A Cheater’s Fried Rice

For those of you who’ve been following the gastric journey of the Carruths, you know I’ve been making Chinese take-out dishes at home a la The Chinese Take Out Cookbook. It’s been fun cooking these dishes from scratch and for nearly everything we’ve done so far, it has been well worth the effort. I say “nearly” for only one reason: fried rice.

Maybe I’m not a big enough fried-rice-fan or my palate isn’t refined for this, but I just don’t care. I’ve tried the recipe in the cookbook and I’ve tried other more involved recipes with egg etc. None of them really seem that worth it.

So, I’ve fashioned my own quick, cheater’s fried rice. It’s way faster, hardly involved at all and, at least to my uncultured palate, just as good.

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Begin by cooking rice. Every recipe I’ve found uses “leftover” rice. Basically just make rice ahead of time. I make mine earlier in the day, strain it, and then run it under hot water to warm it back up before I use it.

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Heat a deep skillet on the stove as hot as you can get it. Add oil. Just enough to coat the bottom. Once the oil is hot, add frozen stir-fry style veggies and cook until thawed– 2-3 minutes give or take.

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Once the veggies are cooked, add the rice in and lower the heat. Toss the veggies and rice, mixing all together. Pour soy sauce over the rice.

Give it 1-2 minutes on the lower heat for everything to mix and heat up together. Serve right away or cover and simmer to keep warm.

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We’ve been enjoying Target’s house-brand, Archer Farm’s asparagus stir-fry mix. But now that there are 4 Carruths eating at every meal, we’d need at least two bags and even then, we wouldn’t each get a very large helping of veggies. Adding them to the rice, though, helps the veggies go further. It also has the added bonus of sneaking vegetables in with rice in such a way that the girls can’t help but eat some green things.

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So is it just me? Am I just a fried rice barbarian or is there some finesse to it? I prefer lo mein, but haven’t found a recipe I want to try yet.

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