I love fried rice… it is the best way to redeem stale rice! Back in the Philippines, my Mama would simply make garlic fried rice if we have too much leftover rice and it is so darn good! Part of what makes it good is the pork fat and TONS of garlic that she fries the rice in, and the minced green onions that she adds towards the end for fragrance.
So yesterday, after a short run, yoga class, and a very quick weight lifting session, DFJ and I walked home starving. What I originally planned on making was some Asian noodle dish that I have been playing around with in my mind… but because I was too hungry to come up with anything solid, I decided to throw together what we already had in the refrigerator.
We had tons of leftover basmati rice that needed to be eaten… what could be added to that? Since I went grocery shopping yesterday, there were a couple of choices. The first one was what oil to cook it with. Let me backtrack and tell you about my discovery of coconut oil… One of my favorite food bloggers, Gina Matsoukas of Running to the Kitchen, uses coconut oil in many of her recipes and I have been meaning to try it. At Fred Meyer’s on Tuesday, this giant tub of EfaGold organic coconut oil from my homeland was on sale for $15.00 (it was 50% off). Sweet score!
Coconut oil it was and tons of veggies for my fried rice. Because I hate tossing stuff, I made use of the beet greens occupying too much space in the vegetable drawer… Beet greens belong on plates to be eaten, not in trash bags or the compost. Some of the greens looked kind of gross, so I had to throw those out but used all the pretty ones after rinsing them thoroughly. There’s a lot of dirt in these leaves so make sure you rinse them well.
Let me tell you, this fried rice made me proud of myself for tossing something so delicious together in a short amount of time. The assorted vegetables complemented each other perfectly and you could taste each in every bite. Simple ingredients made special! And the coconut oil… the coconut oil made this dish smell like tropical heaven… I can almost imagine being in my Mama’s kitchen at home.
The top ingredient that probably made this dish was go chu jang (a remarkable Korean red pepper paste condiment). If you want to know more about go chu jang, check out this post. I really hope to convince you to get one the next time you take a trip to an Asian store. It’s life changing, you will thank me!
Here’s a great recipe for that mound of leftover cold rice sitting in your refrigerator and beet greens poking out of the veggie drawer.
Beet Green Fried Rice (Makes 3-5 servings)
1 generous tbsp coconut oil (olive oil is fine too)
3 cloves garlic, crushed with a garlic press
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 large portabella mushroom, roughly chopped
3 cups cooked basmati rice (or any white rice)
2 cups beet greens, chopped thinly
1 medium carrot, minced
½ tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp go chu jang
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 cup frozen peas
In a large pan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, sauté the garlic until golden. Add the onion slices and let cook until soft, about 4 minutes, stirring every now and then. Toss in the mushroom slices and let cook until soft, about 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the rice and stir well. Let it heat up for about 4 minutes while also stirring in the salt, pepper, go chu jang, and soy sauce. Toss in the beet greens and cook until it wilts, about a minute. Add the minced carrot and stir for another minute. Then toss in the frozen peas for another minute. Turn off the heat and serve immediately.
This fried rice is great served with eggs cooked however way you like!