Flavour-Packed Basil Fried Rice

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!


DIRECTIONS

Basil-Fried-Rice-Ingredients
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.

Basil-Fried-Rice-Eggs

As soon as it scrambles, remove the egg to a separate dish and pour 2 Tbs of the canola oil.

Basil-Fried-Rice-Vegetables

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.

Basil-Fried-rice-mix

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!

Basil-fried-rice-rice

Break apart the rice and mix it in as much as possible and add in your last tablespoon of canola oil.

Basil-Fried-Rice-mixed

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!).

Basil-fried-rice-final

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!

Basil-fried-rice-5basil-fried-rice-3Basil-fried-rice-2

Basil-fried-rice-1

I really hope you enjoy it, and feedback (postive or constructive) is always appreciated! 🙂


INGREDIENT COSTS

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

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Ginger Scallion Noodles

Ginger-scallion-noodles-lift.jpg

If I could eat every meal at David Chang’s Momofuku Noodle Bar I would. Unfortunately that’s not the reality so I decided to do my best to recreate one of his simple noodle bowls at his restaurant! I adapted the recipe from his Momofuku cookbook to contain ingredients that you won’t have to travel far for, and all can be done within 10 minutes!

Once you master this noodle bowl, it’ll become a staple easy lunch I promise!


Ginger Scallion Noodles

Ingredients & Costs

  • 1/4 of a package of wheat noodles ($0.42)
  • 1 tbs Ginger ($0.03)
  • 1 garlic clove ($0.02)
  • 2 scallions ($0.18)
  • 1½ tbs Canola Oil ($0.075)
  • ½ tbs Rice Vinegar ($0.09)
  • 1½ tsp Soy Sauce ($0.03)
  • ½ tsp Salt ($0.01)
  • 1 Thai Chili Pepper (Optional)
  • Total Cost = $0.85*

    Compared to the $8-10 at noodle bars!

    *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!


    DIRECTIONS

    First you should note that the noodles in the recipe are everything! The cookbook highly recommends you use fresh ramen noodles, I just ended up using fresh wheat noodles that you can get at any Chinese grocery store in Chinatown! They’re always my go-to noodle for small bowls and soups.

    Wheat-noodles-thin.jpg

    One package can definitely be enough for 3-4 people, so I only use a quarter of the package for a small bowl for my lunch!

    First things first, mince your ginger and garlic as small as you can! Ideally, if you have a food processor, you can toss them in there. Cut your scallions so they are about 1 1/2 inches long and slice vertically. Adding the Thai chili pepper is completely optional, I just love to have heat to any noodles I eat! While doing this, put a pot of water on the stove.

    ginger-scallion-noodles-vegetables

    Once everything is chopped up, grab a small bowl and pour in the oil, vinegar, soy sauce, salt, all the veggies, and mix!

    ginger-scallion-noogles-mix

    By now your water should be boiling, toss in your noodles and they should be ready within 1 minute! While waiting, use a small pan and pour your ginger mixture in. As soon as it gets aromatic, wait 15 seconds and take it off the heat. Once your noodles are ready, drain, rinse, and toss it into the pan with the heated mixture.

    Mix the noodles in with the sauce and your noodles are ready within seconds!

    Feel free to add in extra sides at the end (ex. Kimchi, pickled cucumbers, pickled cabbage, etc) it’ll all taste yummy!

    ginger-scallion-noodles1

    And that is one of the easiest lunches you can make! And all for under $1!

    Hope you enjoy it, any feedback & comments are definitely appreciated 🙂


    INGREDIENT COSTS

    I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) weekly flyer and their website, and a local Chinese grocery store

    1 Lb of Shanghai Fresh Wheat Noodles ($1.69)
    355 ml Seasoned Rice Vinegar ($4.59) – $1.29/100ml
    500 ml Rooster Superior Dark Soy Sauce ($1.99) – $0.40/100ml
    Garlic – $0.88/100g
    Ginger – $0.43/100g
    946 ml No Name Brand Canola Oil ($4.19) – $0.44/100ml
    1kg Windsor Table Salt ($1.69) – $0.17/100g
    1 bunch of green onions ($0.79)