Fried rice has been the topic at our Thursday morning playgroup lately. Why, you may ask? Well, because it’s a perfect “one dish meal” for the family. It can be made quickly, is packed with a ton of veggies, whatever protein you like, and uses day old rice: What could be better?
Jackie makes her son Owen simple egg fried rice for his lunch. This milder version is perfect for his less adventurous palette. Of course, my little guy must have it too, and only Jackie’s version.
Jenn, who is always looking for new foods to feed her kids (as we all are), was so inspired by our Thursday morning egg fried rice talk that she tried it at home herself. For some reason, it didn’t quite work as she had hoped and her kids begged for a fried egg instead.
Since I have a “can do” approach with Cooking With Friends, I decided that Jackie and I should demonstrate fried rice two ways at our next playgroup.
So, this past week, I surprised Jenn at playgroup and brought everything to Jackie’s house that we needed to make vegetable fried rice — wok included. Since we often try new foods together on our Thursday morning get-togethers, this wasn’t so out of the ordinary.
Halfway through playgroup, I heated the sesame oil in the wok and recruited Jenn to julienne the carrots and zucchini. I sautéed the various ingredients in the center of the wok, and as each ingredient was cooked, moved them up along the sides, making room for the next ingredient. Jenn watched as the garlic and ginger cooked for a minute in sesame oil, then the chicken, veggies, rice, soy sauce. With all the veggies and meat to the side, I created a round center to scramble the eggs. With a bit more soy sauce and some last minute peas, our fried rice was ready. A spoonful and Jenn was hooked. I packed up a quart for her to test with her kids for dinner and some for Jackie for lunch.
After I was finished with my demo, Jackie began to show the simplicity of her Egg Fried Rice. With only a few simple ingredients — oil, egg, rice, soy sauce and a pinch of salt — in minutes, Jackie created a healthy, milder version that the kids love and then took with them for lunch.
That morning was a success. Jenn was thrilled to have two kinds of fried rice to try at home and a night’s dinner. Jackie and I were proud to have taught our friend something new.
Here’s our Fried Rice Recipe:
This recipe uses what vegetables and meat we had on hand. Make it your own and use whatever you have I the fridge — asparagus, scallions, shrimp, pork — you name it!
3 cups cooked white rice
1 teaspoon freshly minced ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 chicken breast, chopped into small pieces
1 carrot, diced or julienne
½ zucchini, julienne
½ cup petit peas
Heat the sesame oil in the wok. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for less than a minute. Add the chicken and cook for several minutes. Move up the sides and add a touch more sesame oil in the middle of the wok. Sauté the zucchini and carrots for a minute and then move them up to the sides with the meat. Add the rice in the center of the wok and combine with the meat and veggies. Season with soy sauce while mixing everything together. Move everything up the sides again and pour a touch of sesame oil into the center of the wok. Crack two eggs into the center and begin to scramble the eggs. Once they start to cook, mix everything together and add in the peas. Add a bit more soy sauce and you’re done!