Farmer’s Market Fried Rice
Whether you love Asian cuisine or simply enjoy an occasional helping of fried rice, you’ll want to add this recipe to your weekly rotation. Delicious, nutritious and super easy to make, farmer’s market fried rice is the perfect solution when you’re running short on time.
Plus, you can incorporate practically any vegetable you’d find at a farmer’s market. So if you’re looking for an excuse to buy some local produce, this is it.
Gather Your Ingredients
This recipe requires a handful of simple ingredients, many of which you likely already have tucked away in your kitchen. In fact, you could easily use most — if not all — of the vegetables in your fridge to make this delicious dish. It’s a great way to use up ones that are about to go bad or that you’re not quite sure how to incorporate into meals.
Traditionally fried rice includes scrambled eggs, so feel free to add a few to your farmer’s market fried rice. You may also include meat to add more protein to the meal. Try adding some lightly seasoned chicken or shrimp or marinate them in an Asian-inspired sauce before cooking to boost the flavor factor.
This recipe calls for four to five tablespoons of coconut oil. However, you can easily substitute peanut oil, olive oil, butter or ghee. You’ll also need a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil to achieve that classic fried rice flavor. You’ll usually find this ingredient in the vinegar or spice aisle of your local grocery store.
This is where it gets fun. You’ll need four cups of chopped veggies to make the ultimate farmer’s market fried rice, so grab your reusable shopping bag and up the local market. If you’re shopping for winter veggies, cabbage, leeks and mushrooms make a tasty combo. Asparagus, bell peppers, zucchini, cauliflower and green beans work, too. Feeling adventurous? Toss in some roasted winter squash.
Consider asking vendors about seasonal varieties and which vegetables they’d include in a stir fry. You’re the chef, so anything goes. Just remember to buy some scallions so you can use them as a last-minute garnish when dinner time rolls around.
Got rice? It doesn’t matter if it’s white, brown, long or short grain. Different kinds of rice are practically indistinguishable after you fry them in oil, so use whatever you have on hand. Try to use chilled leftover rice as it’s dry and tends to crisp up better than fresh rice.
You’ll need a variety of different seasonings depending on which ingredients you use. For instance, if you’re making tofu, you might want to add some turmeric for flavor and color. However, if you’re cooking eggs, chicken or shrimp, salt and pepper should suffice. This recipe also calls for garlic and toasted sesame seeds, both of which could be considered seasonings in farmer’s market fried rice.
Salt brings out the flavor in even the blandest of dishes, so adding soy sauce to this recipe should tantalize your tastebuds. Are you trying to reduce your salt intake? Opt for the low-sodium soy sauce. You can also substitute miso paste or smoke shoyu, a high-end smoked soy sauce that’s sure to take this dish to the next level.
Making Farmer’s Market Fried Rice
Heat two tablespoons of oil in an extra-large nonstick pan, a pre-seasoned cast iron skillet or a wok over medium heat. In a bowl, whisk two eggs and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Scramble the eggs in your pan, chopping them up into small bits with a spatula. When fully cooked, set the eggs aside on a large plate.
If you’re adding shrimp or chicken, this is the time to cook them. Season the meat with salt and pepper and cook it in the same skillet with a bit of oil. Use a meat thermometer to ensure your food is fully cooked. Then, remove from the heat and set aside.
In the same pan, heat another two tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Then, cook your veggies. Saute the tougher ones like leeks, onions and peppers first. Then, add three chopped garlic cloves and saute until tender. Lower the heat to medium and add longer cooking veggies like mushrooms and carrots to the pan. Leave leafy greens like cabbage and kale until the end.
When the veggies are tender and steaming, stir in one cup of frozen peas or shelled edamame. Set the mixture aside next to the eggs before moving on to making the rice.
Add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of your pan and turn the heat up to medium-high. Add a few scoops of rice so that it forms an even layer over the oil. Resist the urge to stir it and allow it to cook until the underside is crispy. Then, use a spatula to flip large sections of rice and crisp up the other side.
Mix the eggs, meat and veggies into the rice. Add three tablespoons of soy sauce, one teaspoon of sesame oil and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and divide among four bowls. Top with chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds before serving. Bon appetit!
Vegan and Gluten-Free Options
Got a few picky eaters in your household? If your partner or kids follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, swap the scrambled eggs out for extra firm tofu. Simply blot it dry and break the block into bits. Sear them in an oiled skillet and add a pinch of turmeric, salt and pepper. Let it crisp up before removing it from the heat and setting it aside. Omit the shrimp or chicken when you assemble your veggie lovers’ bowls.
Maybe you’re serving someone with gluten sensitivity instead. Simply substitute liquid aminos for soy sauce. Easy peasy.
Embracing Creativity in the Kitchen
The best thing about farmer’s market fried rice is that it’s infinitely customizable. No matter who you’re serving or what you find at the local market, you can pull this meal together lickety-split. Get creative when you have the time. Otherwise, stick to the recipe and have dinner on the table in just 40 minutes.