Before I get into my recipe for today I have 2 awesome tips to share with you. One complaint I hear from so many people is that brown rice takes too long to cook for regular weeknight meals, so even though it’s so much better for you there’s just not enough time. Well, that excuse wont work for me anymore. You can always cook rice in the morning, the day before or even the weekend before and then reheat it when needed but this makes things even easier. But my newest favorite idea is even easier.
You can freeze it! I never knew this before but since reading it over at FITori it makes so much sense! I already cook large pots of beans and freeze the leftovers and they’re almost just as quick as a can. This way you can freeze it in the portions that you will use it and only take out as much as you will need. I assume you can take it out the morning before and let it thaw in the fridge and then by dinner time you’ll have perfect rice that just needs to be reheated. Or you can even thaw it in the microwave or by dumping the frozen rice in a pot with a couple tbsp of water and heating it until it’s heated through.
No need to buy those awful flavored rice packets that are ready in a couple minutes, and no need to buy instant brown rice. Do those freak anyone else out? Just freeze some rice for when you’re in a rush! Awesome, right?
Tip number two. When I first started making rice, I couldn’t ever make it properly. It was always way too sticky and gummy and gross. Then I came across a recipe to bake it and I’ve had perfect rice ever since. So I guess this is more of a recipe than a tip, but trust me if you have issues making rice or even if you need the room on your stove for other things, bake it. Just make sure your pot doesn’t have any plastic handles and is oven safe.
Baked Short Grain Brown Rice
- 1 1/2 C short grain brown rice
- 2 1/2 C water or stock
- salt to taste or as directed on the package of rice
- 1 tbsp oil or butter optional
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a medium sized oven safe pot combine the rice, water, salt and oil if using. Bring to a boil on the stove then cover and place inside the oven. Bake for 60 minutes then remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving, being careful because the pot will still be hot. This recipe can easily be doubled in a larger pot.
So moving on… This fried rice is one of the easiest meals I make. The only prep work is chopping veggies, and even though the ingredients list isn’t the shortest, trust me, it’s so simple. And it’s not an exact science either. If you don’t have edamame, add more peas or broccoli. Don’t eat eggs or don’t like eggs in dishes like this, leave them out or substitute a little crumbled tofu. Don’t have celery but you have fresh crunchy sugar or snap peas, chop into bite sized pieces and add those.
Garlic Fried Rice
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 5-6 cloves garlic pressed or grated
- 2 " piece of ginger peeled and grated
- 2-3 tbsp water
- 2 large carrots diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 2 C peas and/or edamame or a mix of both, frozen is fine
- 2 C finely chopped broccoli
- 5 C leftover brown rice
- 3-4 large eggs scrambled and cooked with a pinch of salt
- 2-3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice
- a pinch of white pepper or to taste
- Start by chopping all the vegetables. Once everything is ready, start by heating a large pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil and add the onions. Cook for 4-5 minutes until they're softened.
- At this point I like to cook the eggs in a separate pan till they're well done and crumbled into bite sized pieces. Turn the heat off for the eggs once cooked and wait to add them to the main dish. Add the carrots and celery and cook for a few more minutes before adding the garlic, ginger and broccoli. Mix well and lower the heat slightly. Once the garlic and ginger have cooked for a few minutes, before they begin to brown, add the two to three tbsp of water and cook until the veggies are the desired tenderness. This will depend on how finely chopped they are and how cooked you like them. Keep in mind they will continue to cook for a few minutes as the rice heats up so don't over cook them.
- Add the rice to the pan and pour the soy sauce and vinegar over top and sprinkle with the chinese 5 spice and the white pepper if using. Mix slightly then add the eggs, mix well and heat through. Continue to cook for a couple minutes while stirring if there is any liquid on the bottom of the pan. Cooking it for a few minutes will allow the rice to absorb the moisture and will result in a less sticky fried rice. Serve while hot.