I was sitting this afternoon working, with my recorded cooking shows on in the background and it dawned on me that it's the Chinese New Year. Watching Nancy Lam and Ching He Huang chopping and stir-frying away really made me crave something Chinese-y.
I realized that I had a bowl of left over steamed rice in the fridge, and set about making a quick fried rice dish to share with my beloved for a late lunch. I have used asparagus, celery and peas, because that's what I had hanging about in the veggie drawer, but it would be equally lovely with diced radish, cucumber (wet bit removed) carrot, small cooked shrimp, mange tout and on and on. Just use up what ever you have handy.
Including prep, this will take about ten minutes so is perfect for late nights or days when you don't have a lot of time but do have some left over rice taking up space in the fridge.
Quick Fried Rice with Crunchy Veg
Serves 2, takes approx ten minutes
2 cups cold leftover steamed long grain rice
5 asparagus spears chopped into 1cm pieces
1 stalk celery, cut in half length-wise and chopped into 1cm pieces
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 spring onions, sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cm ginger root, peeled and finely chopped or grated
1 red chilli, seeds removed, thinly sliced
2 tsp sesame seeds
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
2 tbsp ground nut or rapeseed oil
Heat a wok or large frying pan over a high flame and once it begins to smoke, add the oil. Bring the spring onion, chilli, garlic and ginger into the pan and stir-fry for a minute until fragrant. Add the sesame seeds and fry until they start to pop (a few seconds) then add your chosen veggies. Stir-fry this lot for a couple of minutes until they begin to get tender, then add the rice. Fry the rice, keeping it moving for a couple of minutes until it is crackling nicely. Drizzle over the sesame oil, soy sauce and rice wine, stir to distribute these flavours and remove from the heat.
Give the dish a taste and add a little more soy if need be.
See? Mere seconds later you have a tasty, cheap-as-chips lunch that satisfies every one of your tastebuds.