I consider myself a master of using leftovers! This comes from years of restaurant, and crew cooking. In the restaurants many places I worked at fed the employees on the leftovers from the night before. Since many of the employees were close friends of mine there was an added incentive to making the employee meal taste good.
In the Coast Guard and on the offshore oil platforms I would often incorporate the leftovers into soup from the previous days meals. One of the best ways I found to use leftovers was in fried rice. There would be leftover steamed rice quite often and it’s perfect for using in fried rice the next day. If there was some roast chicken, pork or steamed shrimp all the better. Many cultures from Asia, and even Ecuador have their own versions of fried rice. The best thing about making fried rice from leftovers is it’s really quick and a one pot meal too!
I got home from a three day trip to New York City late last night and figured I’d post a good one pot/pan meal today for all of you that love to eat well with less time in the kitchen. I had in my fridge 2 1/2 cups of leftover brown rice, 1 cup of cooked lobster claws, and some green onions that all needed to be used soon. The stage was set and off to work in the Fast and Furious Test Kitchen I went. It took all of 5 minutes to get the vegetables cut and ready, then out came the wok. It took less than 15 minutes to whip up the fried rice and sit down to a tasty lunch without making a huge mess of the kitchen I had just cleaned up. Made with brown rice and lots of vegies this is a healthy fast meal that can be tweaked to please almost anyone. Just plan ahead by making extra rice next time you cook it for a dinner starch and plan on using the extra in the next 3-4 days for a yummy fried rice main dish or side. I think you will agree that this is a winner.
Lobster or Shrimp Fried Rice
2 teaspoons peanut, or canola oil
1/2 cup yellow onion diced small,(about the size of a pea) or slice green onions will do
1/2 cup celery diced small
1/2 carrots diced small
1 small clove fresh garlic minced
1 pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
1 cup lobster, shrimp, or tofu cooked or raw
2- 2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice, but white rice will do
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce, regular or low sodium
In a wok or fairly large saute pan on medium high heat add one teaspoon of the oil and the garlic and cook stirring for 1/2 minute.
If using raw lobster or shrimp add now and cook for 3 minutes stirring on medium high heat.
Add celery, carrots, pepper flakes, and yellow onion, and cook stirring on medium high heat for three minutes,see note*
If using cooked lobster or shrimp add now and cook on medium high heat for 3 minutes.
Remove from pan and set aside.
Wipe pan then return to medium high heat.
Add the last teaspoon of oil and rice.
Cook stirring for 3-4 minutes then add the lobster and vegetable mix.
Cook stirring on high heat for, you guessed it, 3 minutes or until everything is hot.
Add soy sauce and stir in well while cooking on medium heat 1-2 minutes or until soy sauce is well distributed and the fried rice is piping hot.
Serves 4 as a side dish.
If using green onions add after the celery, and carrots have cooked for 3 minutes.
Many vegetables go well with this dish. Consider adding with the celery and carrots:
1/2 cup cubed zucchini or yellow squash
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup fresh shitake mushrooms
Makes a good vegan main dish when adding tofu and extra vegetables.