Monday, March 3, 2014

Easy Weekday Dinner - Fried Rice

Growing up, my mom was a working mom who always managed to get a delicious dinner on the table at the end of the day, something I certainly appreciate more now than I did at the time! One of the go-to meals around our house was fried rice. Now, this isn't meant to be an authentic recipe for fried rice, guys. Certainly you can find that elsewhere on the interwebz. But this is how I was taught to make it, and it turns out pretty tasty, if I do say so myself.

This will be more like a tutorial than a recipe, as I have never measured any of the ingredients and they're all going to be "to taste." But you will need cooked white rice (preferably leftover, or at least refrigerated), an egg, soy sauce, a variety of vegetables, and some meat. Vague, I know, but this is one of those super flexible meals that you can kind of make work with whatever you've got in the fridge.

So first, dice everything into similarly-sized pieces. I usually use what's pictured below: celery, carrots, and ham. We ALWAYS have those on hand, and all my kids like them (in theory).
 Next, take any veggies that need to be cooked, and cook them in a little bit of oil.
Cook your veggies until just tender. Here's where you have two choices. One, just add your rice and ham and move on to the next step. Or, a slightly less healthy, but very delicious option, is to actually fry your rice. First, you add a little more oil to the pan after you cook your veggies. Then pat your rice and meat down into a flat layer and let it fry up a bit on the bottom. I usually let it fry up a bit, then give it a stir, and repeat.
Your rice will start getting a little bit crispy. Don't overdo it though, you just want some crispy bites throughout, not an entire batch of rock-hard rice. Next, make a well in the center of the pan. Crack an egg into a separate bowl and whisk it, then pour it into the well.
Cook the egg in the center gently, as though you're making scrambled eggs.
When your eggs are pretty much cooked through, stir the egg in with the rest of the ingredients.
Add soy sauce to taste (start with a splash or two). If you're going to use green onions, stir them in right at the end here.
We pair this with the potstickers from Costco, for an easy weeknight meal that can be made with whatever you've got! This would be delicious with pork, shrimp, or chicken as well! Fried rice is also a good way for me to get some protein into my picky eater, as he's not much of a fan of meat, but he'll eat some scrambled eggs any day! Give it a try and let me know what your kids think!


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