When I lived in China in my early 20s, I learned to make fried rice from a wonderful elderly chef in her 80s. She was about a foot shorter than me and, wow, could she cook. I was living way up north in Harbin, a city with temps so cold that I experienced first-hand that Fahrenheit and Celsius actually MEET at minus 40 degrees!
For me, this steaming fried rice dish hits the spot in cold weather. It is comforting, filling, well-balanced with plenty of vegetables and eggs, flavorful, and colorful.
Here’s the version I made a couple of weeks ago during Snowzilla after my husband and I shoveled for several hours. So satisfying and delicious.
But frying rice? Isn’t that unhealthy? No, not with a high-quality oil that contains healthy fats.
I use unrefined virgin coconut oil to make this dish. It’s important to use high-quality oils instead of highly refined vegetable oils like canola oil. Coconut oil is my top choice for cooking, while olive oil is excellent when unheated (great for salads).
Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) and is easier to digest. MCFAs are processed by the liver, which means that they are immediately converted to energy instead of being stored as fat. Coconut oil is also anti-microbial and anti-fungal, so outside the kitchen, it’s also a wonderful choice for putting on your skin, especially when combined with the healing power of essential oils.
Vegetable Fried Rice
Time: 25 minutes (with cooked rice)
- 2 tablespoons unrefined virgin coconut oil, divided
- 1-2 scallions/green onions, diced
- 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 3 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 cup broccoli (including stem), diced
- 1 cup purple cabbage, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 4 pasture-raised eggs
- 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, or more to taste
- 2 tablespoons tamari or Bragg’s liquid aminos (gluten-free soy sauces)
- Sea salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
NOTE: I’ve found that fried rice works best with brown rice that has been cooked and put in the fridge overnight. It also saves time to make it in advance. You could make rice the same day, but be sure to let it cool completely before using in this dish, or it will get all mushy.
Chop all your vegetables in small uniform pieces. This is key. (Feel free to try other vegetables you have on hand. Baby bok choy is also good. You could also sub green cabbage for purple cabbage.)
Cook eggs: Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil over medium-high heat in large skillet. Pour in eggs after lightly beating. Gently move the eggs around so they cook, flip eggs over, and use spatula to break the eggs into small pieces. Remove from pan.
Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in the large skillet over medium heat. Add scallion, ginger, and garlic and cook a few minutes until they are fragrant and start to soften. Add broccoli, cabbage, and carrots. Stir fry until veggies are tender. Add the chilled cooked rice and stir well to combine.
Add sesame oil, tamari, sea salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust each of these seasonings to your liking. Add cooked eggs and mix well. Serve hot.
This is also very good reheated for lunch the next day.