I tried this recipe for fried rice using leftovers already in the fridge. It was awesome and my family loved it. Found myself wishing I had more leftovers to add. To give credit where credit is due, this recipe is not one I came up with but rather one I found on momsbistro.net. Her pinterest boards are amazing for budgeting meals for a family. She has great recipes for kids and families that don’t take long to cook.I actually only had leftover rice and meat in my fridge so I didn’t add any vegetables to my rice but you can use your imagination and add or substitute anything you want in the meat and vegetable department. Here are some great tips she shares about this recipe.
Use cold rice: This is the key to great fried rice. Using cold or leftover rice makes all the difference when it hits the pan. If you don’t have any leftover rice, or any cold, spread the rice you just cooked out on a sheet tray and toss it in the freezer for 10 minutes or so – you don’t want the rice frozen, just chilled.
Use butter: There is a reason that the fried rice at a Japanese steakhouse is always absolutely fantastic – and this is because they use A LOT of butter. The butter really makes everything brown up a little bit better, and common.. butter tastes gooooooood!
Use lots of vegetables: Whatever your kid’s favorite veggies are, use those, and use lots of them! Vegetables go a long way in stretching out a recipe. I like to use frozen peas and carrots for convenience, and then whatever other vegetables I have around the house like; onion, broccoli or zucchini. But, the options are truly endless – you can add any veggies you want to make it your own.
Cook your eggs first: Again, there is a reason that at the Japanese steakhouse, the chefs always cook the eggs first, or on the side, and then mix it into the veggies and rice. This allows for a fluffier egg, and for the egg to be more evenly distributed throughout the dish. If you cook the egg with the rice, chances are it will become gummy, and sticky, and no one will like dinner.
Fry the rice: Take your time, and actually fry the rice. Actually letting your rice “fry” with the vegetables allows it to get crispy. Just like at the Japanese steak house – your rice usually sits on the grill for at least 5-10 minutes while the chef prepares other ingredients – do this at home too, and you won’t be disappointed! This is one of the hardest parts of the recipe – just waiting for the rice to fry!
rice, cooked and cooled (leftover is best)
Leftover beef, chicken, shrimp or pork (optional)
1/2 lb broccoli
2 stalks celery
1/4 cup frozen peas
4 eggs (1 per person)
4 tbsp butter, divided
for the sauce:
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar or honey
1/2 tsp dried ginger or 2 tsp fresh
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small jalapeno, minced – optional
Scramble and cook eggs. Use 1 tbsp butter and cook your eggs first, then set them aside. This is a great step for kids to do, as it will give them practice to cook eggs for breakfast – possibly for mom and dad as breakfast in bed? When cooking scrambled eggs, make sure to crack the eggs in a separate bowl first to make sure they are still good, and to avoid getting shells in your food. Beat eggs with a fork, and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Don’t oven season your eggs, because there will still be a lot of salt in the rest of the dish.
Chop all vegetables. Mix all ingredients for sauce and place to the side. In a pan or wok, add butter and sesame oil if you have it. When it is shimmering, add vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the cold rice and stir to combine. Really push the rice down in the pan to truly fry the rice for about 5 minutes, then mix and repeat until the rice reaches your preferred fry. Add soy sauce mixture and reduce heat to low mixing through rice. Lastly add cooked eggs to rice and mix evenly with rice and vegetables. Warm everything in pan for about 30 seconds. Serve immediately.
I plan on using this recipe often especially since we always seem to have leftover meats but not enough to make a complete meal for the family. I was even thinking this might be good with pineapple and chicken in it. The possibilities are endless. The best part about a recipe like this is using up leftovers and saving money for my family of 5. We could spend a lot of money on food if we didn’t try to watch our pennies.