Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Simple Fried Rice and Chicken Spring Rolls....Leftover-Style

Ever get to the point where you have a fridge full of food, and yet nothing to eat? I found myself in such a situation over the weekend, which lead into a full-fledge fridge-busting operation. I had disposed of my half-head of cauliflower thanks to this soup that I made, but that didn't make much of a dent in my mish-mash of random ingredients. Or were they so random after all....?

I am occasionally amazed at how everything can come together, and this is one of those times. What started as "oh what the hell, just throw everything into a pot" turned into a rather cohesive meal, if I do say so myself. Leftover rice and ridiculous assortment of halves of veggies turned into fried rice. Cabbage slaw left over from one meal and chicken from another combined with a quick Asian dressing to make fresh spring rolls. I had myself a real dinner!

The final product will depend on the ingredients you have on hand, and I have left the ingredient lists somewhat vague to facilitate this. In the fried rice, I personally had on hand 1/2 zucchini, 1 carrot, half a jar of pickled baby corn, 1/4 of a red bell pepper, some celery, and half an onion. Your fridge contents and veggie preferences should lead you, though.This is one of the things that makes cooking fun!

Simple Fried Rice


2 tbs peanut oil

3 c vegetables of choice, julienned or sliced to be about the same size

1 tbs tamari

1 tbs hoisin sauce

3 cups prepared rice

1 egg

1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

2 tsp sesame oil


Heat the peanut oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables, and stir fry for 5 minutes, or until they start to soften. Add tamari and hoisin sauce, stirring quickly to coat the vegetables. Stir in the rice and continue to stir-fry until rice is heated through (about 5 minutes).

Beat the egg, salt, and pepper together. Add into the rice, constantly stirring. Once egg is incorporated, drizzle sesame oil over rice and toss to coat rice evenly. Add additional seasoning to taste. Remove from heat and serve. Makes about 6 1-cup servings.

Leftover Spring Rolls


1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tbs ginger, grated

1 tbs hoisin sauce

1 tbs tamari

1 tbs oyster sauce

1 tbs olive oil

1 tsp cumin

1 chicken breast, cooked, diced

2 c cabbage salad

8 spring roll wrappers, soaked according to package directions


Whisk together garlic, ginger, hoisin, tamari, oyster sauce, oil, and cumin in a medium bowl. Toss the chicken with the dressing to coat. Add cabbage and toss to combine.

One at a time, lay a soaked spring roll wrapper flat on a cutting board. Using about half a cup at a time, arrange the filling on the rice paper to be wrapped. Roll the wrapper tightly around the filling, tucking the ends to the left and right toward the center as you go. Repeat until each wrapper has been filled.

At this point, you can deep fry the rolls to create a crispy texture, I personally prefer them as is. Makes 8 spring rolls.

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