Farmers Market Fried Rice

As promised, here is the Farmers Market Fried Rice recipe I shared on Facebook last weekend. According to the folks at Le Creuset, it was declared “the best fried rice they ever tasted”. That’s compliments enough for me!
In this version, we used baby bok choy, baby bell peppers, and sugar snap peas as the veggies. If these are not currently in season, feel free to use whatever looks best at your local market. Any three to four cup combination of colorful vegetables will work equally well in this quick, easy, and versatile dish. (Be sure to still saute the vegetables one at a time! This will allow the skillet to stay hot, giving your veggies the crisp-tender texture you expect from your favorite take-out joint.)
If the addition of strawberry preserves perplexes you, fear not. Most traditional fried rice recipes call for ingredients such as oyster sauce, bright red sweet and sour sauce, or other sauces loaded with high fructose corn syrup, artificial food dyes, and genetically modified ingredients. Basically, the point of these ingredients is to slightly thicken and sweeten the sauce. Organic strawberry preserves works just as well, is more affordable, and uses ingredients you will feel proud to feed your friends and family.
For convenience, this recipe calls for precooked chicken and rice. If your fridge and freezer are lacking in the leftovers department, you can easily roast a couple of chicken breasts at the same time and temperature that you are baking your rice. This can easily be done up to three days ahead of time, perfect for weekend batch baking.
Other than that, have fun, play around with your favorite ingredients, and get excited to master a basic technique that will allow you to feed your family fresh, affordable, and seasonal cuisine all summer long!
Farmers Market Fried Rice

Ingredients (serves four to six):
For the stir-fry:
3     cups cooked shredded chicken
6     baby bell peppers (or 1 large bell pepper)
2     baby bok choy
1     cup sugar snap peas
2     eggs
2     tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1     tsp sesame oil
3     cups cooked brown rice, heated
1     inch piece fresh ginger
4     cloves garlic
3     green onions
For the stir-fry sauce:
2     tbsp + 1 tsp fish sauce
2     tbsp toasted sesame oil
1     tbsp organic soy sauce
1     tbsp strawberry preserves
1½  tsp organic cane sugar
¼    tsp crushed red pepper  
Preparations (20 minutes, can be done up to a day ahead):
Prepare your stir-fry sauce: In a small bowl or ramekin, whisk together all ingredients listed under “for the stir-fry sauce. Cover and refrigerate if not using within the hour.
Mince your ginger, garlic, and green onions: Peel, trim, and mince a 1-inch piece of ginger, 4 cloves garlic, and 3 green onions. Cover and refrigerate if not using within the hour.
Prepare your produce: Trim and thinly slice 2 baby bok choy, 1 cup of baby bell peppers, and 1 cup of sugar snap peas. Cover and refrigerate if not using within the hour.
Instructions (20 minutes, mostly hands-on):
Heat a large deep skillet or wok over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.
When skillet is hot, lightly scramble your eggs: Pour 1 tsp (eyeball it) toasted sesame oil into hot skillet. Lift and swirl skillet to allow oil to coat the pan. Add whisked eggs and stir until they are lightly scrambled, about a minute. Transfer eggs to a large bowl.
Prepare your fried rice: Pour 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil into now empty skillet. Add bok choy to skillet and stir-fry for about a minute. Transfer to the bowl with eggs. Add an additional teaspoon olive oil and bell peppers to skillet. Stir-fry them for about a minute.  Transfer them to the large bowl as well. Repeat the process one more time with the snap peas. When all veggies have had their turn in the skillet, add remaining tbsp of olive oil, minced ginger, garlic, and green onions to skillet. Stir fry for about 30 seconds. Pour hot cooked rice over aromatics and gently press rice into skillet. Allow it to crisp up for about a minute. When the first minute has passed, go ahead and stir-fry the rice for an additional 30 seconds. When most of the oil has been absorbed, add prepared veggies, chicken, eggs, and sauce.  Toss to combine and continue to stir-fry for an additional 2 – 3 minutes, until all ingredients are heated throughout. 
Getting it on the table: Pour contents of skillet into a large serving bowl. Serve and enjoy! (I don’t think it gets much simpler than this.)
Notes: This meal is kid-friendly, quick, easy, and a great way to use up leftover chicken and rice. Does it get any better than that? When visiting the farmers market, allow your kiddos to help select the vegetables they think look best. If kids have control over the vegetables they are going to be eating, there is a much greater chance that they will go back for more. If you choose to use a different variety of veggies than the recipe calls for, please note that you are looking for 3 – 4 cups of mixed raw veggies. In the wintertime, we’ve even prepared this dish using mushrooms, frozen carrots, and peas. Vegetarians can double the number of eggs, omit the chicken, and use additional soy sauce in place of the fish sauce. This dish is naturally nut-free. Those sensitive to gluten can proceed as written using gluten-free soy sauce. 

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Comments

  1. I love fried rice and adding fresh veggies can only help. This sounds amazing! Great info on oyster sauce, I never buy it because I personally don’t like it. I love the strawberry preserves as substitute though!

    • Thanks Cassie! Honestly, I don’t even know if I’ve ever tried oyster sauce. My mom used to make Moo Shu Pork when we were young, maybe then? I just knew I wasn’t a fan of the ingredients. Glad you liked the strawberry preserves addition! 🙂

  2. Wow! You are amazing!! Thank you for sharing your gift with all of us 😉 ~Brooke

  3. Katie,
    Tried this the day you posted it. Everyone loved it, I substituted a few fresh vefggies from our garden (chard for bok choy) and I had some party pan squash from the organic farmers market. Thanks so much for sharing, it was fun to make and fairly easy!

    • Thanks for the feedback! I am so glad you enjoyed it! I think I’m going to try a kale version for a class I’m teaching at the City Market in a couple of weeks. So glad the chard worked as it is so similar!

  4. This has easily become my favorite recipe of yours! It’s versatile, uses on-hand ingredients, and has unmatched flavor!! The strawberry preserves are perfectly hidden among the sauce ingredients to the point where my children are frustrated with me that I didn’t double the recipe!! 2 of my children are new to our family as of April and are more hesitant about most veggies, but I can hide ANY veggie in this dish and it be well received! 🙂 EXCELLENT dish!!!

  5. This is the most fabulous recipe. I make it at least once a week for my family. I cut up the veggies small so that no one will pick them out of the rice (which they did with the bok choy when it was whole). We substitute more boy choy and sugar snap peas instead of green peppers (since no one will eat those but me). As you can see, my picky eaters are super picky but they wolf down this fried rice.

  6. Colleen says:

    Any other substitution suggestions for the oyster sauce? I am allergic to strawberries.

    Thank you!

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  1. […] it makes perfectly good chicken to cook, shred, and freeze for the future. (White Chicken Chili, Farmer’s Market Fried Rice, and Chicken and Mango Thai Salad are some of our […]

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