Gluten-Free Vegetable Fried Rice
Every two weeks or so, the leftovers in my fridge start accumulating faster than I can work through them. Dribs and drabs of leftover broccoli and green beans that the kids didn’t finish; a handful of finely shredded carrots leftover from weekend Carrot Cake Pancakes; a half zucchini unused from Carrot-zucchini muffin-making; some sauteed mushrooms that didn’t quite make it onto pizza one night… you get the picture.
Generally, my philosophy on random remnants of meals gone by is this: tossed together in a bowl of rice with some fried egg and hot sauce, these sad, unappetizing forgotten bits can be born again into the sublimest expression of comfort food. That it only takes about 10 minutes to make is just the cherry on top.
Unlike its greasy, Chinese restaurant counterpart, homemade fried rice is a perfectly healthy dish, and there’s no shame feeding it to your family. Indeed, sticky fried rice is FABULOUS toddler fare: easy to self-feed on a spoon, easy to chew, colorful, and featuring a universally well-liked carb (rice) that facilitates acceptance of the teensy, well-cooked pieces of veggies (that can’t easily be picked out). My kids have gobbled this dish up in every incarnation its been offered to them.
Consider the recipe below more of a formula than a recipe per se; fried rice is VERY forgiving, and you can add more veggies or less rice based on your preference (and what ingredients you have on hand.) Play around with it until you find the combo of veggies and ratio of rice:protein:veggies you enjoy best.
Recipe: “Kitchen Sink” Vegetable Fried Rice (gluten-free, low FODMAP)
2 tsp grapeseed, canola or peanut oil
2 cups assorted, ready-to-eat vegetables** (see note below)
Optional: 1/2 cup finely chopped cooked protein (for example, leftover cooked chicken or tofu, boiled edamame, chopped baby shrimp, bay scallops…)
3 cups cooked rice (leftover brown or white work equally well, and sticky is better. If making from scratch, use 1 cup dry rice to yield this amount cooked.)
1 TBSP gluten-free Tamari soy sauce
1 TBSP sesame oil
Garnish: Sesame seeds (preferably black) or raw finely chopped scallions (greens only)
- Heat 2 tsp oil in a wok on high heat
- Scramble eggs until cooked through
- Add vegetables to the wok in groups based on their cooking time. (For example, if using frozen peas, add them first until thawed, then add anything raw (i.e. shredded carrots), then finally add any cooked veggies. Stir fry until all veggies are almost at desired serving texture.
- If using a cooked protein, add it now and stir until well combined.
- Add cooked rice, tamari soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir all ingredients continuously until well combined and the batch begins to warm through thoroughly–just a few short minutes.
- Taste for seasoning and add a sprinkle of kosher salt if necessary to taste. Be careful not to oversalt!
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds or scallions to garnish and serve. If serving to young kids, try offering them a little bowl of garnish alongside their bowl and let them sprinkle it on themselves.
Note on veggies:
I like to use at least 3 different varieties. Some winning combos from past batches include:
- “Continental”: 1/2 cup frozen green peas + 1/2 cup raw, finely shredded carrots + 1 cup chopped cooked broccoli
- “Asian”: 3/4 cup chopped cooked green beans + 1/2 cup chopped cooked mushrooms + 3/4 cup mung bean sprouts
- “South Asian”: 3/4 cup chopped roasted cauliflower + 3/4 cup frozen green peas + 1/2 cup diced frozen carrots
- “Summer Succotash”: 3/4 cup finely shredded raw zucchini (squeezed well to remove excess water) + 3/4 cup frozen corn + 1/2 cup frozen lima beans
Other veggies that work great:
- chopped cooked snow peas or snap peas
- minced raw bell peppers (in confetti colors)
- chopped frozen spinach or sauteed spinach
- asparagus tips and/or very thinly-sliced asparagus stalks (tender top half only)
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