I have been eating fried rice for as long as I can remember thanks to the fact that my mom LOVES this dish. During my childhood, there was one very popular, mom-and-pop type of Chinese restaurant from which my parents would order take out whenever my mom needed a break from cooking. And, even if we switched up the main entrees, my dad, sister and I always knew which side dish had to be in our order: fried rice.
Occasionally, my mom would make fried rice at home. But, considering how much she liked the dish, I expected her to make it more often than she did. However, after I discovered how tiring it can be to cook for a family at the end of a busy day, it occurred to me that my mom probably didn’t see it as a special treat if she had to make it herself. I, on the other hand, get excited about the idea of recreating a favorite dish at home and possibly even coming up with a healthier version than the one I enjoyed at a restaurant.
This is why I’ve been on mission for a while to figure out a way to make a fried rice dish that I really liked, that could double as a pre-activity main dish, AND that was easy to make. And, I think I have done that by creating this 15-Minute Chinese Fried Rice With Chicken And Vegetables recipe. Containing a combination of lean protein, vegetables and carbs, this yummy dish is the latest installment of the quick, one-skillet meals that make dinner time on busy days easier for me and my family. I’ve listed the ingredients and directions below in case you’d like to prepare it for your family. (FYI, this dish should be safe for someone with a soy allergy since I didn’t use soy sauce to make it.)
What You’ll Need To Make 15-Minute Chinese Fried Rice With Chicken And Vegetables (Six servings)
*1 cup of frozen green peas–Feel free to use leftover peas or fresh peas.
*1 cup of shredded carrots
*4 four large eggs
*2 cups of cooked rice–You can either microwave the suggested rice prior to using it or use leftover rice from the previous day’s lunch or dinner.
*2 cups of shredded cooked chicken breast–Chopped or cubed chicken breast could also be used.
*1/2 cup of chopped water chestnuts–If you can’t find chopped water chestnuts, the sliced variety will also work.
*4-5 tablespoons diced green onions–Use more if you really like green onions.
*Salt and pepper (to taste)
15-Minute Chinese Fried Rice With Chicken And Vegetables
1. Over medium high heat, heat the oil in a deep skillet or wok. Carefully add the frozen peas and shredded carrots. Cook the peas and carrots for 6 minutes or until the peas are heated through, stirring occasionally. (If you’re using leftover or fresh peas, you can reduce cooking time by 1 to 2 minutes.) Once they are done, transfer them to a bowl so they don’t overcook.
2. Blend the eggs together in a small bowl and then carefully add them to the skillet or wok that you used to prepare the peas and carrots. After they’ve begun to set, gently scramble them for approximately 4 minutes. (Note: Medium scrambled will be fine since the eggs will continue to cook after the other ingredients are added.)
3. Once the eggs are ready, return the carrots and peas to the skillet or wok and mix all ingredients together.
4 Add the cooked rice, cooked chicken, water chestnuts and green onions to the skillet or wok. Mix all ingredients together thoroughly, cover the skillet or wok (with the cover that came with it or with aluminum foil), and cook for 5 more minutes or until all ingredients are heated through. Stir the ingredients half-way through this step to prevent them from sticking. You could also drizzle 2 more tablespoons of sesame oil over the dish before covering it to decrease the chances of the food sticking to the bottom.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep in mind that, since soy sauce (which is salty) isn’t included in this recipe, you may want to add a little more salt than you may have used or seen in other fried rice recipes. By the way, the absence of the soy sauce means the rice will be lighter in color than it usually is in other recipes.
6. Fill bowls with heaping spoonfuls of the fried rice and enjoy!
Additional Add-Ins: You could add a cup of baby corn or bean sprouts to the skillet or wok as you’re sauteing the peas and carrots.
Protein Substitutions: If I didn’t want to use chicken or didn’t have any on hand, I would use leftover steak cut into bite-sized pieces. You could also use peeled, deveined, cooked shrimp (with the tails removed) or leftover pork chops cut into cubes.