I used to have a bag of frozen shrimp and frozen green peas in the freezer for just in case I had one of those, “there’s nothing to cook”, days. Well, I had one of those days yesterday.
But since we can’t have soy sauce (wheat) or shrimp (shell-fish), I had to improvise. And improvising in the kitchen is what I’m all about. (Just in case, you are joining this blog for the first time, subscribe by e-mail or RSS, then, read my post about my elimination diet here and here).
I cooked up this delicious, wheat-free (no soy sauce), egg-free (didn’t put any), shell-fish free (no shrimp in this baby)
Fried Rice a la Karen.
But first, I have to show you my mother’s Christmas present. Yes, this was my mom’s present to us. Isn’t she fab?
It is The Mercedes of all rice cookers. It is also a pressure cooker, steamer, and soup maker. Of course, I don’t cook anything in it other than rice but it can do all of those things. And it talks to me in Korean. Yup. It also sings to me when the rice is done. It is every chef’s dream. I usually make 75% brown rice and 25% white rice mixed.
Anyway, you don’t need this fancy rice cooker to make fried rice but it helps to have rice available at all times…..just in case you have one of those, “I don’t know what to cook for dinner….” moments.
So here is the recipe that I improvised today to feed my hungry family for lunch yesterday. These are the ingredients I had in the fridge but you can use whatever you like. That’s the beauty of Fried Rice. Use up whatever you’ve got hanging around. Every recycling/repurposing mom’s dream meal.
UPCYCLED FRIED RICE
INGREDIENTS (in order of usage)
1/4 C of chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic – crushed and minced roughly
1/4 diced carrot
1/4 C of diced red pepper or yellow or green – it doesn’t matter. Use whatever you have.
1/2 C chopped ham (optional)
4 scallions – chopped (reserve 1/2 for topping)
1/4 C green peas
4 C of cooked rice (brown or white rice from the Chinese restaurant will do fine – if you don’t have cooked rice handy)
1/4 C olive oil or more – divided in half – yup that much.
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp of black sesame seeds or white sesame (black ones are more nutritious and I like the color in foods)
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 chopped cilantro
1. Heat half of 1/4 C of olive oil in a wok or a large skillet in high heat.
2. Saute onions and garlic until onions are transparent. Add carrots and saute for about one minute. Add the pepper.
3. I had some leftover ham from last week (uncured – no nitrates) so I added about 1/4 cup but you can skip the ham if you want vegetarian. Actually, this would be considered vegan since, without the ham, it would only have plant based ingredients. Isn’t that cool or what?
4. Add scallions and peas and mix gently.
5. Add sesame oil and sesame seeds.
6. Add rice. This is a tricky part since rice can get a little sticky. Use a large spatula and fold in the rice while fluffing through the ingredients. Lift the wok or the skillet off the flame if it starts to stick to the bottom. Drizzle some more olive oil while adding the rice to prevent from sticking.
7. Since I added ham, I didn’t add salt but you can add salt to taste at this point.
8. Add cilantro and the reserved scallions and take the wok off the flame. Stir in cilantro and scallions.
9. Serve with hot green tea or black tea.
*disclaimer – portions and measurements are approximate.
No soy sauce, no eggs, no shrimp, and can be vegan if you leave out the meat. Don’t you think this will make a healthy Super Bowl Sunday dinner? I love all-in-a-bowl type of meals…especially if you are scraping left overs to make it.
**I have replaced ALL my bamboo chopsticks with these stainless steel ones two years ago, as per, who else? My Mom. Bamboo chopsticks are bleached with chemicals too numerous to mention here. So refuse all those bamboo chopsticks when you do Chinese Takeouts! Aren’t these pretty? They are green!!!!!!!!