Intuitive Cooking: Oil-Free Fried Rice
If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you’ll know that the Husband and I love Chinese food. When I first became vegetarian fried rice was one of our go-to dishes because it was something we both enjoyed that didn’t contain meat. However, the fried rice that the Husband made (for some reason that was his dish) used an egg and a lot of oil.
We hadn’t made fried rice since I went vegan because I was afraid it just wouldn’t fulfill my expectation of what fried rice should be. Now I know better though, so I thought it was time to give it a shot. In addition to not eating eggs anymore, I also don’t much care for adding additional oil to my dishes much either (though I’m not firmly against it by any means). So, my task was set before me: recreate one of my fav Chinese foods without two of the main ingredients – oil and egg.
It seemed like a somewhat difficult task to undertake, but it was a really good exercise in thinking outside of the box for me. I’m glad I decided to give it a whirl because along the way I realized that there are plenty of other reasons I love fried rice that had nothing to do with the egg or the oil: 1) The rice – it’s such a great vehicle for any flavor you can imagine (snozberries anyone?) and it is quick and easy to make, 2) The veggies – You can throw any veggie you like into fried rice and get a great result. Also, rice makes veggies taste better – I’m certain of it. It also gets kids to eat their veggies more easily, 3) The salt – the saltiness of the soy sauce makes fried rice one of my favorite savory dishes and it pairs nicely with any kind of light and cool side dish.
I love taking a deeper look at dishes I used to eat without a thought because it allows me to appreciate the nuances that made me like it in the first place. And in the case of fried rice, it helped me see beyond what I thought were the main focus – oil and eggs – and get to the reasons why I really love the dish.
Anyway, enough of my ranting. Onto the recipe. As per the usual, the dish is perfect for experimenting because the rice does such a good job of enhancing your favorite flavors. Also, you can throw in any veggie you have leftover in your fridge – though something with a bit of a firmer texture holds up better in this dish. You could also do a variation of this and add some fried tofu or tempeh for a heartier meal.
And, if you really do like adding oil to your dishes, then by all means do so. I’m not the oil police and these intuitive cooking posts should encourage you to experiment and cook in whatever way feels right to you – so go on with your bad self and hit the kitchen – now!
Any fun festivities planned for tomorrow? Can’t wait for my first race of the season and for some traditional St. Patrick’s Day fare!