I don’t know about you, but I often end up with the odd bits of pieces of vegetables leftover in the fridge and don’t always know what to do with them. Somehow recipes don’t always align with the quantities I have, which I guess is fair enough, but I hate seeing things go to waste. For some things, like carrots, the stray ones used to end up in pancakes, but since my son has moved more to oatmeal with apple for breakfast recently, that’s less the case. They still sometimes end up in baking, but you usually need a few. Chard stalks are another thing that I often end up having leftover since the leaves tend to be used a bit more readily. The stalks keep pretty well in the fridge so there’s not a huge rush to use them, but apart from making a gratin with them, I used to struggle with what to do with them. That was until I realized they made a perfect addition to vegetable egg fried rice, which is in general a great dish for using up odds and ends. With Chinese New Year looming, it’s been on my mind so we had it the other night and I’ve been reminded how tasty it is.
The exact ingredients in vegetable egg fried rice are pretty flexible – in fact it doesn’t even need to be just vegetables, you can add in the odd bit of ham or chicken if you like – which is one of the great things about it. I’ve given an example of a good mix below, but feel free to substitute things in or out to your taste, or your fridge collection. I would say onion in some form is pretty key but otherwise mix it up as you like. I like a mix of colors and textures, hence why I think things like pepper, carrot, peas and carrot are all good things to put in.
The thing that makes a good vegetable egg fried rice for me is the seasoning – ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil are all pretty key to me in making it taste delicious. My husband is on a bit of a siracha kick at the moment and so some of that usually goes in as well although I tend to let everyone do this themselves at the table so you can vary the amount to taste.
Cooking vegetable egg fried rice is very easy as well. It’s worth making the rice ahead of time and letting it cool properly to stop it from sticking together too much, so using up leftover cooked rice is perfect if you have some. The volume of cooked rice is around double uncooked but as I say the recipe is flexible so use what you have and adjust accordingly. You start by cooking the vegetables that need the most cooking – the onion and then any hard vegetables such as carrots and the chard stalks. Add one ingredient at a time, stir and cook a minute then add the next. Hold back on things that are basically cooked like corn and peas until you are almost done, after the rice is in. Cooking the egg is the only trickier bit – the best plan is to push the rice and vegetables to one side then pour in the egg on the other side. Cook it as you would scrambled eggs, stirring now and then so it all cooks and then once it’s all cooked, stir it through the rice and vegetable mixture and you’re about there. Just add the final seasoning and serve.
Vegetable egg fried rice if made like this with plenty of vegetables in it is a meal in itself and we like it as a main but you can also use it as a side dish to other Asian dishes if you prefer. However you enjoy it, it’s a delicious dish that’s easy to make and full of flavor. It’s a lot healthier than take out made like this but doesn’t skimp on taste. Plus, you can vary the vegetables to what you have and what you like and any leftovers are great for lunch. Give it a try and enjoy.
- ⅔ cup basmati rice
- 1⅓ cups water
- 2tbsp oil
- ½ large onion
- 1 large carrot
- stalks from a bunch of chard
- 1 small pepper
- approx 1in piece of ginger
- 2 garlic cloves
- ⅔cup corn
- ⅔cup peas
- 2 eggs
- 1tbsp sesame oil
- 2tbsp soy sauce (I use low sodium)
- Optional- siracha to taste
- Cook the rice in the water, covered, bringing the pan to a boil then reducing to a simmer until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is cooked - around 10mins. Allow the rice to cool - you can store in fridge for a day or two until ready to use.
- When ready to eat, heat the oil in a wok or large skillet/frying pan over a medium-high heat. Dice the onion, carrot, chard stalks and pepper all fairly small. Add the onion to the pan, stir and cook a minute, then add the carrot, chard and pepper one at a time, stirring and cooking a minute each before adding the next.
- Peel then finely grate the ginger and garlic in to the pan and stir, cooking but being careful they don't burn. Add the rice and stir. If there's not enough oil to stop the rice sticking then add a little more. Add the corn and peas, stir through then push to one side of the pan.
- Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk lightly. Add to the empty side of the pan and cook as you would scrambled eggs, stirring now and then so you mix through the part that is cooking on the bottom. Once they are fully cooked, break up the egg and stir through the rice.
- Add the sesame oil and soy sauce, mix through then serve, with siracha added, optionally, to taste.