Saturday, January 12, 2013

Healthy Chicken Fried Rice

My dad makes really good chicken fried rice. I remember it was my last meal in India before I first moved to the USI've included some of his tips in the recipe below.

You will need -
  • boneless skinless chicken breast - chopped, marinated in garlic and soy sauce
  • cooked rice (I usually use a 50-50 mixture of white basmati and brown basmati. Please refer to 'notes' below on how to cook rice)
  • minced garlic
  • spring onions
  • whisked eggs (optional)
  • sesame oil (optional)
A few of the following -
  • carrots
  • bell peppers - any color. I used red.
  • green beans
  • cabbage
  • broccoli, if you want to make up for some decadent sins from the day before
  • peas
Seasoning -
  • soy sauce
  • fish sauce (optional)
  • ketchup (optional)
  • sriracha or hot sauce (optional)
  • water
Method -
  1. In a large shallow pan heat some vegetable oil and saute marinated chicken until fully cooked.  Keep aside.
  2. Add eggs to the pan, saute to make a scramble, set aside.
  3. Add vegetable oil and 1 or 2 tsp sesame oil to pan . After a couple of mins add the garlic, saute. Then add the veggies that take longer to cook - such as green beans, carrot, broccoli.
  4. Once those veggies are semi-cooked add the other veggies that cook fast - such as bell peppers, cabbage, peas.
  5. Meanwhile combine all the ingredients under 'Seasoning' in a small bowl.
  6. Add seasoning mixture and chicken to pan. Mix well.
  7. Add the rice, mix well. Be gentle with the rice, you want to avoid breaking the grains. Saute for 2-3 mins.
  8. Add spring onions and scrambled eggs. Mix well.
  9. Check the taste. If required add soy sauce/ hot sauce/ black pepper and mix well.
Some tips -
  1. It is widely recommended that you use a day-old rice for fried rice. But I have got as good results by cooking the rice with slightly less water than usual and then spreading it out on plates for 1 to 2 hours in a well-ventilated area before using it. I sometimes put the fan on to dry the rice faster.
  2. Cooking the eggs and veggies together will make your rice smell of egg. To avoid this  it's better to saute the eggs separately, keep aside and add to the rice towards the end.
  3. All the steps should be done over medium to high heat. You don't want to slow-cook your veggies in fried rice.
  4. It's always good to use a mix of colorful veggies - if you don't have red bell pepper, try to use carrot so that your fried rice looks colorful and appetizing. Eating all colors is also a good way to get all kinds of vitamins and minerals.

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