In our household, eggs are a given. And I can always count on those "baby" carrots that we buy but seldom eat. Some kind of leftover meat - ham, Canadian bacon or leftover chicken - is usually lurking. I can unearth wilted green onions and half of a forgotten red pepper. And I'm never without peas in the freezer and garlic in the pantry.
I have the fixings for one of my favorite go-to meals - fried rice. It's easy, delicious, nutritious and a great way to use up the bits and pieces in your fridge.
The trick is to have cold, leftover rice on hand. You can bring home the uneaten rice from an Asian restaurant. Or you can make extra rice and chill. Both are good options, but aren't always available when the urge for fried rice strikes.
So I'll share with you a little secret to ensure that you always have all the fixings for fried rice on hand: brown rice from the freezer section at Trader Joe's.
No need to defrost. Just dump a bag of the frozen grains into your sizzling wok or fry pan. And, believe it or not, the results are superior to the leftover Japanese short-grained brown rice that I sometimes use. The TJ's frozen rice produces beautiful, separate grains, and that's the secret to a great, mush-free meal.
The young adults in my household thumb their noses at plain brown rice, but when it's fried with meat, veggies and egg, they gobble it down. Even my one-year-old grandson can't get enough. And, best of all, we never get bored because the variations are endless.
- See my previous post on Thai fried rice.
- Check out Shiok's tips on great fried rice.
- Go to Wandering Chopsticks for several fried rice recipes, including this one with Chinese sausage, frozen vegetables and egg. I credit her for teaching me to make fried rice.
- We loved this Thai pineapple fried rice from Closet Cooking. It's special enough to serve to company.
- Some fried rice recipes call for cooking the egg separately and adding it in later. Another technique (my favorite) is to saute the meat and veggies, push them to the side and cook the egg in the well in the center.