Following on from my recipe for Chilli-basil aubergine & sweet potato noodles I posted last week, you can probably tell I’m on a bit of an Asian-inspired recipe phase at the moment.
Today I wanted to share a little something that has become a classic over the years here at Don’t Feed After Midnight HQ: a healthy and delicious vegetable fried rice with crushed peanuts.
I am a huge fan of fried rice for 3 main reasons. The first reason is quite obvious: it tastes so damn good, plain and simple. The sweetness of the rice, the crispiness of the stir-fried vegetables and the delicate saltiness of the soy sauce: it just works so wonderfully well together.
Also, it’s a fabulous way to use up leftovers or small quantities of vegetables that wouldn’t be enough for other dishes. Cold rice from the night before? Brilliant! 2 carrots that are starting to go a little soft? Throw them in! Tiny amount of peas left in the freezer? Throw it in! It’s the kind of dish that I normally whip up towards the end of the week: it stops me from wasting money on a take-out (plus it’s a billion times healthier!) and it allows me to use up whatever is left in the fridge before the next food shop.
Finally, everything comes together in 15-20 minutes so, overall, it’s always a winner!
For today’s recipe, I wanted something that would be lovely to be served as a side dish but also a vegetable fried rice that would be good enough to be served as a quick and healthy dinner itself.
I added some all spice to my basic recipe for a warming effect (3/4 of a teaspoon may not seem like much but it’s so powerful a small amount really goes a long way!) and crushed roasted peanuts for extra crunch…oh guys, you’re in for a treat!!
So next time you’re tempted to order a take-away, check what’s lurking in the back of your fridge first – you could whip up something mega tasty without spending a penny more!
- 240g basmati or long-grain rice (uncooked weight) or 650g cold leftover rice
- 80g unsalted peanuts
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into small squares
- 100g frozen petit pois
- 200g chestnut mushrooms, cut into thick slices
- ¾ tsp all spice
- 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- If you’re using leftover rice, skip to step 2. Alternatively, cook the rice according to package instructions in a pan of boiling water and drain well. Run it under a cold tap to cool, then spread it on a large plate or tray and allow to cool in the fridge.
- Toast the peanuts by placing them in a small pan and cooking them over low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Let them cool down slightly then use a mortar and pestle to crush them into small pieces. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, put the peanuts in a freezer bag, seal it and put it on a hard, flat surface. Then bash them to your heart's content use a heavy object such as a rolling pin and set aside.
- Heat the oil over high heat in a wok or large frying pan. Add garlic, chilli, carrots and peppers and cook together for 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the frozen peas and mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes until the peas are soft and the mushrooms are cooked through but still firm.
- Add the all spice and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and continue cooking for another minute to let the vegetables absorb the flavours.
- Tip the cold rice into the pan and add the crushed peanuts, the spring onions and the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Keep frying and stirring until the rice is steaming hot. Check for seasoning and add salt, pepper or soy sauce if required and serve straight away.
I decided to keep this yummy little dish vegan but, if you wish, you can also add 2 eggs for extra richness. Simply beat them and add them to the wok once the rice has warmed through. Continue stirring until the egg is fluffy and cooked through.
Love Asian-inspired dishes? Then you might like my Chilli-basil aubergine & sweet potato noodles!
Do you have any tips for making amazing fried rice? What are your favourite veggies to throw into the mix? Pop your comment into the box below!