What was your favorite meal as a child? I bet most kids would say “Pizza!” or “Ice Cream!” or even “Spaghetti!”
But not this one! My parents must have looked at me strangely when I declared that my favorite dinner was home made lemon chicken and fried rice. I would ask for it every year on my birthday. And then hoard all the leftovers for the following few days.
The recipe was probably horribly inauthentic (coming from some 1980’s Americanized Chinese cookbook- in fact I think it might have been this one: link here), but my little taste buds loved it anyways.
In fact, I still crave it from time to time. Deep fried cornstarch-coated chicken pieces, slathered in a sweet and sour lemony sauce made with fresh lemon juice. Steamy rice with the distinct flavors of peanut and sesame oils. And the best part: the crispy pieces of egg stir fried in hot peanut oil. Yum Yum.
These days I try to make my meals substantially healthier, so whenever I get a craving for fried rice you can be sure I’ll add some extra vegetables to the mix. The original recipe my parents made only had green onion and egg, so I always add some frozen peas and carrots to brighten it up a bit.
Another interesting tip is that the best fried rice always uses day-old rice. This gives the rice a chance to dry out and separate into individual grains, thereby avoiding a mushy pot of stir fried rice.
Here’s the healthier version of my childhood fave! Enjoy
Egg and Veggie Quick Fried Rice
- 5 1/2 cups cooked, cold, preferably day old, medium grain white rice
- 2 cups chopped green onion
- 5 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots mix
- 4 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in a large wok or nonstick skillet over high heat. Meanwhile, add the eggs and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a small bowl and beat until well mixed.
Pour the egg into the skillet and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 or 6 minutes, until the egg is broken up into small pieces and is crispy and golden. Remove the egg from the pan and set aside.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil to the skillet and keep the heat on high. Add the rice and green onion and stir fry for about 10 minutes until the green onion is cooked. Add the peas and carrots, chicken broth, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and soy sauce and continue to cook for about 5 minutes until hot and well mixed. Add the egg, pepper, and sesame oil, stir to mix well, and remove from heat. Enjoy while hot. (Although it makes great leftovers too!)