seaweed… or just leave it simple and delicious as described below.
Vegetable (not) Fried Rice
- 3 cups cooked rice (1 cup dry) $0.30
- 2 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil $0.07
- 1 large carrot $0.37
- 3 cloves garlic $0.06
- 1 inch fresh ginger (optional) $0.11
- 1 cup frozen peas $0.32
- 1 medium bell pepper (optional) $0.55
- ½ bunch green onions $0.25
- 1 large egg $0.12
- ¼ cup soy sauce $0.24
- 1 tsp sesame oil $0.16
- To cook the rice, place one cup of long grain rice (I used half brown, half white) in a medium pot with 1.75 cups of water (1.5 cups water for white rice only). Bring to a boil over high heat with a lid in place. Once it reaches a rolling boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and let simmer for 30 minutes. Turn the heat off at thirty minutes and let rest with the lid in place until ready to use. Do not remove the lid or stir during the cooking process.
- Wash, peel and dice your vegetables. Peel and mince the garlic and ginger.
- Add the peanut or vegetable oil to a large skillet or wok. Heat over medium/high heat until the oil is very hot (it will look wavy on the surface). Add the garlic, ginger and diced carrots. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes or just until the carrots are slightly tender.
- Add all of the other vegetables (except the green onion) and stir fry for 1-2 minutes longer. Remove the vegetables from the skillet or wok.
- If you have a non-stick wok, add the rice and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Make a well in the middle of the rice and add the egg. If you do not have a non-stick wok, leave the rice out and cook the egg by itself. Using chopsticks, slightly scramble the egg as it cooks. Don’t over scramble or you’ll end up with miniscule egg pieces that are not even visible after stirring into the rice.
- Once the egg has fully cooked, add the rice (if not already in the wok or skillet) and the cooked vegetables. Stir in the green onions, soy sauce and sesame oil (begin with 2 Tbsp of soy sauce and add more to taste). Heat through and serve!
Step By Step Photos
Clean and dice all of your vegetables. To achieve an even dice on the carrot, first cut it into matchsticks then cut cross-wise to make a dice.
Stir fry the garlic, ginger and carrots just until the carrot is slightly tender. (these three items make a great soup base, by the way!)
Add the rest of the veggies. This second group of vegetables are “softer” and take less time to cook which is why they are added second. If you experiment with your own mix of veggies, add the harder or tougher vegetables with the first group.
If you have a non-stick wok, remove the vegetables and stir fry the rice then scramble the egg in a well in the center of the rice. If you don’t have a non-stick wok, just cook the egg by its self and stir the cooked rice in with the rest of the ingredients in the next step.
Combine the cooked rice, cooked egg and cooked vegetables.
Add the remaining ingredients (green onions, soy sauce, sesame oil). Stir to combine and make sure everything is heated through… THEN EAT!
I’ve been using this as a bed for the Szechuan Pork and Green Beans and they’re a match made in heaven!