Healthy and Delicious Chinese Fried Rice

Have you ever had really good Chinese fried rice? I’m not just talking about rice that’s been cooked in oil. I’m talking about robust flavorful fried rice. Don’t worry if you haven’t because I’m going to share with you my fried rice recipe. And despite the word “fried” in the title, it’s actually quite healthy. (Maybe I should call it sauteed rice to eliminate the stigma.)

I’ll give you the basic recipe and then we’ll talk about variations for your taste.

But before I dive in, let me talk about rice for a few sentences. I’m a brown rice convert. Meaning once I switched to brown rice, I rarely use white rice. For this recipe, I use Trader Joe’s organic brown rice packages. They are in the freezer section and you cook one package for 3 minutes in the microwave. If you’re making this for more than two people, I’d suggest using two packages. If you’re not a brown rice fan, or only have white rice in the pantry, then use that. You’ll just need to cook the rice according to the directions.

Chinese Fried Rice

2 cups rice, cooked (see note above)

2 Tbsp. oil (peanut or vegetable oil)

2 tsp. minced garlic

2 tsp. minced ginger (I use pre-crushed jarred ginger — so much easier!)

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (more if you want it spicy)

1/2 tsp. sesame oil (dark)

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 egg

2 scallions, chopped

1 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Heat the oil in a wok or large saute pan. Turn the heat down and add the garlic and ginger, stirring quickly so they do not burn. Once the spices are browned, add the cooked rice and toss to coat. Add to the rice mixture: red pepper flakes, sesame oil and soy sauce. Stir together. If I have any Chinese 5-Spice seasoning, I would use it here (I don’t have any, but maybe you do).

At this point, make a hole in the middle of the rice and crack an egg into the hole. As the egg heats, scramble it together; and once it’s cooked, combine with the rice.  Turn off the heat, and add the scallions and sesame seeds. At this point, I will taste the rice to see if it needs more soy sauce, salt or pepper. I never add salt until after I’ve tasted because soy sauce can be quite salty.

Now a word on variations. If you like hot and spicy, add hot chili sauce or or more red pepper flakes. If you want meat, add some diced chicken, bacon or shrimp. And you can always make this more into a meal with additional veggies like mushrooms and zucchini. But play around with the seasonings. If you find some Hoison sauce in the fridge, throw a little of that in to see how it tastes. The basic rice will look something like this.

I made this rice most recently with Moo Shoo Burgers (recipe from Amy at Flip Flop Follies). She gives you the full recipe. I omitted the wrapping and radishes. And you can substitute ground turkey for ground pork.

So tame that Chinese food craving in your own kitchen this week. Easy and healthy fried rice (and moo shoo burgers) could be yours tonight!

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