This dish can be simple with just one or two veggies, your choice of protein (tofu, tempeh, seitan, chicken, beef or pork) and rice
or you can load it up with veggies and protein to make it a one pot meal.
Fried rice can be either vegan, vegetarian or have poultry or meat.
It’s easy to make it soy and gluten free and of course it’s dairy free.
Day old rice makes the best fried rice.
When rice is freshly made the dish may be a little sticky – which I have to say I love!
I always recommend soaking whole grains for a minimum of 3 hours up to 12 hours.
If you haven’t done that no worries. Just keep in mind it can take 45 minutes to cook short grain brown rice.
Soaking whole grains does a number of beneficial things, including shortening the cooking time.
1/2 cup uncooked short grain brown rice – soaked for 3 hours
1 cup water
2 -4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons organic sesame oil
2 tablespoons organic toasted sesame oil
an assortment of veggies – see below
shoyu, gluten free tamari or coconut aminos
This dish can be either vegan or include animal foods. Love it!
seitan – sliced
tofu – 1″ cubes
tempeh – pre-cooked
boneless chicken breast or thigh – cooked and sliced or diced
beef or pork – cooked and either sliced or diced
You will want approximately 2 cups total cut raw vegetables.
Use a variety of vegetables to create a colorful dish.
Here are some ideas:
longer cooking veg:
carrot – matchstick
shiitake or oyster mushroom – sliced
red, yellow, orange or purple pepper – diced
head green cabbage – shredded
green beans – sliced finely on angle
less cooking time
baby bok choi – sliced
bok choi – sliced
yellow summer squash – quarter round
zucchini – quarter round
add at the end of cooking
snow or snap peas – whole, blanched
watercress – chopped
baby arugula – whole
baby spinach – whole
broccoli – cut and blanched
Avoid using watery veggies such as Napa cabbage.
Boil the rice
Using the right size pot is important to have your rice come out perfectly cooked.
A pot with a thick bottom cooks the rice much better than a thin pot, especially when cooking small amounts of rice.
Put the rice, water and a pinch of sea salt into the pot.
Put the lid on and bring to a boil on a high heat.
Turn to low and cook till the rice is done – between 20 and 45 minutes depending on
if the rice was soaked and for how long.
Don’t stir the rice while it’s cooking. This brings out the starches and makes it gummy.
When the rice is done remove from the pot and fluff with a fork.
Make the fried rice
Using a 12″ skillet add both the regular and toasted sesame oil to the pan.
Put the minced garlic into the cold oil and begin to heat on medium high until
you smell the garlic. Don’t allow it to turn brown.
As soon as you smell the garlic begin to sauté the vegetables putting the veggies that take longer to cook in first (see list above).
Sprinkle with a little sea salt.
Stir and put a lid on the pan. Allow the veggies to cook for a minute or so.
Add the next veg and repeat – salt, stir, lid.
If you’re using any of the veggies from the last list they go in after the rice goes in.
When the veggies are cooked but still crisp add the rice and protein of your choice.
Season with either shoyu, gluten free tamari or coconut aminos and a pinch of sea salt.
Add the freshly grated ginger and stir gently. Be especially careful if you are using tofu as it falls apart easily.
Put the lid back on the pan to allow the flavors to meld and the rice and protein to become hot.
Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Variations on a theme
Try fresh basil, cilantro, mint, chili peppers, mirin or a bit of balsamic vinegar.
Curry spices are also wonderful in this dish: cumin, cardamom, coriander and powdered ginger to name a few.
Lemongrass, lime and cashews are great in fried rice.
Powdered garlic and onion create a fullness in flavor.
You can also try some dried or fresh herbs such as sage, winter savory, thyme, or herbs d’Provence.
The idea is to play with all the wonderful flavors available to us.
Variety is the spice of life!
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