Chicken Fried Rice

Chicken Fried Rice |

I’m a glass half empty kind of a girl. I don’t know why. By and large, I’ve led a charmed life in relative comfort and am now married to a man who loves me to pieces. And yet, I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. This amuses and bemuses my husband, because he is quite the opposite, my eternal optimist. It’s a good thing I suppose. It would probably be a real bummer being married to a fellow buzzkill.

Now just imagine a month where everything goes wrong – the kind of month that would reinforce the disposition of a girl like me. Things that could go wrong did go wrong; things that I was totally unprepared for happened; so much time was wasted trying to resolve the said things; and I was busier than ever. I’m not trying to be cryptic. I just don’t want to bore you with the details. I will just say, it involved negligence/incompetence by an attorney (no, it wasn’t yours truly πŸ˜‰ ). And we’re still in the process of resolving it.

When sh*t hits the fan, last thing I want to do is cook. I want to be left alone to brood. But I did manage to eek out some meals at home. One of the dishes I managed to make was chicken and vegetable fried rice. It’s one of those dishes that feels like a big hug, and a there-there with a comforting pat on my back. Much needed, I must say.

I tried to make it similar to the fried rice my mom used to make for me when I was a kid. As with most things here, it is very quick and simple to make. This probably makes about 3-4 servings, but we polished it off, just the 2 of us. And of course, lots of wine was had. Some hangovers were suffered. And my eternal optimist saw the brighter side of things.

Me? I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop and hoping for a more peaceful (if not mundane) April.

Chicken Fried Rice Prep |

Chicken & Vegetable Fried Rice |

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Fried Rice Recipe
Makes enough for 2 hungry people
1/4 onion, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
5-6 button mushrooms, sliced thinly
~3 1/2 cups day-old rice (or long-grain rice)
1-2 TB tamari
1 TB butter (optional)
1 cooked chicken breast, cubed
1/4 – 1/3 cup frozen peas
2 eggs, lightly beaten (optional)
salt & pepper
canola or grapeseed oil for cooking
green onion for garnish
ketchup and/or sriracha

  1. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add about a tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add chopped garlic, onion, and carrot to the pan and sautΓ©. Add a pinch of salt.
  2. Once the chopped onion becomes translucent and the carrot softened, add the mushrooms. Increase heat and sautΓ© mushrooms until the mushrooms are golden brown. Add a pinch of salt. Make sure the heat is high enough to prevent “sweating” of the mushrooms. Add peas and chicken. Stir until heated through, just about a minute.
  3. Add rice and mix until well combined. Spread out the rice mixture thinly on the pan. Let it sit until the rice turns gold brown, just couple of minutes. Once golden brown, mix well. If you are not using eggs, go to the next step. If you are using eggs, push the rice to the edge of the pan, making a well in the middle of the pan. Add a drizzle of oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the beaten eggs. Let it sit until it JUST sets. When it just sets, break up the egg with a wooden spatula and mix the egg into the rice.
  4. Add 1-2 TB of soy sauce, and butter if using. Mix well. Add green parts of the scallion and a healthy dose of fresh black pepper. Remove from heat immediately. Mix to combine.
  5. Divide among 2-4 bowls. If needed, add salt to taste. Drizzle with ketchup and/or sriracha if desired.* Serve while hot.

Cook’s Note*:

I use brown rice for this recipe for added fiber. But regardless of color, rice should be drier and not too sticky when cooking fried rice. I have used just-cooked, long-grain brown rice when I didn’t have any cold rice available. They are naturally drier in texture.

You can use either ketchup (for kids) or sriracha. I usually mix the two. You can adjust the proportions depending on your preference. Use more ketchup, if you want the sauce to be sweet. Use more sriracha, if you want the sauce to be spicy. You can also mix in some gochujang, in lieu of sriracha, if desired. When I was a kid, I used to enjoy ketchup with a little bit of worcestershire sauce mixed in.


28. March 2013 by gomo
Categories: Asian (Non-Korean), Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grains, Main Dish, Poultry | Tags: , , | 22 comments

Comments (22)

  1. I am the same way, in looking at the glass as half empty (but not too a drastic point). It helps us prepare for the worst.

    I don’t like cooking when I am in a bad mood either. It seems that the outcome with the taste of food can alter with your mood. No matter what I am making, the food I make always tastes better if I cooked in while being happy (made with lots of love). And when I am in a bad mood, even when using the same recipe/methods, the food comes out less tasty.

    I love fried rice. It is so quick and easy to make. It’s a comfort food that hugs you and leaves you feeling just a wee bit better after a bad day.

    • I feel like it’s “grumpy girls unite!” day today. πŸ˜€ I know what you mean. My pessimism is treated more like a source of comedy in my circles.

      We definitely don’t eat as well when I’m in one of my moods. It’s mostly dining out and takeouts. But I make an exception when it comes to fried rice. It is such a comforting dish with the familiarity that makes you feel just a little better. And I love that it takes just minutes to make. Thanks for the comment. I hope you are having a happy weekend.

  2. I’m a glass half empty kind of person too. My excuse is accountants need to have healthy skepticism to reign in overly optimistic CEO’s making crazy decisions πŸ˜‰ Anyway, if I wasn’t in the mood for cooking, I would just get take out food at a restaurant. You’ve shown an amazing effort there! πŸ˜€ It looks delicious. I thought it was Chinese takeway food you got delivered at first. I hope you get to resolve your issue soon.

    • Thanks Sue! I don’t think that’s pessimism at all. What you’re describing is totally warranted given the history and the trends that we are seeing today. You’re good. πŸ˜€ My brand of glass-half-empty is rooted in the mind of a part-time neurotic (so I’m told πŸ˜› ). Believe me, last thing I wanted to do was cook. But I didn’t have the energy to go out. It was delicious though. I hope you are doing well!

  3. Welcome to the world of opposites! My husband is the eternal pessimist and I’m the eternal optimist. Together I guess we’re realists. πŸ™‚ It works but can be quite amusing at times. Your chicken fried rice looks delicious! I actually made a similar dish last night and debated adding mushrooms. Now I wish I had. Yours looks better than mine.

    • Yes, it can get quite amusing. And I love how you put it! I will be sure to tell my hubs that together we are realists. He’ll love that. πŸ˜€ I’m sure your fried rice was super delicious. You are an amazing cook. Thank you for your kind words MJ!

  4. I’m a pretty optimistic person but I always do expect things to go wrong. πŸ˜‰ Because they so often do. But knowing that, I can plan for stuff so I’m prepared. Hope you get your issues resolved soon. Anyway, really nice recipe. Fried rice is such great comfort food – something I don’t make nearly often enough. Good stuff – thanks.

    • That means you are a perfectly balanced person John! You are an optimist with a healthy dose of realism. πŸ™‚ And thanks, we are hoping for a speedy resolution. I love fried rice. It’s my lazy/moody/need-a-hug day dish. Happy Easter!

  5. Hope you everything will pan out fine for you. My wife and I have been in a similar situation but we are trying our best to cope. On a happier note, I am happy to find out that I am not the only person that puts a few dashes of sriracha when eating fried rice. The recipe and pictures look fabulous! Thanks for sharing it.

    • I put sriracha (or gochujang) on everything. It makes most things better. πŸ˜€ Sorry to hear you are experiencing some bumps on the road. I hope things will work out for you too. I hope you had a nice weekend!

  6. Mmm, I think you gave me inspiration for dinner tonight! I’ve never considered the ketchup before, but may just give it a try:-)

    Here’s hoping April kicks off on a better foot!

    • Thanks Jess, I hope so too! March wasn’t so kind.

      I used to put ketchup on everything as a kid. Now, that obsession has transferred to sriracha and gochujang. So I mix ketchup and one of the spicy sauces. If you enjoy spicy foods, try it. It’s quite tasty. Hope you are doing well!

  7. What a beautiful dish !
    I like the combinations of all the flavors.

  8. I am sure you were comforted by this very fine looking rice dish. I hope your challenges are more or less resolved by now and you have more peace. I had a horribly busy week myself and was able to post only 1 recipe in April. Looking forward to more posts from you this April!

    • Thanks Julia~ I’ve only been eating comfort foods in the last few weeks. Things still have not come to a full resolution, but I’m trying to be sunnier than my usual curmudgeon self. They tell me attitude is half the battle. What do they know. πŸ˜‰ I’ve been so busy too that I haven’t been able to post anything yet this month. I’m soooo hoping for a little bit of free time next week. Hope you are doing well!

  9. Haha my husband is the same, he’s an optimist while I’m pretty pessimistic about a lot of things… When we started to date everyone was in shock as we’re total opposite. I’m serious type while my husband was like a party animal… anyway hope everything works out now and sorry to hear the struggle. It’s always nice to have your mom’s comfort food in such time.

    • I think some of my friends are still in shock! πŸ˜€ I found that opposites in certain personality traits really complement one another. Outlook on things is definitely one of them. One cautious and one spontaneous make a perfect blend in married life. So glad to hear other opposites are happily married. Have a wonderful week!

  10. Oh I am sorry that you were feeling down…I have many of those days not with the work since I am stay at home mom, but with my side of the family that sometimes I think I can’t take a breath of fresh air….they leave me speechless (not in a good way) and truly empty…but just like you i married someone who can cheer me up and find solution for just about anything.
    Your dish is delicious looking and perfect to kill the blues! I hope you are feeling better now!

    • Thanks Sandra. I completely understand what you mean about family and stress. We need to have a long conversation about this over wine one day. But I am glad that you have someone who can pick you up when you are down. I’m still dealing with the mess, but it will be in the past soon. I’ve only been eating comfort foods lately. It does make me feel a little better – along with my husband who basically puts on a comedy act when I’m down. πŸ˜€ Hope you are well!

  11. I’m the same way – and luckily my husband is also an eternal optimist. This fried rice dish looks so delicious. Rice and chicken seem like the perfect antidote to a bad week πŸ™‚

    • I believe people with different outlooks – but with similar fundamental values – make more compatible couples. I don’t think I can live with a downer like me! πŸ˜€ Yes, the chicken fried rice was perfect way to soothe my ailing soul. Thank you for your comment!

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