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I made what I consider a delicious batch of vegetarian friend rice for supper tonight, and since I was writing it up anyway in the hope of being able to reproduce it in the future, I thought I'd share it here as well.

Dietary note: I made this with egg, so it's not vegan, but it would probably be pretty tasty without egg, with extra cabbage, or with some crumbled tofu.

Accessibility note: This dish involves several preparation steps including pre-cooking the rice and pre-making the sauce. It also requires chopping (although you could use pre-chopped or grated carrots and pre-shredded cabbage to cut down on that) and ten to fifteen minutes of standing over a hot wok or skillet stirring.

The sauce I used come from my favorite cookbook, Audrey Alsterburg and Wanda Urbanowicz, ReBar Modern Food Cookbook, and it's great for general stir-fry purposes too. Here's the recipe:



Soy Chile Sauce

(NB: I usually make a half-batch of this, and the rice only uses part of that)

Ingredients:

3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) red chile flakes
1 tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
3/4 cup (180 mL) soy or tamari sauce
3/4 cup (180 mL) vegetable stock or water (I always use water)
1/4 cup (60 mL) honey (substitute brown sugar for a vegan version)
2 tsp cornstarch, whisked with 1/2 cup (120 mL) cold water

Directions:

1) Heat oils and sauté garlic and chile flakes until garlic is golden (this happens very quickly; I have burned the garlic and had to start over a lot of times). Pour in the soy sauce and stock/water, and bring to a simmer.

2) Stir in the honey and bring the sauce to a boil, then whisk in the cornstarch/water mixture. Cook for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened and glossy (it doesn't usually take five minutes for this, in my experience). Cool. Keeps for up to a week in the fridge.

Makes 2 1/4 cups (560 mL).



Here's the recipe for the rice:



Vegetarian Fried Rice

Ingredients:

3–4 cups (750 mL–1 L) cooked rice (I used brown basmati; feel free to substitute your preferred rice), cooled, preferably overnight.
3 eggs
Cooking oil (vegetable, canola, peanut, or similar)
2–3 carrots, peeled and reasonably finely chopped
2 leaves Napa cabbage, reasonably finely chopped
1 7 oz (200g) can corn kernels
1 cup (250 mL) bean sprouts (or thereabouts)
1/2–2/3 cup (125–160 mL) soy chili sauce

Directions:

1) Crack the eggs into a dish and beat them lightly.

2) Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet or wok on medium-high heat (I used a wok). Determine the precise temperature based on what your pan can take and how brave you're feeling (really hot woks and skillets are extremely daunting to me, anyway). Swirl the oil around the bottom and sides of the wok or skillet, especially if you've been too lazy to properly season your wok, like me.

3) Pour the eggs into the wok and scramble them to your preferred consistency, breaking them into small bits to the extent that that seems good to you. If you have girded yourself to use a really hot pan, this will not take long. Before eggs scorch, dump them into a dish (preferably not the one you beat the eggs in - food safety!) and set them aside.

4) Scrape the remaining eggy bits out of the wok/skillet to the extent you can. Add a little more oil. Put wok back on heat and add carrots, then napa cabbage, then corn. Cook for a few minutes, then stir in bean sprouts. Cook vegetables for several minutes, stirring constantly, until any liquid in the pan has evaporated and they start to sear and brown a little where they touch the pan.

5) Add rice, mix with vegetables, be brave if the rice sticks to the pan a little, and keep stirring until the rice is heated through, and ideally, developing some slightly burned crispy bits.

6) Pour the sauce over the rice and vegetables, and cook for a few more minutes, either until the fried rice is as dry as you'd like it to be, or you get tired of stirring, or you otherwise decide it's done.

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