Take out is such a convenient thing, but when you can make something filled with more flavor and better nutrition, then I believe you have a winner for yourself and your family. This “fried” rice recipe is filled with lots of taste, and compared to take out, offers you and your family a world of customization (and is better for you)!
When we order fried rice, we typically get pork chunks, rice, eggs, peas and carrots mixed into a high sodium, high MSG sauce. One of my old roommates back in college taught me how to make this very simple and much better for you recipe. From there it became a staple in my home and surprisingly enough, one you could dramatically cut on calories and “bad stuff” depending on how you made it. As an additional perk, it frequently uses up ingredients already found in my home, so no extra shopping was really ever required!
With simple recipes like this, sourcing the best ingredients to start with is key to getting the most flavor. But even with just plain ol’ ingredients, and following this recipe, you’ll still turn out a great comforting dish to serve up with some stir fried veggies, steamed veggies, or even some marinated meat. Personally, we just enjoy it as an entree from time to time.
The basis of this recipe is obviously rice. Rice can have varying nutrition profiles and more complex tastes depending on the varieties and where it’s grown. I personally love a combination of red and brown rice, but you could incorporate white, or even black if you so desired. To add even more flavor complexity and nutrition, you could also use quinoa as a substitute for the rice. I do have to mention that if you use quinoa, beware of what it’s doing to farmers in where this crop originates. I urge everyone to use sparingly in your household.
The meat eaters can vary the bacon used in my recipe as a standby for the pork chunks, but the vegetarians or vegans have options too! Have leftover pork tenderloin from earlier in the week? This recipe would be a great use for it! You could really dress it up with some fried pork belly too. Otherwise, bacon or even just turkey bacon adds a great crunch and flavor to this dish. And as many know, the calories of bacon can be cut by simply baking it in the oven. For those who don’t eat meat, opting for peas, broccoli stems, carrots, or fake-on (fake bacon) work great too!
In terms of sauce, it’s very easy to cut way down on sodium as it’s basically just soy sauce. I found that usually when you add low-sodium soy sauce, you have to add more to get additional flavor. With those staying away from gluten, the gluten free soy sauces work great because to me they pack way more flavor, but also a lot more sodium. It’s best to tinker and see what works with your family’s dietary guidelines.
The bottom line of all this is that even though it’s a simple recipe made with household staples, you have a lot of options. So breakout the rice and pans, and start creating!
Amanda’s Fried Rice
6 slices of Bacon
1 small Onion, chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
4 cups of Rice, cooked
1/8 cup of Soy Sauce, more as desired
1/4 cup of Green Onions, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional- Chopped Broccoli Stems, Carrots and/or Peas
Preheat a large skillet to medium high heat.
Chop the Bacon into very small pieces, using a sharp knife. Place the Bacon into the hot skillet and cook until crisp. Remove the Bacon and place onto paper towels.
Remove all but one Tablespoon of Bacon grease and turn the heat down to medium. Cook the Onion and Garlic until the Onion is translucent, about 3-5 minutes. If you are using vegetables such as Broccoli stems, Peas or Carrots, add them with your pan at this time. Crack the Eggs directly into the skillet and continue to stir until the Eggs are cooked through. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients together, adding Salt, Pepper and Soy Sauce as desired. Garnish with Green Onions upon serving.