Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fast, Fabulous and Frugal Comfort Food

I've had a couple of rough days at work lately and last night I was feeling the need for some comfort food. Fortunately, I had just read Small Notebook for a Simple Home's post on 20 Tips to Waste Less Food. One of Simple Notebook's tips was to make fried rice out of day old rice... and it just so happened that not only did fried rice sound like the perfect comfort dish, I also had all the ingredients at hand.

I used a basic fried rice recipe I found online and then modified it to fit what was in my kitchen. Here is the recipe:


  • 1 - 2 green onions, as desired
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons oil for frying, or as needed
  • 4 cups cold rice
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce or Oyster Sauce, as desired

Wash and finely chop green onion. Lightly beat the eggs with the salt and pepper.

Heat a wok or a frying pan and add two tablespoons of oil. When oil is hot, add eggs. Cook, stirring until they are lightly scrambled, but not too dry. Remove eggs and clean out the pan. (Note from me - eggs continue to cook when you take them out of a pan, so the best thing to do is slightly under cook them, otherwise by the time you eat them they will be overdone. This is especially true in a dish like this where the eggs will be cooked twice.)

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Stir-fry the rice for a few moments, using chopsticks or a wooden spoon to break apart. Stir in soy sauce or oyster sauce, as desired.

When rice is heated through, add egg back to the pan. Mix thoroughly. Stir in the green onion. Serve hot.

Note: If you are adding other ingredients, increase the eggs to 3.

I, of course, made a few changes to this recipe. Here's what I did...

It just so happened that a friend and I had made a stir-fry this weekend with chicken and all sorts of great veggies. The leftover rice I had was from that. I also happened to have a small handful of mushrooms and the middle heart of a bok choy. After cooking the eggs, I added my oil (I used sesame, but only because I had it on hand and I like the flavor.) I didn't use 4 tablespoons though, you can cut that down to just what you need to coat the pan. After I cooked the eggs, I removed them per the instructions, and then re-oiled the pan and quickly stir-fried up some garlic and the diced mushrooms.

After a minute or two, I dumped in the rice and then I used one tablespoon of soy and one of fish sauce - again, these were just things I had on hand. Finally I returned the eggs and added the chopped bok choy and the green onions.

It was so, so good. Better than a restaurant version and so very quick and easy! It was the kind of dish that I wanted to just keep eating - not because I was hungry, but because it tasted so good!! The thing I liked about this dish though, was that it felt so flexible. You could add any leftover veggie - broccoli, carrots, corn, peas - even leftover mixed vegetables. I could also see myself adding nontraditional ingredients like cauliflower or green beans.
Adding chicken, salmon, shrimp or pork would be great too!

So, here you go - a frugal, functional, quick and easy dish to help you use up the last of the leftovers! I can't wait to have the rest for lunch!

Photo by: brilarian


Angelica said...

It´s nice to see someone shares your addictions :) I LOVE fried rice and make it almost every day :)

getting stuff done said...

have just had 3 stir fry rice meals this week! its a winner. We use up the last of the chicken (we cooked a whole bird on Sunday) and tomatoes and peas and onions and bell peppers..... and I did another one with celery and peppers and quorn - and peas (frozen ones) its a brilliant user upper of stuff. AND hub likes it too (as long as there is meat in it)

Dawn said...

Angelica - every day? Wow!! I don't know if I could have it that often, but it was amazingly good. I think the next time I make rice I will make twice as much needed, just so I can make this recipe again later in the week!

Getting Stuff Done - Great minds think alike! Your combos of veggies and meat sound awesome.

kasey at thriftylittleblog said...

I love making fried rice! Your recipe looks great.

Dawn said...

Thanks Kasey! It was certainly a tasty meal!