Ah, fried rice. The best thing to come out of miscellaneous leftovers and dry old rice. We’re all guilty of cooking too much rice every now and then, but I’m more guilty of cooking too much and throwing it out. The problem with fried rice for me was that I find a lot of it is usually so bland and boring. So I decided I wanted to change that and see what I could do to make it taste better and have less food waste!
Eventually, this recipe became my go-to whenever I had leftover rice, chicken, beef, tofu, and certain veggies that were starting to go bad. I found that the best part of this recipe is that you can always alternate proteins & the veggies and it still holds the strong flavours anyone can really enjoy.
When it comes to fried rice, it’s usually best to use 1 or 2 day old rice that’s been kept in the fridge. That way its a bit more dry and can hold in more flavour without getting too mushy.
Here’s the basics of the recipe, you can always add in more vegetables you have left over.
Flavour-Packed Basil Fried Rice
INGREDIENTS for 2 servings:
- 2 cups of cooked day-old rice (1 cup of uncooked rice)($0.38)
- 4 Tbs canola oil ($0.20)
- 1 large egg ($0.24)
- 3/4 cup of chopped cooked chicken (or your choice of protein)($1.10)
- 1 medium sized carrot ($0.16)
- 2 scallions ($0.18)
- 1/2 zucchini ($0.395)
- 1/3 cup of corn ($0.06)
- 1 bunch of chopped fresh basil ($0.398)
- 1 Tbs Rice Vinegar ($0.12)
- 1 Tbs Dark Soy Sauce ($0.03)
- 2 Tsp Oyster Sauce ($0.06)
- 1 Thai chili (optional)
Total cost for 2 services: $3.32*
Single serving for $1.66
Serves 2, takes 20 Minutes
Compared to the $10-$12 at restaurants!
*Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.
Need the proof? Head down to the bottom of this page!
Gather & prepare your veggies and chop it all into small cubes (corn not pictured). I had a left over chicken breast from a rotisserie chicken, so I just chopped that into cubes and it worked perfectly! Next, whisk the egg in separate bowl.
Place a wok on the stove at medium-high heat. Once your pan heats, add in 1 Tbs of the oil. As soon as the oil gets hot, add in the egg and scramble.
As soon as it scrambles, remove the egg to a separate dish and pour 2 Tbs of the canola oil.
Next, add in your veggies. I used carrots, zucchini, and some corn. You can definitely add in whatever vegetable you have left over such as broccoli, bok choy, peppers, etc. as long as the flavour doesn’t overwhelm the dish.
Stir for a bit and then add back in your eggs, and then add in your protein & the rice vinegar.
Mix for about 30 seconds to wait for the vinegar to cook off, then add in the rice!
Break apart the rice and mix it in as much as possible and add in your last tablespoon of canola oil.
Once the rice, meat, and vegetables are well mixed, add in the basil, green onions, soy sauce, and oyster sauce (and the Thai chili if you want it to be spicy!).
The oyster sauce can be substituted with vegetable Hoisin if you want, but I really recommend the oyster sauce as it adds it’s unique flavour (and no it does not taste like fish if you’re worried!)
Now really start stirring and really fry the rice. Once everything is mixed well and the basil becomes aromatic, take the rice off the heat and serve.
All done within 20 minutes!
I really hope you enjoy it, and feedback (postive or constructive) is always appreciated! 🙂
I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) weekly flyer and their website, and a local Chinese grocery store
6.8kg of Premium Calrose Rice ($14.99) – $0.22/100g
946 ml No Name Brand Canola Oil ($4.19) – $0.44/100ml
12 Large Eggs ($2.97)
Pack of 4 chicken breasts ($9.33)
1 Zucchini ($0.79)
1 bunch of green onions ($0.79)
Pack of Basil ($1.99)
500 ml Rootster Superior Dark Soy Sauce ($1.99) – $0.40/100ml
750g of Frozen Corn Kernels ($0.99) – $0.132/100g
3 Lbs Carrots – $2.00