One of my favorite things to order at our neighborhood Chinese restaurant is chicken fried rice. Even better, wrap it up in a soft tortilla and call it a Chinese burrito. Either way, it’s comfort food through and through. But we all know the fried rice at your favorite carry-out is, while incredibly delicious, not exactly scoring high marks for health food. Also, we don’t eat out that much – have you seen the portion sizes? And, frankly, we get a healthier meal at home. Which is why I’ve always been curious about making my own fried rice.
Last night was the perfect night. My people had gone off to have dinner with relatives. Earlier in the day, in anticipation of dinner-for-one, I cooked up some rice (halving the recipe below) and set it aside to cool. Fried rice is a great way to use up leftover rice from a previous dinner, but since I’m apparently so good at portion control, I rarely have leftover rice on hand. Note to selves: If you’re ever just hanging out with an hour to spare, make some rice and tuck it away in the fridge for dinner later that week.
The original recipe called for diced ham, but I used an organic turkey sausage, instead, since it’s what I had on hand. I think it’s a perfectly good substitute, lower in sodium and fat, while still adding a nice boost of protein. Since it’s a recipe that loans itself to personal adaptation, pick your protein for what suits your lifestyle.
I wasn’t sure what to expect since I believed it would be nearly impossible to recreate the goodness of Chinese carry-out in my own kitchen. But this recipe came pretty darn close. I thought it was delicious…and much, much healthier. The green beans added crunch and a pretty burst of color. Onion and garlic gave it nice, heady flavor in combination with the soy sauce and sesame oil. Prep first and it all goes together really fast, as a stir-fry should. Can’t wait to try the leftovers after the flavors have a chance to mingle, a bit. Definitely a keeper on the first run, though. Enjoy!
Sausage and Egg Fried Rice (recipe adapted from Cooking Light, September 2008)
- 4 cups cold cooked long-grain rice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup thinly horizontally sliced green beans
- 3/4 cup diced turkey kielbasa (about 4 ounces)
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 1/2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup (1-inch) slices green onions
- 1. Break up rice with hands to remove large clumps, if necessary.
- 2. Heat a 14-inch wok over high heat. Add canola oil to wok, swirling to coat. Add 1 1/2 cups onion and garlic to wok; stir-fry 1 minute or until onion begins to brown. Add beans and ham; stir-fry 2 minutes or until ham begins to brown.
- 3. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add cold rice to wok; stir-fry 2 minutes. Stir in soy sauce, sesame oil, and black pepper. Push rice mixture up sides of wok. Pour eggs in open space in center of wok; cook 30 seconds or until set, stirring to scramble. Gently stir scrambled eggs into rice mixture. Sprinkle with green onions.