When I’m creating recipes for Tiny Kitchen Big Taste, I always try to create dishes for people who love big taste, but who might be:
- Tight on Time
- Tight on Space
- Tight on Budget
This Fried Rice recipe is one that hits the bullseye on all three!
Tight on Time
First, Fried Rice can be whipped up in a matter of minutes. Literally, if you have leftover rice from takeout, then “Winner, winner, fried rice dinner!” You’re already halfway there. If you don’t though, no problem! You can whip up a batch the traditional way and just spread it thin on a baking sheet to cool. This will help the steam dissipate faster. You could even pop it in the fridge for a bit to speed the process.
Personally, I have a tiny little rice maker. I use it alllllll the time. I never made rice that often before, but I thought I would try this little number: Tiny Kitchen Big Taste Rice Cooker. I bought it because I love rice and it is small. It only makes enough rice for a couple of people and perfect for my Tiny Kitchen.
It is one of the few gadgets that I think is worth taking up some space in my crazy-small apartment. No one is paying me to say this, but I love this little guy! Rice, water, a touch of salt (or chicken broth). Push the button and about 15 minutes later, cooked rice.
But if you don’t have a rice cooker or don’t want to make it on the stove, you have a ton of time-saving options. (They might cost you a touch more, but hey, in a lot of cases, time is money so it might be worth it to you.) There is microwavable rice (Nishiki Rice, Uncle Ben’s Jasmine Rice) that takes less than 2 minutes. There is also frozen rice (365 Everyday Value Frozen Jasmine Rice) and…wait for it…frozen rice with peas and carrots (Birds Eye Frozen Rice with Vegetables). Now this is just getting too easy.
Really, just use whatever you’ve got, but day-old rice works the best.
As for vegetables, of course I’m going to tell you to cut your own carrots. They do taste better…no doubt about it. But, if you need a time saver, yes, you can use the frozen peas and carrots combo (Cascadian Farm Frozen Peas & Carrots). I promise not to tell.
They do have canned peas and carrots, too. Usable in a pinch, but not recommended at all. Because they’re packed in water, they’re overly soft and they just don’t sauté up that well…as water is the enemy of a good fry. If this is all you have, let them drain and place them on a paper towel to dry.
As for the spices, like Ginger and Garlic. I love using fresh when I can…but I also recognize it can be a bit of a trade-off sometimes. So, in this recipe, I chose to use fresh Garlic and Ground Ginger. If you want to use all fresh, do it! You won’t hear me complaining. I also love using the Ginger Paste, but sometimes it’s a little harder to find and I never seem to use it all up before it expires. And I hate wasting food. But I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed by the Ground Ginger in this recipe…that’s why I decided to go that way.
As for Garlic, Garlic Powder can be used, but I do think you get better taste in this recipe with the fresh.
Tight on Space
In terms of space-saving, this Fried Rice recipe is a quintessential Tiny Kitchen Big Taste Recipe!
A cutting board and a frying pan and you’ve got a great meal. Can’t ask for much better if you’re making a home-cooked meal.
Tight on Budget
This one is important to me. Here in Los Angeles, things are crazy expensive. The amount my tiny studio apartment rents for each month is a mortgage payment on a newly-built 5-bedroom house in other parts of the country. Sooooo, I’m all about saving money and stretching my food dollar when I can. But you know, I never like to skimp on taste.
In total, even making a new batch of rice, this Tiny Kitchen Fried Rice recipe might cost you a buck…maybe two…for a ton of Fried Rice! I love that!
I don’t know about you, but I always have leftover rice from take-out….so I can save even more when I use it up in this recipe. This Fried Rice recipe is a great way to repurpose that into another meal.
Let’s talk protein and what makes this recipe substantial enough to be a meal. In this recipe, I am using Egg as the protein. By all means if you want to make it even more substantial, add an extra egg which is very inexpensive for a satisfying meal.
By all means, though, you could add fresh chicken breast that you’ve seasoned with salt and pepper and cut into small pieces. Just add it right after you sauté the garlic and the onions. Once it’s almost cooked, add the Carrots and the Peas.
If you have some frozen cooked chicken in the freezer (like Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken Breast Strips), that works great too! Again, another time-saver. Cut it up into smaller pieces and throw it in right after the Carrots and the Peas to bring up to temperature.
Extra Egg or Chicken are a great way to add even more substance to this great Fried Rice, but get creative and add whatever extra protein you like!
I absolutely LOVE Asian food, especially Fried Rice. This is a great go-to Tiny Kitchen Big Taste recipe that you can make as a main course or even as a hearty, tasty side dish!
I hope you try it out and let me know how it compares to the Fried Rice you get at a restaurant. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised how satisfying this Tiny Kitchen Big Taste recipe is…and how easy it is to make! And don’t forget to share your creation on Instagram! Tag us in it (@tinykitchenTV)…I love seeing what you cook up!
SO WHAT YOU'RE GONNA NEED IS:
- Prepare rice according to package directions, making it in advance and storing it in the refrigerator overnight. (Note: if you’re making a fresh batch to use immediately, spread cooked rice on a cookie sheet and let cool. This will help the steam to dissipate faster.)
- Remove Frozen Peas from the freezer.
- Chop Carrots into small bite-size pieces.
- Cut the Green Onions into 1/8 inch slices
- Press Garlic and set aside.
- Whisk one Egg.
- In a frying pan over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon of the Vegetable Oil. Add Egg, spreading it around the pan into a thin layer. Scramble up into small pieces and remove. Set aside.
- Wipe the frying pan clean and add remaining Vegetable Oil (about 2 teaspoons) and 1/2 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil. Add Green Onions and Garlic. Sauté until fragrant. (Note: if using fresh Ginger, add it with the Onions and Garlic.)
- Add Carrots and Peas and sauté until Carrots start to soften. Season with Ground Ginger.
- 10. Add Rice and sauté until warm and thoroughly coated in the oil. You’ll start to see some of the grains start to darken.
- 11. Turn off heat and add Soy Sauce. Mix until all the rice is a consistent color.
- 12. Add Scrambled Egg back in and mix thoroughly.