Fried rice meets all our requirements for a fast weeknight meal: minimal prep work required, quick to pull together, and deeply satisfying. We like ours with plenty of savory soy sauce and a kick of hot red pepper! Our version is vegetarian, but you could certainly add some shrimp or stir-fried beef if you like. Take a look!
Fried rice is almost more of a method than it is a real recipe. The key steps are cooking the eggs and vegetables (and meat, if using) first, setting them aside, frying the rice in a little oil, and then combining everything together again with the seasonings. Within these parameters, you have a lot of room to get creative!
Easy Fried Rice
Makes 2 to 4 servings
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 block tofu, cubed
1 to 2 cups cooked rice, white or brown
2 handfuls bok choy, stems and leaves sliced thinly
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen peas
4 to 5 spring onions, sliced into thin rounds
2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
Optional extras: 1/2-inch freshly grated ginger, 2-3 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon hot sauce, splash of sesame oil
Place a skillet over medium heat and add a teaspoon of oil or butter. Scramble the eggs, breaking them into small curds. When the eggs are just barely cooked, scrape them into a clean dish and set them aside.
Increase heat to medium-high and add another teaspoon of oil to the pan. Sear the tofu on all sides, stirring only occasionally and cooking until the tofu is golden-brown on all sides. Remove the tofu from the heat and set it aside in a clean dish.
Add another teaspoon of oil to the pan and stir in the rice. Make sure all the grains of rice are coated with a little oil, then spread the rice into a thin layer across the bottom of the pan. Let it cook for a few minutes, then gather it together and spread it out thin again. Continue until the rice is toasted and beginning to brown.
Add two tablespoons of soy sauce and one tablespoon of rice wine vinegar (and ginger and garlic, if using), and stir. Add the bok choy and cook until the green parts of the leaves are wilted. Add the peas and carrots, cooking until they are warmed through. Stir in the eggs, tofu, and spring onions.
Taste and add more soy sauce and rice wine vinegar if needed. Hot sauce and sesame oil can be added here, or sprinkled in each individual bowl instead.
What else do you like in your fried rice?
Related: Lobster to Sweet-and-Sour: How to Make 6 Stir-Fry Sauces
(Image: Emma Christensen)