My son’s school has a bio-dynamic garden on its grounds, and we’re a member of its CSA. This means we get interesting yummies every week. But sometimes you run out of ideas (or the gumption to look up new ideas) and you wind up with a crisper drawer full of stuff. The leafy greens are easy – salad or saute. The other stuff? Fried rice, brother!
It just so happens that last night we had quesadillas and had a lot of leftover brown rice along with a variety of CSA veggies. The perfect material.
Yet another one of those sketchy measurement recipes. On the bright side, that makes it hard to screw up, no? This recipe calls for a wok. I suppose you can do it without a wok, but why the hell don’t you have a wok? Woks are awesome. For tonight’s meal we had:
- Leftover cooked brown rice the equivalent to 1 1/2 cups uncooked
- 2 large and 2 small ribs celery
- 4 decent sized carrots
- 2 handfuls of pea pods
- 2 large green onions
- 2 handfuls of small brussels sprouts (too small to grill!)
- 2 cloves of garlic
We also use
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- about 4-5 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2-1 tbsp sugar (I use coconut sugar)
- a healthy pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 eggs
Prep: trimmed the pea pod ends. Halved or quartered the sprouts based on size. Sliced the carrots and green onion and celery (I’ve julianned the carrots for fri ri before, but my son isn’t a big carrot fan and for some reason simple sliced carrots slip under the radar better than “sticks.”) Mince the garlic.
A word about rice. When it comes to fri ri, the best rice is old rice. When we know ahead of time that fri ri is on the menu we’ll make the rice at least a day before and refrigerate it. Think about the best fri ri you’ve had – the rice is firm, somewhat dry, and greedily soaks up whatever sauce it’s subjected to. You can’t make good frye rye with fresh, moist fluffy rice. It turns it into a gelatinous mess. Trust me on this.
In a bowl mix together the soy sauce, sugar and red pepper flakes. We use nama shoyu… and then kind of cook it, which completely defeats the purpose. But it’s one of those kitchen staples we buy in bulk, so rather than have two bottles of soy sauce, one raw, one not, we just use the raw all the time.
If you’re going to do eggs, put about 1 and 1/2 tbsp coconut oil in your wok and crank it up to medium high heat. Scramble your eggs in a bowl and chuck ’em in the wok to continue scrambling. I usually like my scrambled eggs fluffy and light, but for the purposes of this meal I scramble ’em hard. I like ’em to break up into as many little pieces as possible to spread throughout the dish. Once the eggs are to your liking, dump them into a bowl and set them aside.
Clean the wok, get it back on the burner and add the other 1 1/2 tbsp oil to it. Mince the garlic and throw it in. Move it around constantly for about a minute.
Here’s where you get to make decisions. At this point you’re going to want to throw in your rice and your densest, toughest veggies – the stuff that needs to cook the longest. In this particular instance carrots and brussels sprouts went in with the rice. Honestly, even though I’d halved or quartered the sprouts based on their size I should have put them in first. By the time they were done the carrots were, in my opinion, a bit overdone.
Anyway, continue to kick around your concoction in the wok. Items like sliced carrots only need about 2 minutes lead time on everything else. Remember, they’re going to continue to cook until everything is done. In 2-3 minutes, throw in the rest of the veggies. In this case, in went the celery, green onions and pea pods. Continue to kick it all around for 2-3 minutes. Add the egg, if you opted for it, and keep on mixing while cooking for another minute or so.
Add your soy sauce concoction and, if your stove’s electric, turn off the burner. If it’s gas, turn it as low as you can get it. Mix everything thoroughly for a minute or two. Remove from heat and serve pronto, while it’s hot. Try to remember before you get to that third serving that rice swells up in yer guts.