One of the most difficult but most rewarding skills to learn in the kitchen is the art of adapting. How do I take a recipe and adapt it to fit the produce I have in my refrigerator, or what is seasonal in my area?
Good question. It took us a long time to start to learn this skill. The hard part is, there is no simple answer. We could give you a list of “rules” (pair this with that, this could be a stand in for that), but they don’t mean a lot out of context. We’ve found the best way to learn is “just do it” — after lots of experimenting, you start to learn flavors, cook times, substitutions, and so forth (unless those of you who have been to culinary school have other secrets — we’d love to know!).
A comforting thing is that with fried rice, almost anything goes. We created this recipe specifically to fit vegetables we found at the Indy Winter Farmer’s Market (bok choy and carrots from Harvestland Farm and turnips from Full Hand Farm), but you can adapt this to whatever is seasonal in your area or happens to be in your refrigerator. Day old rice works best here, so make sure to cook some up beforehand. We adapted a recipe from our Green Mango Cafe cookbook to fit our needs (and, an exciting announcement on that tomorrow).
Speaking of announcements, here’s one for today:
Want To (e)Hang Out?
What are you doing next Saturday, March 9 at 4:30 pm, EST? To celebrate our first month of Healthy + Whole, we are teaming up with our friend Erin from Naturally Ella to have a live video Q+A (Google Hangout) to answer all your questions about cooking and eating whole foods (or food blogging / photography, if you wish). We’ll send more information shortly, but please — let us know if you are interested! To start, you can follow us on Google Plus by clicking here.
- ½ yellow onion
- 1 large garlic clove
- 3 carrots
- 2 turnips
- ¼ small cabbage
- 4 small bok choy heads
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 4 cups cooked brown rice, at least one day old
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Dice the onion, and mince the garlic. Peel the carrots and turnips, then dice them. Shred the cabbage. Chop off the bottoms of the bok choy, then thinly slice (chiffonade) the leaves.
- In a large skillet or wok, heat 2 tablespoons sesame oil. Saute the carrots, onion, and turnips 2 minutes. Add the bok choy and cabbage and saute for 2 minutes. Add the 2 eggs and scramble them in for 1 minute. Add the garlic, ½ cup peas, 4 cups rice, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, ½ to 1 tablespoon additional sesame oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Heat, stirring, until all rice is coated. Serve hot.