There is a little old German woman who lives in my head. Through the years, she has been more of a detriment than anything else – no fun (except for the college years when she inexplicably disappeared), unreasonably high standards, and a little obsessive compulsive. She hates waste. She is the reason I pile all the “seen better days” food at the end of the counter before I can actually admit that it has gone bad. Lately, I have been trying to make the best of her frugal ways and find ways to repurpose leftovers before they go south. Why not? It’s good for the environment and saves money. Leftover rice is perfect for fried rice the next day.
I love ordering fried rice at Chinese restaurants, but when I have attempted it at home the result has been woefully bland. This is the first fried rice recipe I have been happy with. It is a bit more than vegetables, egg and rice. There is fried tofu (or Quorn as was the case this particular night) and this lovely coconut milk-soy sauce-lime-sugar mixture poured over the rice at the end.
It’s a win-win. Tasty fried rice and the little old German lady (and Alia) is appeased . . . for today anyway.
Adapted from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (I use light coconut milk and freeze what is in the rest of the can. It is a little curdly but totally useable at a later date.)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (The original recipe calls for peanut, which I don’t have at this time.)
1/2 medium red or yellow onion, chopped (The original recipe calls for TWO onions. That’s way too much for me.)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup frozen peas
8 oz Quorn Chik’n Tenders (or tofu – see original recipe)
1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded and minced.
2 medium garlic cloves
2 teaspoons curry powder (1 1/2 teaspoons mild, 1/2 teaspoon hot)
5 cups cooked and chilled long grain rice, large clumps broken up
Chopped cilantro to taste
Combine the coconut milk, soy sauce, lime juice and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the eggs and cook until they begin to set, about 20 minutes. Scramble and break up the eggs with a spatula. Continue to cook until eggs are cooked through but still tender, about 30 seconds. Transfer the eggs to a bowl.
Raise the heat to high and add 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil to the empty skillet. When oil is shimmering, add onions and cook, stirring often, until soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the peas and Quorn. Cook until thawed. Add the chile, garlic, and curry powder. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add rice and coconut milk mixture and cook, stirring constantly until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and cilantro and stir to distribute evenly. Serve immediately.
Me: A+ (I have had this for breakfast, lunch and dinner since I made it. I love it.)
Scott: N/A (Scouts)
Luca: N/A (Scouts)
Alia: B- (In the beginning, she was enthusiastic, but this waned as time went on. She did finish her bowl though.)