Sesame Soy Wild Striped Bass Over Brown Fried Rice
In the wake of Sandy, it finally paid to live uptown on the not so hip Upper West Side. We were fortunately spared from any harm, but it is truly devastating to see what happened to this much beloved city and the surrounding areas. It is also truly awe-inspiring to see the resilience, devotion, and compassion that New Yorkers have shown for one another.
As a former waitress, I felt a deep empathy for the downtown restaurant industry and the thousands of dollars in losses that the front and back of house lost. So to do my part, I recently ate downtown and will continue to support those restaurants and businesses affected by this terrible disaster.
I was reminded recently that TCR was seriously lacking and was in dire need of a new post (thanks KME), so to relate back to my focus of nutrition and healthful cooking, I’ll reflect on my recent delicious downtown dining experience.
I am a self-proclaimed fried rice freak and, on my recent visit to the restaurant RedFarm, I was reminded of my affinity for this not so healthy dish. It is highly unlikely that you will find healthful fried rice while dining out. Most are laden with oil, sky-high amounts of sodium, some possible traces of MSG, white rice, and fatty cuts of meat. Sorry to be a Debbie downer but, on the upside, it is tremendously easy to make a healthful kicked up version of this typically greasy treat.
Green Ginger Fried Rice
Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers
- 2 Cups Cooked Brown Rice
- 3 Tablespoons olive, coconut, or avocado oil
- Chili Paste (taste preference)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 1 carrot, diced
- ½ white onion, diced
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 bunch kale, veins removed, leaves chopped
- 4 cups spinach, chopped
- 1 bunch scallion, chopped
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ½ cup frozen corn
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- Splash of sesame oil
Ideally you want to prepare this dish in a wok but, alas, I have yet to add one to my cooking arsenal so I used my Le Creuset. Any large skillet could work. Also, it is imperative that everything is prepped before you start cooking, including the beaten egg. The cooking time is relatively fast, so you want everything within reach.
In a warm “cooking vessel” over medium high heat, add 1 ½ tbsp of oil, add the chili paste according to taste preference and ½ the garlic and ½ the ginger. Allow to cook together, encouraging the chili to “toast” slightly. Pour the eggs into the oil and cook, scraping the cooked portions into the center and allowing the liquid egg to spread out evenly. Ideally you want a thin layer of cooked egg. Cut the egg into small pieces and transfer to a bowl.
Wipe the pan; add the rest of the oil, some more chili paste, and carrots. Allow to soften slightly. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and sauté for a few minutes. For this dish, I like the onion with a slight bite, but it’s totally up to you. Add the kale and spinach and, once they both begin to wilt, add the peas and corn. Stir-fry for a minute and add the rice and most of the scallions. Once all the ingredients are hot, stir in the soy sauce, sesame oil and egg. Garnish with additional scallions. I felt ambitious and marinated wild striped bass in garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown rice vinegar, and cilantro. I gave it a quick sear and put it over the rice, but the rice can certainly be a dish on its own.
This kicked up fried rice puts the emphasis on the
vegetables as apposed to the rice, but still provides that garlicky, slightly salty, eggy dish. Brown rice provides complex carbohydrates and digests slower than their white counterpart, which inhibits those hunger pains that usually strike soon after a Chinese food bender. The brown rice also has dietary fiber and iron. Added veggies and egg make this dish nutritionally diverse and provides protein and a multitude of essential vitamins and minerals ranging from A, D, E, K, C and calcium. So next time you contemplate calling for take-out, consider this simple, and nutritious alternative. Your body will thank you.