Chinese takeout, anyone?

15 Oct

I love take-out food from the local Chinese restaurant, and we do indulge in that every so often. They have a nice variety of options for vegans and vegetarians, but it can be high in sodium and fat.

This recipe is one of my favorites for Chinese cooking at home. Not only does it work well with stir fry, it makes a delicious side dish to grilled portobellos, tofu or chicken. Throw together a little Asian-style slaw, and you’ve got a quick and fairly simple Asian-inspired meal.

Feel free to add to or embellish this recipe. I used some red, green and yellow bell pepper in mine, but you can use all of the same kind if you want. Most fried rice has scrambled egg in it, so feel free to add one if you prefer it that way. Just scramble it before you start cooking the vegetables. Chop it into little pieces and set aside. Stir it back into the fried rice at the end. I cook a pot of rice the night before so it has time to chill in the fridge. This will give you a more restaurant-style fried rice the next day as you cook everything together.

Vegetable Fried Rice
makes 6 servings

Rice:
3 cups water
1-1/4 cups brown rice

Fried Rice:
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 bell pepper (your choice), chopped
handful of pea pods (about 6-8), halved
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 green onions, sliced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
toasted sesame seeds

In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in rice. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender and all water is absorbed. Chill overnight.

Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add onions, bell pepper, pea pods, garlic and pepper flakes. Cook until vegetables are barely tender, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to medium-high and stir in chilled rice, green onions, peas and soy sauce. Stir-fry for 3 to 4 more minutes or until rice and peas are heated through. Remove from heat. Add 2 teaspoons sesame oil and mix well. Adjust seasonings with salt, pepper and soy sauce to your liking. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and more crushed red pepper flakes, if desired. Enjoy!

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