Unused Vegetables? Make Fried Rice
Updated: Jan 8, 2019
Any self-respecting chef knows to get the most out of every food you buy. Never toss bones – a stock is waiting to be made. If those greens look a little weary, soak them for 15 minutes to see if they spruce up. Carrots looking a bit peaky? Make a puree – the carrots won’t mind. I was also taught, ‘Waste not, Want not’ – a very easy thing to forget in a land of plenty. So many people, right here in North America and globally, are suffering and dying of hunger.
One of the dishes I make that embodies all of the above is fried rice. Granted, it’s not the healthiest dish in the world, but you can really use up produce that’s being sitting in the fridge. Plus, you don’t have to use a lot of oil, just enough to get a good fry. And you can really play up seasonal vegetables. After I made the ponzu sauce for the Yellowtail Sashimi, I didn’t just want to toss the rest. I never added citrus-flavored soy sauce to fried rice before – so why not try? Turns out, it tastes pretty damn good! Here’s the breakdown:
BUNDT FRIED RICE
3 cups of 1 to 2 day-old medium to long-grain rice. Rice should be well-aired, grains separated and slightly dried out
2 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten with 2 teaspoon water
1/2 medium onion, medium dice
3 garlic cloves, diced fine
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 cup fresh corn kernals, boiled and cooled
1/2 cup sugar snap peas, sliced diagonally
1/2 cup mushroom, diced cremini is good but I love to use enoki mushrooms
1/4 cup each carrots and red bell sweet pepper, medium dice
1/4 cup green onion (scallions), finely sliced
1 cup diced cooked meat or poultry
6 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup low-sodium soy-sauce
3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
3 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add the egg and stirring constantly, scramble. Set aside.
In the same wok, heat 3 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and stir constantly for 30 seconds. Add the rest of the vegetables, except the corn and green onions. Stir fry until softened, stirring occasionally – about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Heat the remaining oil in the wok over high heat. Add the rice and toss quickly for 3 minutes to heat thoroughly. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the ponzu sauce over all the rice and continue to toss until the sauce is well mixed in. Add in all the ingredients: the egg, stir-fried vegetable, corn, green onion, and meat. Toss until all the ingredients are well mixed and the rice is piping hot. Season with 1 to 2 tablespoon more of ponzu sauce. Serve immediately or cool uncovered to room temperature.
Your vegetable choices are not limited to what I have here. You can really throw in almost anything – fried rice is very forgiving. Add diced celery when sautéeing, or add diced tomato at the very end. If you have extra parsley in the fridge, dice it fine and add it at the end, too. The possibilities are endless!
Like I did here, you can present your rice artfully using a mold. I used a bundt pan but play around with other shapes too. The trick is to make the shape while the rice is very hot. If the mold is not non-stick, lightly coat with cooking spray. Pack the mold tightly with hot rice, let is sit for 30 seconds, then unmold.