Leftover rice is that one thing that always seems present in the refrigerator and something nobody wants to touch.
And who can blame you for that? Rice tastes different microwaved or reheated, most of the time it’s leftovers just sit in our refrigerators, tucked away at the back only to be discarded a few days later.
Well, rice isn’t the most expensive of foods you can buy out there, it’s one of the reasons why most of it’s leftovers goes to waste in our homes.
Another reason might be not actually knowing what to do with leftover rice, apart from nuking it in a microwave and enjoying it as leftovers, accompanied by a stew of choice.
What if I told you that you don’t have to throw away your leftover rice?
Rice is so versatile, a blank canvas and can be freshened up, creating a totally different meal that can hold its own when presented on a dining table.
My go to method whenever I want to revamp my leftovers is you guessed it, ‘fried Rice’
Your options are limitless when it comes to fried rice, anything and I mean anything literally can go into it and come out mouth watering delicious and fresh.
My inspiration for this recipe was from my Njahi Curry recipe that I enjoyed with rice. Some of that rice ended up in my refrigerator as leftovers.
also with me were some veggies laying around from previous use, and that’s what I used to add colour, crunch and flavour to my fried rice.
I almost never miss out on sweet bell peppers especially in my stir-fries, there were no exceptions in this recipe.
Carrots done properly, adds a different texture, sweetness and crunch to your stir-fry.
Fried rice and any stir-fry in particular requires cooking over high heat in as little time as possible.
If using carrots in a stir fry, always chop it up into small equal cubes or juliennes for quick and even cooking.
I also had a handful of French beans and thought why not, this recipe is basically one that you can use to rid your fridge off any leftovers that can’t otherwise be used as they are.
Also not forgetting my aromatics.
Ginger, garlic and onions, is it even a stir-fry without ginger and garlic ?
Onto the spices, and it’s here that you get to see how my fried rice recipe has an influence of both India 🇮🇳 and China 🇨🇳, hence the term Indo-Chinese.
I had going some, curry powder, cumin seeds, turmeric, Chilli powder and coriander.
I went with an array of vibrant, warm and fragrant spices, with a little bit of heat in there, which is totally optional, but for me, it’s not a curry without the heat.
Alongside the spices and aromatics, I included some soy and oyster sauce, that I tell you, was the game changer, not taking away anything from the spices.
Stir-Fry requires high heat and shorter cooking times.
Let your pan/wok be smoking hot before putting anything on it.
Since I was using raw cumin seeds, I went in with them first and as soon as they crackle and start to pop, throw in the onions alongside the ginger and garlic.
Before proceeding, it’s worthwhile noting that cold rice works best in any fried rice recipe.
Desist from using freshly cooked rice or end up with soggy ‘ugali’ like stir-fry.
Cold rice that has been sitting in the refrigerator works best, it has less moisture content and won’t hinder the frying process once it hits the pan.
I always go a step further and dry my cold rice in a hot wok to get rid of any excess moisture.Doesn’t take long, as soon your rice starting to crackle, it’s ready to be used.
After the onion has cooked for a minute, I proceeded and added in my diced carrots alongside my dry spices.
You want all your hard veggies in at this point to allow them more time to cook.
Keep turning and tossing u Dee high heat until all the carrots are coated by the curry and the spices are fragrant and aromatic.
Then in goes our soft veggies in sweet bell peppers and French beans.
Keep flipping, tossing and turning under high heat, charting the veggies making sure they are not steaming but rather frying.
Stir-Frys, are best done in batches and overcrowding the pan is a common mistake and the results are usually not so good.
After 2-3 minutes it’s time to go in with our rice.
You will notice how the rice changes color once it hits the hot pan and the curried veggies, all that even before adding in the soy & oyster sauce.
Looks good to eat enough already?
Keep flipping and tossing until the rice just about starts to stick at the bottom of the pan.
Then in goes our soy, oyster mixture, coat everything in the sauce and serve sizzling hot.
- 2 cups Rice
- 1 cup carrots
- 1 cup bell peppers
- 1 cup French beans
- 1/2 cup red onions
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon Chilli powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Mince your garlic and ginger, julienne your onions, cube your carrots and peppers into almost equal sizes.
- chop you green beans into almost equal bite size pieces.
- Heat up a wok/pan over high heat, fry your rice in the hot dry pan until it starts to crackle, take off the heat.
- Add a tablespoon of cooking oil in the smoking hot wok, throw in the cumin seeds and once they start to crackle and pop, add in the onions alongside the ginger and garlic. Stir-fry this for a minute until the onions are translucent and fragrant.
- Next, goes in the carrots alongside the dry spices in curry powder, coriander, turmeric and Chilli powder.
- Stir-fry until the carrot is cooked but with a bite and crunch to it 1-2 minutes. Once you start smelling the fragrant oils from the spices, it’s time to go in with the soft veggies.
- Add in the French beans with the sweet bell peppers and fry until heated through, this wont take long, 1-2 minutes.
- Fry in the rice until it crackles and starts to just stick at the bottom of the pan.
- Finally mix in your soy and oyster sauce mixture ensuring it coats all the grains of rice with all its umami goodness.
- Take of the heat and serve hot.
Feel free to add in any protein of choice, be it be leftover chicken, beef or even beans to try and balance the diet.
All in all this was a little random experiment, that turned out into a fabulously delicious meal that I definitely will be making again, now you have no excuse not to enjoy this simple but flavorful Fried Rice Curry.