When I was in my first year of university, I had to learn to cook for myself on a regular basis. I was staying in a residence with a full kitchen, and I didn't have a meal plan. I've never been one to eat out a lot and so I learned a lot about cooking. One of the things I decided to try one day was fried rice. I borrowed my roommate's great big wok and got to work. I chopped so many vegetables and made a TON of cheap white rice. Unfortunately I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Once the rice was finished cooking I took it off the heat and dumped it into this giant wok with my chopped veggies, sans oil. If you've ever made fried rice I'm sure you know how this ends. Long story short, my rice clumped together and became so sticky I essentially had a mashed potato texture of "rice" with crunchy raw veggies inside. I furiously stirred but the more I stirred the worse it became. It was the definition of a disaster. Defeated, I decided I was best suited to buying my fried rice on campus.
Vegetable Sesame Fried Rice
Fast forward several years and fried rice is now a staple in our house. I absolutely love making it! I often plan it for the end of the week to clean our our fridge of all the leftover veggies. The trick to making good fried rice? Use oil, and use COLD rice. Don't make the same mistake I did and use freshly cooked, steaming rice. It just doesn't work well. Trust me, I know!
This fried rice is a healthier version of what you would get out. It is packed full of veggies, and uses brown rice instead of white for added fiber. It is also vegetarian, using scrambled eggs as the protein. If you are after something a little more like what you would get at a fast food or restaurant, up the amount of oil olive oil and soy sauce by a little bit. I prefer to leave it on the lighter side with my oil and soy sauce.
Though I still enjoy buying fried rice sometimes when I'm out, this version is so much healthier and is super quick and easy to whip up as a weeknight dinner. Try making it at the end of the week to use up your old veggies that need to get eaten. I have also in the past included corn, peas, green beans, beansprouts, and really whatever else i have in the house. Let me know what veggies you put in when you make this.
Vegetable Sesame Fried Rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1/2 cup halved snow peas
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped broccoli
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 3 cups cooked and completely cooled brown rice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce (optional)
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan on medium high heat
- Add garlic, onion, celery and carrot to pan, and cook, stirring frequently, until onion becomes soft, about 3-4 minutes
- Add bell pepper, snow peas and broccoli to the pan and cook until the vegetables start to soften, an additional 4-5 minutes
- Push vegetables to one side of pan, add eggs to clear side of pan and cook, stirring until eggs are cooked, then mix with vegetables
- Add rice to pan, mix, then push rice and veggies to edge of pan, creating a well in the middle
- Add the rest of the olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, and hot sauce (if using) to the well in the pan, and fold the rice in, little by little
- Continue mixing until rice is evenly coated, then continue frying for 3-4 more minutes
- Serve, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and enjoy!