Oh the woes of finding side dishes. “What goes with that?” You ask yourself that far too much. So dive in to this easy vegetable fried rice. Simple flavors that go with pork, chicken, even fish and you can make it ahead too–it rewarms like a dream.
I have trouble coming up with side dishes. I don’t get this trait from my mom who required that every meal have a meat, a starch and a green vegetable of some sort. She was the meal-coordinating magician. We’d eat her perfectly arranged and color coordinated meal every night at 6:00 when my dad got home from work. I could throw in a few hashtags here–something like #littlehouseontheprairie or #thewaltonsaremyidols might be good. But I hear some of you hate hashtags–so I’ve just given you your fix for the day.
I’ll be good now.
Today, I try to do the same thing: Meat (sometimes we skip this), starch (sometimes we have extras) and a green something, but there are nights I can’t think of a thing to make. Which is more like my mother-in-law who made what my husband and his four siblings like to call “the night of the potato” when his mom made potato cakes, mashed potatoes, fried potatoes and something else potato that I can’t remember. That was the whole meal. She never coordinates anything. Sometimes I like her style.
So if you are like her, or more Ma Walton, it can still be nice to have a versatile side dish like fried rice. This one is great made ahead and just stored in the fridge and rewarmed or made that night for dinner. It only takes 20 minutes or so and uses pretty simple ingredients. If you don’t like the vegetables in this version, add your own–snow peas would be lovely. So would water chestnuts, peas, even thinly sliced carrots.
This recipe is basically a blank slate for your creative goodness. Hopefully you can use it that way. I use quick-cooking brown rice for mine–simmer it for five minutes and let it sit for five and it’s ready to go. Instant white rice is the ultimate in quick prep too. This recipe can be doubled, tripled or septupled–is that a word? I don’t know. You can make a lot of it.
Remember to use a little less water when you make your rice so it can absorb the liquid as it fries. You’ll see what I mean below:
Quick and easy fried rice
- 2 cups quick cooking or instant brown rice
- 1 1/2 cups water plus another 1/4 cup for later
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 2 inch ribs celery sliced about 1/4 of an thick
- 1/2 of a medium onion diced small
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder optional
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried optional
- 1/4 cup soy sauce regular or reduced sodium is fine
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium sauce pan, bring the 1 1/2 cups of water to a simmer.
- Add the rice and cook according to package directions--usually simmered five minutes and off the heat for five.
- Mix the remaining 1/4 cup water and the soy sauce together. Set aside.
- While the rice is soaking, heat a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the butter and melt.
- Add the celery and onions and cook until just softened and the onions are translucent--about 6 minutes.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add the egg. Stir to combine with the vegetables until the egg is scrambled and in small pieces.
- Add the rice and stir to combine.
- Add the garlic powder and parsley and stir well.
- Reduce heat to low.
- Pour in the water and soy sauce and stir.
- Cover and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally until the liquid is absorbed--about 8 minutes or so.
- Season with salt and pepper if desired. Remember the soy sauce is salty so taste it first.