Are you looking for another recipe to use up all the produce from the garden or the vegetable drawer? (While it lasts?) Well, this recipe is great for weeknight cooking AND using up garden goodies and all the produce in your veggie drawer! I’m no nutritionist, but this recipe also has to be healthier than takeout! I turn the recipe into Lo Mein also by swapping out the rice for noodles!
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All you need for this recipe besides rice (or noodles) is a combo of veggies, eggs and/or shrimp, beef or chicken, some condiments like soy sauce and sesame oil, and some optional flavors like fresh or frozen ginger, garlic, sriracha or scallions. Speaking of condiments, I have a lot to say about buying name-brand sesame oil and soy sauce, just have a peek at my Salmon recipe soy sauce rant post! Name brand is definitely more flavorful in my opinion!Jump to Recipe
I must confess. Sometimes (almost always) I use packaged pre-cooked rice. But I forgive myself because pre-cooked or leftover rice is perfect for Easy Fried Rice! I don’t buy just any rice, I buy VeeTee! I’ve tried the stuff in the packets, but these little trays of VeeTee rice have the best flavor, in my opinion. If you happen to have some leftover rice at home, just use that. The point is, cold, hard rice works best! Soft fresh rice will get mushy. I also chose VeeTee because it has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
You can use up a lot of odds and ends, like onion halves, carrots, cabbage, bell peppers… just get creative! I’ve used frozen edamame and broccoli too. Purple cabbage and red onion are eye-catching and delicious in this recipe! I recommend you buy a decent-size knob of ginger and store it in the freezer. It grates up really easily from frozen and you can just scrape the peel off with a knife!
Since the garden is producing so much and it’s starting to wither for the season, I walked out to see what all was ready to pick. I saw scallions, kale, and beet greens growing in my pots. PERFECT. Then I went to the veggie garden and picked some purple beans, jalapeño, and zucchini. I already had some bell peppers picked and washed in the kitchen along with the summer squash.
Easy Fried Rice
- Large skillet or cast iron pan, or a wok.
- Small mixing bowl.
- Small-medium mixing bowl.
- Zester or knife to grate or mince garlic and ginger.
- Measuring spoons.
- 4 eggs
- ¼ tsp white pepper Optional, find it at the grocery or *online!
- 3 tbsp soy sauce Or Tamari, divided. I like Kikkoman reduced sodium.
- 2½ tbsp sesame oil Divided. This is my favorite.
- 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar White vinegar is fine. I prefer unseasoned rice wine vinegar because it's not too sweet.
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger Minced or grated
- 1/2 garlic clove Grated or finely minced. Use the whole clove if you love garlic!
- ½ tbsp honey
- 3 cups vegetables (Or as many veggies as you can fit in your pan!) Carrots, bell peppers, celery, zucchini, snap peas, squash, broccoli, cabbage… Julienned or chopped into small even sized pieces. Water chestnuts are great if you have a can!
- ½ onion sliced
- 9.9 oz Veetee rice 1 package of your preferred flavor of VeeTee rice. I like basmati, jasmine, brown, pretty much any unflavored tray. Or use cold leftover rice.
- 2 scallions Chopped, greens and whites separated.
- 1 tbsp black sesame seeds These black sesame seeds add a nutty crunch!
- 1 tbsp corn starch If you prefer a thick sauce, or for Lo Mein.
- ½ lb **shrimp, diced chicken or steak Diced additional protein of choice. (I like it with just the eggs, or with shrimp added best!)
- 1 tbsp sriracha sauce Sriracha is optional, but it gives it a nice kick of heat!
- Chop or julienne your onion and vegetables into even-sized pieces.
- Thinly slice the scallions. Reserve some green scallions to garnish.
- (If you are adding meat or seafood, chop it into small bite-sized pieces and set aside.)
- (If you are making noodles instead of rice, put a pot of water on to boil.)
- In a separate small bowl stir together 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar, 2 ½ tbsp soy sauce, ½ tbsp honey, 1 tbsp grated ginger, a few scallion greens, and ½ garlic clove. If you like it a little spicy, add sriracha to taste. The sauce should be the perfect combination of salty, sweet, and sour. If you want to, you can add a pinch of sugar or more honey, or more vinegar or soy in small additions.
- (If you prefer a thick sauce, add 1 tbsp corn starch to a small bowl. Stir in a few tables spoons of the sauce mixture and combine until smooth. Then add it back to the bowl with all of the sauce and stir well. )
- Add ½ tbsp sesame oil to a large skillet and heat to medium high.
- Add the eggs and quickly scramble them. Return the cooked eggs to the bowl. You'll stir these in later.
- Add 1 tbsp sesame oil to the same pan and brown your meat first (if you are adding meat) and remove from pan and set aside. Then add a bit more oil if your pan is dry and start to saute' the onions and the hard vegetables like the carrots.
- (If you are making Lo Mein, boil the noodles and strain them about a minute or two shy of package directions.) *I like to reserve ¼ cup of the starchy salted water before straining and add it to the dish when adding the noodles.
- When the hard vegetables start to soften add in the remaining vegetables and scallion whites. Add a dash more oil if necessary.
- When the vegetables are nearly cooked, move them aside in the pan and add a drizzle of sesame oil if the pan seems dry. Use your hands to crumble and break apart the VeeTee rice and add it to the pan. Fry it until it gets soft and starts to brown.
- Stir in the eggs, breaking up any large chunks (and meat/seafood if you are adding it)
- Clear a space in the pan and stir in the sauce mixture. Let it cook and thicken a couple minutes and stir to coat. Stir in some of the scallion whites and greens, saving some scallion greens to garnish!
- Garnish! I like to use choice of scallions, sriracha and roasted black sesame seeds. (I have even added chopped peanuts!)
What is your favorite vegetable in fried rice? Have you ever cooked it at home?