My mom is a woman who knows how to cook. She grew up on a farm in the Midwest, so it’s no surprise that many of her signature ‘Mom dishes’ are versions of meat and potatoes- and they are always the recipes that I default to when I’m having a comfort food craving. Sometimes, though, Val would surprise us with these delicious dishes that were completely unexpected- and this was in the nineties, well before she was looking for creative ideas on Pinterest. Her version of fried rice is one such example.
Now, I know that when I was growing up, we very rarely had Chinese, so I don’t feel like my mom was really trying to replicate a ‘favorite version’ or anything like that. And, I’m nearly certain that this dish was probably just her answer to needing to clean out the fridge and not wanting to be wasteful. Regardless of how it came to be, Mom’s Fried Rice is definitely a favorite dish from my childhood, and it makes a regular appearance in my menu plans, and those of my sisters.
If you make this dish expecting it to taste like your favorite takeout, you will likely be disappointed- just a warning! The sauce is deliciously spicy and salty, though,and the veggies are whatever you have on hand. Our fried rice is endlessly customizable, so use whatever veggies and meat you have in the fridge- it’s perfect for an easy meal at the end of the week!
Mom’s Spicy Fried Rice
– 3 cups leftover rice
– 2 carrots
– 2 stalks celery
– 1/2 onion
– 1/2 bell pepper
– 1/2 edamame
– 1/2 to 1 cup cooked meat (I like chicken, pork, or kielbasa)
– 1-2 cloves garlic
– 2 eggs
– 1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
– 2 tbsp. soy sauce
Prep your ingredients: I think the most important part of this recipe is making sure that everything is ready to go before you start cooking, so really make sure that everything is in place before you turn the stove on! Peel and dice the carrots, dice the celery, onion and bell pepper, all to similar sizes. I usually use leftover meat, so it’s already cooked- chop it to a size similar to the veggies. Mince the garlic, and scramble the eggs. Finally, mix the soy sauce and the worcestershire.
Make the rice: Heat a pretty large flat bottom skillet to medium high heat (I like to use non-stick for this, or plenty of oil). Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and, after a minute, add the carrots and celery. Cook for about two minutes and add the onion. Move the veggies in the pan frequently. Once the onion starts to get a little translucent, add the peppers and edamame, and saute for a minute, then add the meat and garlic. Make sure the pan is very hot, then add another swirl of oil, and the rice (note: it’s important to use cooked and cooled rice, here so it doesn’t stick- we usually use day old leftover rice). Once the rice is in the pan, move it around rapidly with two wooden spoons; the goal is to coat evenly with oil, and to prevent burning. Turn the pan down to medium and push the rice and veggies to the sides, so there’s a well in the middle. Add the eggs and scramble in the center of the pan. Once the eggs are mostly cooked through, stir in the rice on the sides. When everything is mixed together, pour in the soy/Worcestershire mixture, and rapidly toss. Taste test, and add more soy or some pepper as needed. Enjoy!