Remember those late-night study hours from college. And the late-night hunger!! The vegetable fried rice was one of our go-to food in college days. We loved it.
Six years of my college life, I lived in hostels. College hostels have a well-defined menu. When making meals for hundreds of girls every day in those mega kitchens, there was certainly no room for customization. Unless you have some serious allergies. Gluten allergy is one, that I knew at that time because this girl in my hostel used to get rice for dinner as well. For the rest of us, rice and Chappati was served during lunch and only Chappati during dinner. So, we became friends with the main serving person. He would reserve some rice from lunch meal for us. And all friends would get together late at night to make fried rice bringing all the ingredients available with them. Oh, I forgot, all of the ingredients were actually swiped from the kitchen pantry by different individuals at different times and kept safely in their respective rooms.
Why go grocery shopping when you have a huge pantry in your hostel itself! Oh! All had their own ways and brought their assigned ingredients. Rice was assigned to me, and I had it all sorted baby!!
I wish I could go back to those days. We were so happy and satisfied in so little. Got joy from simple things.
I get to re-live such moments with my daughter sometimes. She is such a happy soul. A super source of happiness and glee in the family,
Which reminds me of what we are here for?
Vegetable fried rice!
A little background talk
People normally add scrambled eggs or meat to it. I like to add scrambled tofu sometimes. But today I am keeping it simple.
It is a very simple yet satisfying recipe. This recipe is an adaptation of authentic Asian fried rice. The authentic versions do not use anything other than soy sauce and vinegar. But the Indian version uses numerous other flavor additives to make it appeal to the Indian taste buds. The vegetable fried rice was a kind of street food in India which eventually made it to the menu of fine dinings.
Rice is a very versatile ingredient. You can flavor it the way you want. It absorbs all kinds of flavors so well and becomes one with them. That is why I love rice. There are numerous variations of rice that I make.
Simple Punjabi style vegetable rice, lemon rice, Thai inspired vegetable rice, and this one that I am making today is an Indo-Chinese variation of fried rice.
Choice of vegetables for the Fried Rice
All you need is a packet of mixed frozen vegetables. Chop some onions, garlic, and ginger. Pull out a couple of sauces from your refrigerator and follow simple steps and you should be good to go.
I am using frozen peas, corn kernels, and red pepper. But the choice of vegetables is totally subjective. I like to use basmati rice for their long grains and non-sticky texture. Every grain separate and fluffy. The kind of rice you want to use is totally up to you.
Vegetable fried rice
- 4 Cups Boiled rice
- 2 tablespoon Soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Black pepper
- 2 teaspoon Apple cider Vinegar
- 2 tablespoon Tomato Ketchup
- 4 stalks Scallions/ Green Onions
- 1 Sweet Pepper Medium-sized
- 1 Onion Small red onion
- 6 cloves Garlic
- ½ Inch Ginger root
- ⅓ cup Peas
- ⅓ cup Corn kernels
- 2 Tbsp. Cooking oil
- Firstly, prepare all your vegetables. ( You can use a store-bought mix of chopped veggies.)
- Chop onion, garlic, and ginger finely.
- In a skillet, heat oil. Add ginger and garlic, followed by onions and some of the scallions. Sauté until onions become tender and translucent.
- Add all the vegetables. Cook for 3-4 minutes depending on the type of vegetables you are using.
- Cook until vegetables are partially cooked.
- Then, add salt, black pepper, chili powder, soy sauce, tomato ketchup, chili sauce, and vinegar. Cook for 1 minute. Now add ¼ cup of water and let all the sauces cook and come together. It shuould take about 3-4 minutes at low medium flame.
- Add boiled rice and mix well. Take care not to mix vigorously because this will break rice grains.
- Remove from heat, add scallions, and serve hot with Manchurian or Chop Suey or on their own.
- The choice of veggies is totally up to you. But do not use the ones that easily go mushy on cooking.
- If using Dark Soy Sauce reduce the quantity by half.
- Fried Vegetable rice can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 2-3 days safely. I would never suggest storing cooked rice for more than 3 days. Rice goes bad pretty quickly. They have ample water content in them, which can even make things worse sometimes on reheating. I recommend eating cooked rice within 3 days.