Fuss-free egg-fried rice for busy midweek mealtimes
With its take-away feel, this vegetable-packed dish will appeal to kids of all ages
Lilly Higgins’s home-made egg-fried rice
One of my new year’s resolutions is to incorporate as many vegetables as I can into each dish. While I love home-made tomato sauces for pasta and bolognese dishes that “hide” lots of vegetables, I also think we should celebrate vegetables.
They should be highlighted and not hidden – red cabbage, with its strikingly beautiful colour; sprouting broccoli that changes the cooking water blue; the amazing texture of savoy cabbage and the fresh flavours of raw carrots. These are all things that should be pointed out to children instead of masking them with cheese, smothering in ketchup or using cooking methods like mashing.
I try to involve my own kids where possible from picking out produce at the market or shop, peeling, washing or chopping and cooking. Picking herbs is a great job for small kids; they’ll get to choose, smell and pick the herbs, getting to know them on their own terms. I’ve avoided many a strop by giving my two-year-old a punnet of mushrooms and a butter knife and letting her work away with her own chopping board, even when mushrooms were not part of the plan for that night’s dinner.
I always hold back a little home-made pizza dough for them to play with or make their own. It’s a real stress-buster for them to use their hands and work with the dough.
This egg-fried rice was something I made in a hurry one night and I’ve been going back to ever since. Amazingly, all three of my kids ate it. I think the addictive umami of soy sauce had something to do with it. It has that take-away, fuss-free feel to it but is bursting with fresh flavour from the ginger, garlic, spring onions and salty soy sauce. The burst of fresh lime juice really lifts everything and works really well with the delicious shredded savoy cabbage. Add a tablespoon of kimchi if you have it or a spoonful of Katie Sanderson White Mausu Peanut Rayu for a kick of chili and sesame goodness.
This is of course the perfect dish to make with leftover rice. I usually use brown wholegrain basmati as I find there’s no need to use the less nutritional white rice. Leftover roast chicken, diced ham or prawns can be added to this but it’s really enough as is. It’s delicious with wide flat noodles in place of the rice too.
This is simple comfort food bursting with vegetables and clean flavours. Just what we need this time of year.
Egg fried rice with savoy cabbageServes 4
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely diced or grated
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and julienned
1/2 head savoy cabbage, finely shredded
250g wholegrain basmati rice, cooked
2 tbsp soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
3 spring onions, finely sliced
Heat 2tbsp of coconut oil over a low heat in a large shallow pan or wok. Add the garlic, ginger and onion. Sauté gently for a few minutes. Add the carrot sticks and cabbage. Stir gently to mix everything. Turn the heat up a little and stir fry for a few minutes.
Add the rice and cook till heated through, mixing gently. Create a well in the middle of the rice and crack in the eggs. Stir everything together. Add the soy sauce and lime juice. Combine everything and ensure the egg is just cooked. Tip into bowls and scatter with the chopped spring onion. Serve with a wedge of lime and soy sauce.