Monday, August 6, 2012

Lightened-Up Fried Rice

Whenever life is crazy busy, or there's nothing exciting in the kitchen, Chinese takeout is definitely an easy go-to. You can order it quickly, and it's usually not too far of a drive to the nearest dive. My personal weaknesses are Kung Pao Chicken and Fried Rice. The only problem is that after such a meal I am completely lethargic, instead of energetic. Now on nights when I can completely relax, I may shamelessly embrace my pathetic food coma. However, most days or nights, I need something to refuel, so I can keep on keepin' on.

Currently, there a lot of recipes for healthier versions of Chinese classics surfacing, and I have totally embraced this movement. My favorite so far is this lightened-up fried rice. The takeout version is super oily, but the great thing about making it on your own is that you can control the oil quantity and add whatever veggies or protein you fancy, to give it a more nutritional kick. This version features brown rice, a variety of vegetables, and there's a little protein from the egg. It's a great side dish for any Asian-inspired protein, and it's also really satisfying on its own! Try it out; you can't go wrong!

Printable Recipe

* 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil 
* 1/2 onion, diced
* 4 scallions, chopped (separating the whites and the greens)
* 1 bell pepper, diced 
* 1/2 cup shredded carrots 
* 2-3 cloves garlic, minced (3 for garlic lovers like me)
* 3 cups brown rice (This is how I make my brown rice.)
* 1 cup peas, cooked (I like the individual serving microwaveable bags for this.)
* 2-3 eggs, scrambled
* Soy sauce or Tamari, to taste (about 2 tablespoons)
** For a kick: red pepper flakes or Sriracha
** Other good additions or substitutions: edamame, snap peas, broccoli, corn, cashews or peanuts

* Heat oil in a wok or pan over medium-high heat. (Woks are best because they get really hot, but I don't have one, so I can assure you a pan will work just fine.)
* When the oil is hot, saute your onion, scallion whites, bell pepper, and carrots for about 1 or 2 minutes, until the onion and bell pepper soften a bit.
* Add the garlic, and cook for about 30 seconds, watching and stirring to ensure it does not burn.
* Add rice, and stir for a couple minutes to heat through.
** Note: It is best to used rice that has cooled, so you may want to make the rice ahead of time. This will also make for a much quicker meal if you're cooking on a weeknight!
* Add peas, eggs, scallion greens, and soy sauce, and cook for another couple minutes, mixing well.

* And, that's all there is to it! Now, just get ready to nom on some guilt-free Chinese! :)
** I realized after I took some photos that I really liked this with some red pepper flakes, so if you too are looking for some heat, give it a sprinkle!

Recipe adapted from Skinnytaste.

1 comment:

  1. I steer away from take-out Chinese food in order to avoid all that MSG. Thanks for sharing this recipe! Everyone needs a treat from time to time!