“If you’re looking for a meal that’s got everything – and is also cheap and easy – look no further than right here. House Style Fried Rice is the answer to your lazy-night-dinner-prayers.”
I found this article a while ago about why everyone should have a “house meal” – something that you always have the ingredients for and everyone likes so that, if you’re ever at a loss for dinner – at least you got that.
We joked that if we ever had a house meal that it would be rice because we go through a whole bunch of rice. Foots and I eat a lot of very lazy Japanese food – ochazuke, gyoza, temaki – and so having a cup or two of cooked white rice on hand is a must for us.
Well, the other day we were cooking – and we found it. Our house meal is this fried rice. It is super easy, super simple, and can be made with things you have on hand.
We were looking at high protein meals (#proteinLife) and we found a version of fried rice that has veggies and flavor and chickpeas. What else could you want? So we made it ourselves – but added some additional ingredients and some flair.
Now, we did this in the mindset that we wanted to make things out of things we would have in our house even if we hadn’t gone shopping in a while. So most of the stuff is canned or “kitchen staples” (I always have carrots and onions in the house.)
So here it is! Gubs’ House Style Fried Rice!
Recipe // Gubs’ House Style Fried Rice
Warning: I am not a professional chef. I do not use exact measurements. I provide guidelines. Season everything to your own taste. Leave out what you want to eat. Add what you enjoy. Take your time. Make with care. Assemble. Prep. Cook!
Makes: 3 dinner meals for two hungry people (6 meals overall)
Time: 20-30 min Prep Time, 15 min Cook Time
Survives: 3 days in fridge
Bang for Buck: $$ // Each ingredient isn’t very expensive, but there are a few of them.
– 1 can of pineapple – the chunks version // This recipe is actually much better with fresh pineapple, so if you have it, great. If you can’t find it, canned will do.
– 3 carrots
– 5 cloves garlic
– 2 teaspoons ginger
– 3 tablespoons soy sauce (It’s gotta be Kikkoman)
– 1 can baby corn (15 oz)
– 1 can water chestnuts (8 oz)
– 1 can garbanzo beans (15 oz)
– 2.5 cups of short grain rice, preferably a day old
– If you don’t already have the rice cooked, go ahead and start that now. We have a rice cooker so just set and forget.
– Take the pineapple and strain it through a mesh. You’re also going to want to take the back of a metal spoon – or something you have good control over – and press out the remaining liquid. Don’t MAUL the pineapple or press it through the mesh – just get enough of the water out.
– Chop the carrots into small chunks – about nickel sized
– Mince the garlic
– Grate the ginger
– Rinse and drain the baby corn, the water chestnuts, and the chickpeas. Keep them all separate from one another.
– Take a wok over medium / medium high heat and add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan
– Make sure your pineapple is dry and then add it once the oil is hot. // The pineapple should sizzle, but not SPLATTER. If you’re getting splash back, crank that oil down a notch.
– Cook the pineapple until it gets slightly toasted on the sides. It should be golden brown – not black. If its black, it’s burnt. Throw that baby out.
– Once you’ve got a good color on your pineapple, take that out of the pan and set it aside. It can get cool – don’t worry.
– Now put in a little more oil – again enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Get it hot again.
– Add in your carrots and baby corn. Cook – while stirring slightly – until the carrots start to get tender. About 3 minutes.
– Add in garlic and ginger and roll the veggies in them. // We like our food with a lot of spices, so we added a few teaspoons of spicy red pepper flakes and “everyday Asian seasoning” (which is garlic, ginger, sesame, and a few other things.) Feel free at this point to add whatever you think might taste good.
– Cook one minute to get those spices activated
– Stir in the water chestnuts and wait until they start to lose their color – about 2 minutes
– Stir in the garbanzo beans and toast 2 minutes
– Stir in the pineapple from before and let it come to temperature
– Stir in as much rice as your wok/pan will hold and integrate well.
– Start touching the rice. When the rice has gotten hot – the same temperature as the rest of your veggies, sprinkle 3 and a half tablespoons of soy sauce. Integrate well.
– This is the point where you can season it to your taste. Needs more spicy? Needs more salt? Go ahead and figure out what you like and make it taste like that.
Eating Now // Serve immediately topped with white sesame seeds and shredded green onions. Eat with chopsticks or fork.
Eating Later // Heat up 1 tbsp veggie oil in wok. Wait until hot. Reheat only the amount of rice you’re going to eat. Continuously stir until rice is hot to the touch. Add in half a tablespoon for every serving of rice being reheating (.5 tbsp for 1 person, 1 tbsp for 2, etc). Serve immediately.
Scorecard // You’re going to eat this every week
Ease to Make: 4.5/5
The worst part of this is the prep – and the worst part of that is cutting the carrots. The worst part of this is that a lot of the cook time is standing next to the wok stirring it.
Time to Make: 4/5
Not bad at all. The worst part is waiting for the rice to cook.
This rice gets better with age. Day one it hasn’t really matured yet. Day two it’s at its prime. Day three, you’d just better eat it.
This has everything. The rice is salty. The chickpeas are nutty and toasty. The pineapple is sweet. If you add in the water chestnuts at the right time (too early and you overcook them – too late and they haven’t crisped up!) they should be crunchy and sweet.
Like I said in the top, this is our new House Meal. We’ve got an extra can of everything sitting in the pantry ready for a day when we go “Pizza or…?” and decide to eat a little healthier.
Final Judgement: 4.6/5
If you’re looking for a meal that’s got everything – and is also cheap and easy – look no further than right here. House Style Fried Rice is the answer to your lazy-night-dinner-prayers.