Fried rice is a great dish to add to your repertoire, and its easy to reinvent it regularly with what's on hand, what's seasonal, or what you have leftover in the fridge!
Fried rice is a great meal to have in your repertoire and there are countless variations in each culture. The best part about a dish like this is once you know the basic technique, you can reinvent it from week to week, featuring whatever ingredients are fresh, seasonal or pop up at the farmer's market. (You can also sub in leftovers!) Serve fried rice as a side or as the main event—thanks to the eggs and vegetables, it’s a balanced meal for a busy night. The recipe below, from The Feed Zone Table Cookbook, serves 4.
Eggplant + Onion Fried Wild Rice
- 2 cups wild rice
- 3 cups water (more if specified on package)
- olive oil
- 3 cups diced eggplant
- 1 cup minced white onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- freshly grated Parmesan
Start the rice and water in the rice cooker. If you don’t have a rice cooker, bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil and add the rice. Cover and reduce heat to low. Let simmer as directed on the package. Most wild rice varieties require 40–45 minutes to cook.
When the rice is about 20 minutes from being finished, prepare the other ingredients. Coat the bottom of a large nonstick sauté pan with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Add the diced eggplant, onion, and garlic and pan fry it until it becomes golden brown. The eggplant will soak up the olive oil, so add more if needed.
Add the eggs to the eggplant mixture, and scramble until firm. When the rice is finished cooking, add it to the eggplant mixture along with the salt, stirring until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat. Drizzle with sesame oil and sprinkle with Parmesan before serving.
Note: To use leftover white or brown rice in this dish, get a pot ready and add a splash of water to 3 cups cooked rice. Warm over medium heat with the lid on for 8–10 minutes, stirring periodically. The extra water will keep the rice from drying out and will help it cook up more evenly in the finished dish.