Fried rice is loaded with vegetables and garlic ginger flavor for a flexible, quick, and healthy dinner. Add eggs or meat for an extra filling weeknight meal.
Have you ever been surprised by the usefulness of something?
Maybe you receive a gift that you’re kind of “meh” about. Or you make an impulse Target purchase (Who, me?! No, never.) for a one-time use.
And then that thing ends up being one of your most prized possessions (ok, maybe not a prized possession, but at least a regularly-used-and-appreciated fixture in your life).
For me, the rice cooker is one such possession. I kind of impulse purchased it, a lot of years ago, because I was sick of sticking rice to the bottom of my saucepans. It’s not that making rice is inherently difficult. It’s more that I’m an obsessive multi-tasker which means that things like stirring the rice occasionally fall to the back burner (Pun intended. I’m here all week, folks.).
So I bought the rice cooker, thinking I’d use it twice and then it would join the ranks of millions of other appliances that people didn’t find terribly useful at Goodwill.
But the rice cooker and I became fast friends, and now we use it at least once a week (seriously, buy a rice cooker).
This fried rice recipe and our family are also very good friends.
Truth: never thought I was a big cabbage fan. I mean, it’s kind of bland (bland = excellent vehicle for flavor), but I think I subconsciously associated it with sauerkraut, and as a German kid, there was lots of sauerkraut, and as a bad German kid, I did not like the sauerkraut.
But I digress. If you too are cabbage-skeptical, you may be a general vegetable skeptic. In which case, answer me this: do you eat egg rolls? Yes, I mean the bad-Chinese, greasy-spoon, deep-fried variety.
Good, then you like cabbage enough to eat it in this fried rice. Because along with faux-meat and two shreds of carrots, those egg rolls are filled with cabbage. And you don’t mind because it’s deep-fried and then dunked in copious amounts of soy sauce, right?
Well this too is loaded with flavor, but of the more healthy variety. I love garlic and ginger, so there’s lots of that, along with a couple dashes of soy sauce, sesame oil, and lime juice (Yes, lime juice. Do it!).
We like the flavors in this enough to make it really vegetable-heavy. Like “would you like some rice with your vegetables?” heavy. So if you ARE a vegetable-skeptic, you can adapt it to suit your taste and make it a bit more rice-full (total count on words I have made up in this post: at least eight). When we’re in CSA season, I add sugar or snap peas. Frozen peas, green beans, asparagus, and bell peppers, or honestly, nearly any vegetable can easily be added to this too.
Even the 2 year old consumes this with reckless abandon (to be fair, she does most things, especially eat, with reckless abandon). Go empty out the produce drawer and make yourself a bowl of goodness!
- 2 cups cooked rice (brown or white)
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 2 tbsp. oil (olive, coconut, etc.), divided
- 3 cups chopped cabbage (about ½ head of cabbage)
- 1 cup shredded carrots (about 2 carrots)
- 1 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup chopped green onions (about 3-4 green onions)
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- Juice from ½ lime
- Add sesame oil to cooked rice, stir, and set aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add cabbage first, then carrots, season with salt and pepper and saute until slightly wilted, 5-7 minutes.
- Push cabbage mixture to one side of the pan. Pour in remaining tablespoon of oil and add ginger and garlic. Stir continuously until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add cooked rice and stir into cabbage mixture.
- Just before serving, add green onions, soy sauce, and lime juice.
This recipe is adapted from Pinch of Yum.