Whenever we go out to eat, I always try to make sure we get something we couldn’t just simply make for ourselves at home. Usually that ends up being fun ethnic food with specialty ingredients – our favorites being Ethiopian, Mexican, and Asian food. But sometimes I like to try to make my own version at home – leaving me feeling a whole lot lighter, and yet still totally satisfied.
Healthy Un-Fried Rice
Ingredients: (makes 2 large main dish servings, or 4 side dish servings)
- 1 cup dry brown rice
- 2 tbsp sesame oil (divided)
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 cup shelled edamame
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or liquid aminos
- 1 fresh egg
- salt to taste
To Prepare: Start by preparing the brown rice. No surprise here – I made mine in my rice cooker (seriously – get one). If you are making it on the stovetop, add 1cup dry brown rice and 2 cups water to a sauce pan. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the water has cooked away.
While you wait for the rice to cook, go ahead and prep the rest of the ingredients – once you get started this recipe moves quickly! Dice the carrots and measure out the edamame (frozen is fine). In a small bowl, prepare the dressing by whisking together 1 tbsp sesame oil and 2 tbsp liquid aminos or soy sauce. Set aside until ready.
Once the rice is cooked, add 1 tbsp sesame oil to a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat.
Then add the rice to the skillet and stir often. “Fry” the rice for about 5 minutes to help give it that great fried rice texture, and to incorporate the great flavors of the sesame oil.
Next add the diced carrots and the edamame,and stir to combine.
Traditional fried rice has peas rather than edamame, but I chose to use edamame for this recipe because it is a complete protein all by itself, and personally I like the taste better. (The combination of rice and peas should together form a complete protein too, so if you prefer peas in your fried rice – go for it.)
Stir the edamame and carrots in, mixing frequently so that everything is cooked through. After a few minutes, add the sesame-soy mixture…
And quickly stir to coat – the sauce should sizzle and steam!
Now comes the fun part – the signature characteristic of traditional fried rice is the scrambled egg, right? Making it yourself is probably a lot easier than it seems. Using your spatula, push the rice to the sides of the skillet, forming a hole in the middle of the pan.
While the pan is still nice and hot, crack an egg right in the center of that space – it should start to scramble right away.
Use a spatula to break the yoke and quickly scramble the egg… (very difficult to do while also taking pictures with the other free hand!)
For my vegan friends, don’t worry – the egg can easily be substituted with tofu. Cut the tofu into small cubes and drop into the hot skillet, breaking it up with your spatula in order to give it the same “scrambled” effect.
If needed, season to taste with additional salt (probably not needed though because of the soy sauce), and serve in your favorite Asian-style bowl!
Of course if you enjoy chicken or shrimp fried rice, those can easily be added to suit your preference. Although I personally think this version is mighty tasty all by itself. :)
I love eating out in Chinese restaurants, but I hate how weighed down (and for some reason still hungry?) I always feel afterwards. This recipe provides all the taste of traditional Chinese food, without the unpleasant side effects.
So next time you’re craving take out – consider making your own before you dial the delivery boy. Chances are the ingredients are already in your kitchen.
Bonus points for eating with chopsticks.