Veggie fried rice

(those overexposed bits are scrambled egg)

We were a little short on meals for the week, so a couple nights ago I was inspired to make fried rice for the first time. The ingredients are cheap and straightforward, and how hard could it be to make? Not very, it turns out. According the recipe that I used (from The New Best Recipe by Cook’s Illustrated Magazine), plus this recipe from epicurious and others, the key is to use cold rice that’s preferably day-old. Otherwise, the rice is too wet and you end up with a gloppy mess. Traditionalists use white rice, but we almost exclusively use brown rice at our house (better for ya, doncha know). I decided to give it a whirl with brown, and since I was about 3/4 cup short of the 2 cups dry rice that I needed, I supplemented regular long-grain brown with brown jasmine rice.

Monday night I cooked the rice, spread it out to cool (per the recipe) on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 30+ minutes, and then stored it overnight in an open container in the fridge. Tuesday night I rehydrated and sliced a few dried shiitake mushrooms, diced a bit of onion, put a couple cloves of garlic through the press, and it was time to fry. Per the instructions, the eggs got fried first and then removed from the pan; I upped the number of eggs from 2 to 3. The heat got turned to high then, and I fried the onion briefly (45 sec?) before tossing in the veggies. I used 1 cup thawed mixed veg, supplemented with an extra 1/2 cup of petite peas; I’d probably increase this to 2-3 cups of vegetables next time to make it a little more substantial and nutritious. After just a bit of time, in went the garlic, and shortly thereafter went the rice and sauce (mostly oyster sauce with a bit of soy per the recipe), followed by the previously cooked eggs. In 3 more minutes, it was done.

Tonight I had the finished product for dinner, and it was pretty darn tasty! I even preferred the nutty flavor of the brown rice compared to restaurant-style white. I think next time I’ll see if I can cut back a bit on the oyster sauce to reduce the sodium, and maybe dial the oil back a bit from the total of 3 Tbs that get used. Regardless of minor tweaks, I’m pleased now to have another easy, vegetarian meal in my bag of tricks.

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