What could be more inviting for someone who likes cooking with leftovers than Fried Rice? A few chopped veggies, yesterday’s dinner protein, rice of any sort and a couple of eggs. Tah-Dah!
The first time I made fried rice I used a yummy-looking recipe I found in a magazine. But, OMG, there was more sautéing, then setting aside, then this, then that, a very complicated, time-consuming affair for a pretty simple dish. I was doing all the this’s and that’s, and thinking why is this not a one pan preparation?
So I reformed it to Plynn’s way – fast and easy – and it’s been my way of making fried rice ever since, with no complaints from my eating companions I might add.
I was inspired to make this dish the other night when I came across a can of teriyaki flavored Spam. What?? I didn’t buy it, my husband did. It’s not that I am apposed to Spam – we’ve spent a great deal of time in Hawaii, and it’s almost a delicacy there, used to make masubi, fried for breakfast, or as part of a Hawaiian lunch plate and the list goes on. So, it’s part of our family tradition to eat Spam when in Hawaii. Only the “teriyaki” part threw me off.
In my family, I am generally the grocery shopper but when I travel, which I do rather often, my husband insists on doing his own shopping. (Once upon a time, I used to stock the fridge and cupboards for him before I left on a trip … but no more!) Thus, I’ve come home to some pretty interesting items … and then have to figure out how to use them. Such was the case with the teriyaki Spam, as somehow it didn’t sound right, sliced into a sandwich with mustard and lettuce. But fried rice sounded pretty darn good. And, it was!
Here’s the thing about this recipe: use whatever vegetables you have on hand, use meat or no meat (for a vegetarian version), and any kind of rice – white or brown, left over, steamed, boiling bag or pre-cooked (Have I missed anything?). There’s no ingredient-excuse to not make this dish.
Fried Rice ~ Fast and Easy
1-2 T cooking oil (your preference)
2 ribs of celery, diced
2 small carrots, diced
¼ cup yellow onion, diced
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup red or green pepper, diced
6 mushrooms (any kind) coarsely chopped
1 cup diced cooked meat … in this case, teriyaki Spam
1 bag boiling-bag brown rice, cooked and drained
Soy Sauce to taste
2 eggs lightly beaten
In a large skillet, heat oil at medium heat. Add celery, carrots, onions and garlic. Sauté until bright in color, then add the peppers, mushrooms and meat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 5 – 7 minutes, until vegetables are just tender and meat is heated through.
Reduce heat to medium-low, add rice, combine and heat through. Add dashes of soy sauce to taste.
Move the mixture toward the outsides of the pan to make a little well in the center. Add a touch more oil, pour in the eggs and stir with a fork just until curds begin to form, then stir the entire mixture together until the eggs are incorporated and cooked. (Not more than 2-3 minutes)
Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro, if you have it.
Serves 2 as a main meal or 4 as a side dish.
There is something hearty and comforting about this dish – it almost has a medicinal quality to it. So when you need a little extra food love and you don’t have much time, fried rice could fix you up just right.
Eat well. Be happy.