Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Just Cook: Easy Fried Rice

Part of cooking regularly is figuring out a way to effectively deal with leftovers. Some meals lend themselves well to just being re-heated and re-served.  But often, leftovers, at least in our house, are scraps of this and that, nothing big enough to count as another full meal, but a bit too much to just toss.

My DH, our resident stir-fry champ, feels like fried rice is the ultimate leftover tool. You mix lots of little bits together to create a whole new delicious and healthy meal. It is basically free, all you need are some leftovers and cold rice. (In this video, he uses freshly cooked chicken, but normally he would just use leftovers.) Here's his version of fried rice, thanks to YouBChef.

Easy Fried Rice
1 1/2 - 2 cups of cold leftover rice
Leftover meat and/or vegetable*, chopped small. (You can freshly cook 1/2 lb of boneless chicken or pork with a little ginger or garlic, as shown here, if you are out of leftovers.)
1-2 eggs
XO sauce (secret ingredient)
Chopped scallions (optional)
Soy sauce, optional, to taste
Canola oil

Prep leftover ingredients and egg first. Chop leftovers into small pieces. Scramble 1-2 eggs (depends how much you like egg and how much rice you are using) and cook omelet-style in wok. Chop egg into strips.

Add 1-2 Tbs of Canola oil to wok and heat on high. When wok and oil are hot, add cold rice and stir-fry in pan, breaking up with metal spatula. Rice is to be coated in oil. Once rice is coated, starting adding the cooled, chopped ingredients in any order: leftover meat, leftover veggies, cooked eggs. Keep tossing a heating until everything is hot. This should take 5 min or less, depending on how much rice you have. Near end of cooking, add 1/2 teaspoon of XO sauce, fresh scallions, and a bit of soy sauce to taste. (Soy sauce may not be needed, depending on whether leftovers have soy sauce or not.)

*Note: Any leftovers will work except those cooked with dairy.
Leftovers can get a bad rap, but creative re-use can instantly become new family favorites. Fried rice is one way to re-purpose perfectly good food into a new meal and a great way to whip up a weeknight dinner with no thought required! It is a big family favorite in our house for weekend lunches too, as seen here where the fried rices feeds 3 adults, 2 teens, 2 tweens and a five year old!

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