Use it or lose it, I said to myself, as I stared at half a roast beef in the fridge, leftover from Saturday night's dinner. I couldn't let it go to wa$te, but I was really not in the mood for roast beef sandwiches or some other heavy concoction. So I got into the bathtub for a good soak and let my thoughts wander. They wandered to fried rice.
Fried rice can be made any day of the week. All you need is rice, soy sauce, a couple of eggs and whatever scraps of vegetables and/or meat you have lying around. Use what you've got; it will turn out great.
The raw ingredients for tonight's meal
Scrappy Fried Rice Serves 4
3 - 4 cups cooked white or brown rice 1 - 2 T. vegetable oil 2 cloves garlic, minced fresh ginger, minced (if you have it; I didn't) vegetables of choice, sliced small and thin - I used shredded carrots, sliced onion, sliced red bell pepper, sliced mushrooms and edamame 4 - 8 oz. cooked chicken, shrimp, beef, pork or tofu 2 T. soy sauce 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 T. sesame oil sesame seeds, sliced scallions or chow mein noodles for garnish
Either use leftover white or brown rice, or cook up some rice anytime during the day to use for this dish.
Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger and stir for 30 seconds. Add all the other vegetables and stir fry for 3 - 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add in the cooked rice and stir together with the vegetables. Add the soy sauce (use more if necessary) and stir to incorporate. Add the cooked meat or fish and stir to combine. Press down on the rice mixture with your spatula and let it cook, undisturbed, for a couple of minutes, to get the bottom crisp.
Make a well in the center of the rice in the skillet. Pour in the two beaten eggs and scramble gently. When cooked, incorporate the eggs into the rice mixture. Again, press the mixture down in the pan. Turn off the heat and let sit for a minute or two to crisp the bottom again. Drizzle with sesame oil, garnish and serve.