Spring Vegetable Fried Rice

Casting about the kitchen yesterday, looking for something to eat or make, I realized I had a great bounty of mostly local vegetables: sweet sugar snap peas, crisp spring turnips, organic carrots (none local yet), young bulb onions, and a head of broccoli.

And then I saw the pot of leftover brown rice, the farm-fresh eggs, and I remembered the bottle of organic tamari (wheat-free soy sauce) I got from a friend moving out of town.  There was a bottle of dark sesame oil, too, from some farm friends encouraging me to make a palatable potluck dish out of the large quantities of kale they’re growing.

I’m a condiment collector, so the high-quality soy sauce and dark sesame oil were good scores for living in a place that doesn’t tend to have a lot of non-Midwestern standards–dark sesame makes pretty much everything taste good, and tamari is a good depth-creating substitute for plain old salt.

My technique is pretty simple–heat the pan (I have an electric stove, so I just use a big frying pan instead of a wok) on medium-high heat and add canola or peanut oil, and the vegetables in order of their relative densities/cooking times. Add some spices if you want–ginger, hot pepper, or whatever.

Take the veggies out when they’re still crispy, add more oil, then the rice, and cook it til somewhat crispy–then flip and pour in a couple beaten eggs.  Scramble the rice and eggs, turn off the heat, add the veggies back, and serve with condiments of your choosing.

What’s really good is to roll up a little rice in a shiso (aka perilla) leaf–or a big basil leaf. I got a few shiso plants from a friend’s high tunnel this spring after failing a couple of times to start it from seed–it has a great cumin-y flavor, and it’s pretty, too.



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