I could make an entire meal out of plain, steamed white rice. In fact, I have, on days when Ed is out of town and I don’t feel like cooking and I’m bored with eggs and there aren’t any leftovers to make into a sandwich or a salad.
But mostly I cook rice (not just white, but also brown, red and black varieties) as a side dish and sometimes I use it as a base ingredient for something grand, like Paella. Or even as a starting point for a dessert, like rice pudding.
Then again, I think one of the best and easiest ways I use rice is as a vegetarian dish, mixed with cooked veggies, nuts and so on. I’ll serve that dish by itself or with other vegetarian dishes, when I want to go meatless.
One of my favorites is the extremely versatile Fried Rice. I made this dish last night using leftover cooked rice and stir-fried it with fried egg, scallions and peas — on other occasions I have added all sorts of other vegetables, like broccoli or cooked carrots and even canned items such as water chestnuts.
Of course you can add leftover meat too. Whatever’s in your fridge. So simple, so quick. Dinner is done in a flash.
Simple Fried Rice
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs, beaten
3 scallions, chopped
3 cups cooked cold or room temperature rice
1 cup thawed frozen peas
salt to taste
Heat 2 teaspoons of the vegetable oil in a wok or stirfry pan (or a saute pan) over medium heat. Add the eggs and fry them for a minute or so or until the bottom looks set. Flip the eggs and fry briefly on the other side until cooked. Dish out to a cutting board and cut into pieces. Set aside. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in the pan. Add the scallions and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the rice and peas and cook, stirring to distribute the ingredients, for about 2 minutes or until hot. Add the egg pieces and stir to distribute them. Season to taste with salt. Serve hot. Make 2 dinner servings, 4 side dish servings