Fridge Leftovers Reinvented
Turn leftover rice and vegetables into an easy and quick meal. All you need to do is add your choice of protein and add in some flavors (most of which can be found in your kitchen door). Whichever type of rice you have on hand you can create a flavorful and savory dish. But if you are confused on which type of rice to use in this recipe, we listed brief explanations of the differences between white and brown rice and long grain and short grain rice.
What Kind of Rice to Use
Brown rice is a whole grain rice. Whole grain rice has all three parts of the grain. The three parts are bran, germ, and endosperm. Each part is packed with nutrients and make up the grain’s fiber, B vitamins, healthy fats, vitamin E, carbohydrates, and protein. As for white rice, white rice is a refined rice which means the grain is made of the endosperm. The endosperm contains carbohydrates and protein.
Long grain and short grain rice refer to the shape of the rice grain. Long grain has a slender kernel shape and stays separate and fluffy. Short grain has a kernel shape that is two times longer than they are wide and have a sticker consistency. Rice also comes in a variety of colors for example black, purple, and red. Short, white rice is most traditional, but you cannot go wrong with your choice of rice for this recipe – especially if it’s already a leftover in your fridge!
Add in some flavor!
If you do not have rice vinegar, you can use apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar but you may need to adjust the flavor by adding a pinch of sugar or diluting with water. Or you can use lime juice instead. The rice will soak up all the flavors from the vegetables and sauce, and to make this dish special add in kimchi or sesame seeds. Kimchi is typically found in the grocery produce section, refrigerated section that carries fermented and pickled products, natural food aisle or the international food aisle. See our paragraph below for traditional Chinese ingredients you can use. Not only do you get to eat a nutritious balanced meal you get to clean out your crisper draw. So, take a trip to your fridge and see what kind of fried rice you can make for dinner tonight.
Where does fried rice come from?
It is believed that fried rice comes from China, and was invented sometime during the Sui dynasty (A.D. 589–618). In many Chinese fried rice recipes, there is an addition of oyster sauce, MSG, and scallions. Feel free to try out these ingredients in your fried rice! Nowadays fried rice can be seen in many different Asian countries cuisine, providing many different varieties of the dish.
What’s in the Fridge Fried Rice
- Large skillet (Non-stick or cast-iron works well)
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring cups
- 2 ½ tbsp butter Can substitute sesame oil
- 2 eggs Whisked
- 2-4 cups vegetables Chopped; -Classic mix: 2 medium carrots, 1 small onion, ½ cup frozen peas, 4 green onions. -Other fun variety: broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, turnips.
- 4 cloves garlic Minced
- 1 inch knob of ginger Minced
- 1 lb Protein Chopped; -Shrimp, chopped into bite sized pieces. -Chicken, pork or beef cubed and cooked. -Edamame, frozen and shelled.
- 4 cups rice Pre-cooked and chilled
- 2-3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce For more a Chinese-style fried rice, you can substitute some soy sauce for oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar Can substitute other types of vinegar or lime juice
- 1-2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- Additional toppings: sesame seeds, kimchi, furikake
- Heat ½ tbsp of butter in a large sauté skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Add eggs, and cook until scrambled, stirring occasionally. Remove eggs, and transfer to a separate plate.
- Add an additional 1 tbsp butter to the skillet and heat until melted on medium heat. Add whatever vegetables you are using, garlic, and ginger. Sauté for about 2-3minutes, and then add your choice of protein and cook another 4-5 minutes, until the protein is cooked all the way through. If you are using raw meat, you may want to cook it separately, and then add it to the pan.
- Increase heat to high, add in the remaining 1 tbsp of butter and stir until melted. Immediately add the rice, soy sauce, and vinegar; stir until combined. Continue stirring for an additional 3 minutes to fry the rice. Then add in the eggs and stir to combine. Remove from heat and stir in the sesame oil until combined.
- Top dish with additional toppings if using and enjoy!
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