It’s true: Using cold, leftover rice seems to work best for making fried rice. If you can, make the rice the day before and store overnight in the fridge. Prep the vegetables before you start stir-frying, and this healthy dish cooks very quickly. I like combining the kale with Asian Napa cabbage, if available, not only for the lighter contrast; its water content helps the kale soften as it cooks. The fish sauce adds another depth of flavor and blends right in. For vegetarians, substitute a bit of hot sauce. Eat the fried rice for dinner with a soup, bring to lunch, or even enjoy for breakfast. The dish reheats nicely.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 1 cup short-grain brown rice (about 3½ cups cooked)
- 2 tablespoons coconut, canola or peanut oil, divided
- 2 cups kale (stripped from stalk, chopped into small bite-size pieces, and rinsed)
- 2 cups Napa cabbage, thinly sliced into bite-size pieces (about ½ head)
- 1 cup shredded carrot (1 to 2 carrots)
- 1 cup corn kernels (stripped from 1 ear corn)
- 2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten, or 1 cup diced extra-firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
- Make the rice the day before: Rinse the rice and place in a saucepan with 2 cups of water and two pinches of salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer on low, covered, for 38 to 40 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Do not stir or disturb while it cooks. When the rice is cooked, remove from the stove, and let sit for 5 minutes. Place in a bowl and refrigerate overnight after stirring a couple of times to release the steam. (To make on the same day, let the rice cool on a baking sheet until the steam is released and then refrigerate while you are chopping the vegetables.)
- When you are ready to fry the rice, place 1 tablespoon of your oil of choice in a wok or your largest heavy skillet. Add the kale and Napa cabbage and cook on medium-high heat, stirring constantly (I use tongs or two wooden spoons) for 2 minutes. Add the carrot, corn, ginger, and garlic and stir-fry for another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl. Add 2 additional teaspoons of oil to the same pan and scramble the eggs. (Alternatively, you can scramble the eggs in a separate nonstick pan.) Add the cold cooked rice, soy sauce, and fish sauce and mix well. Add the vegetables and stir until everything is hot. Serve immediately, and enjoy.