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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Simple Green Chicken Curry

Thai_Green_Curry_2

Not too long ago I went to a Thai restaurant and ordered a curry for the first time. I was never too big of a fan of coconut milk in the past so I would never order the curries. But, I decided to go outside of my comfort zone and I’m so happy I did. Ever since then, I have been obsessed with Thai curries and have been constantly making them because they are so simple to make, so fully packed with flavour, and are perfect for leftovers & reheating!

This is a recipe where you can definitely replace the protein with Tofu for the dish to become fully vegan, and it’ll still hold all of the flavour! I’ll fully disclose that this is not an authentic recipe, but merely my interpretation of the curries I have had at restaurants with my personal twists!

When it comes to the Thai curries, red is the most spicy, yellow is the most mild, and green is great middle ground so it quickly became my favourite. I get my curry paste in Chinatown because you can usually huge jar for a fraction of what you pay for at general grocery stores. However, if you want the recipe to be vegan, definitely read the ingredients in the curry paste because shrimp paste is usually a main ingredient. If it isn’t in the ingredient list for the paste, you’re in the clear!

This is the one I used:

Green_Curry_Paste

The vegetables you add in can be according to your preference. I added in my favourites. Adding in mushrooms would work really well too!


INGREDIENTS & COSTS for 2 generous servings:

1 Chicken Breasts($2.33)
1 Tsp Corn Starch ($0.01)
1/2 Medium sized onion ($0.10)
2 garlic cloves ($0.04)
2 Tsp Ginger ($0.02)
2 1/2 Tbs Green Curry Paste ($0.09)
2 Bay leaves ($0.04)
3 Tbs Canola Oil ($0.15)
1 Carrot ($0.16)
3/4 cup chopped Broccoli ($0.38)
1/2 Bell Pepper (I used both orange and green) ($0.52)
1/2 can Coconut Milk ($0.49)
1/2 a Chicken Bouillon cube dissolved in 1 1/2 cup of hot water ($0.09)
Fresh Basil (Thai Basil if you can find it!) to garnish ($0.25)
Cilantro to Garnish ($0.08)
1 Thai Chili (optional) ($0.05)

Takes 30 minutes

Total Cost = $4.80!*

Compared to the $16-$20 at restaurants! EACH! So double that number.

*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

Prepare your vegetables:

Mince the ginger, garlic, onions, and optional Thai Chili. Then slice your peppers, carrots, broccoli, basil, cilantro, and any other veggies you want to add to your curry!

Green_Curry_Chicken_Vegetables

Next, cut up your chicken. I chose to cube it, but in the end I think maybe slicing the chicken might have made it a better consistency. Oh well, if you don’t learn from your own recipes you’re doing it wrong amirite? I then dusted some corn starch on the chicken just to have a bit of crispiness on the meat. If you choose to swap in some firm tofu it would be perfectly fine and dusting it with some corn starch would help with an outer crunch as well!

Thai_Curry_Chicken - Chicken

Once everything is ready to go in, put a pot or wok on the stove at medium-high heat. Pour in the canola oil once the pan is hot to avoid sticking, and once it’s hot throw in your garlic, ginger, onions, and (completely optional!) Thai chili.

Thai_Green_Curry_Chicken_onions

Once it starts to get a bit golden, throw in the green curry paste. Make sure to stir quickly as it may stick to the bottom of the pan. If it does a bit too much, just lower the heat!

Thai_Green_Curry_Paste

After the curry paste gets infused with the onions and garlic, add in your choice of protein and the bay leafs. Stir until the chicken looks crispy and well cooked through.

Thai_Green_Curry_Chicken

Almost done! Now pour in your coconut milk and hot chicken broth. Note! That not all coconut milks are made equal. Some are thicker than others and it can change the consistency of your curry. The can I bought was fairly thick so I used a bit less than half the can. I also just always use bouillon cubes instead of boxed chicken broth – it’s cheaper and lighter to carry from the grocery store so it works for me! Let the coconut milk and broth boil for about 5 minutes to get the curry to thicken.

Green_Curry_Chicken_Coconut_milk

If you feel like there isn’t enough liquid in your curry, just add water, the taste won’t change much since most of it comes from the curry paste. Once it thickens, add in the rest of your vegetables and stir for about 3 minutes for them to soften.

Thai_Green_Chicken_Curry

Finally, turn off the heat and throw in your basil & cilantro. Stir it in and you should immediately smell the difference in your curry.

Thai_Green_Curry_Chicken_1

And voila you’re done making a delicious and simple green curry! Serve warm with some jasmine rice.

Thai_Green_Chicken_Curry_Bowl_2

Thai_Green_Curry_Bowl_4Thai_Green_Curry_Rice_2

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


Pack of 4 Chicken Breasts – $9.33
946 ml No Name Brand Canola Oil ($4.19) – $0.44/100ml
1 Orange Bell Pepper ($1.02)
Garlic – $0.88/100g
Ginger – $0.43/100g
75 g Red Hot Thai Chili Peppers ($3.99)
1 Broccoli crown ($0.99)
1 bunch of Cilantro ($2.49)
3 Lbs of Yellow onions ($2.00)
400 g Mae Ploy Thai Green Curry Paste ($2.49) – $0.62/100g
3 Lbs Carrots – $2.00
1 can of Coconut Milk – $0.99
900ml Chicken Broth – $1.49
Aurora Chicken Bouillon Mix – $1.19
20 g of Dried Bay Leaves – $4.49

Spicy Three Pepper Chicken Stir Fry

three-pepper-stir-fry-chicken-final

My first job when I was 16 was being a dishwasher at a local family-run Chinese Szechuan and Cantonese restaurant. Not only were they a lovely family to work for, but they definitely owned and ran the best Chinese restaurant in the city of Windsor. Whether you wanted spicy Chinese vegetable dishes or greasy hangover food – they made it best. While working there I managed to pick up a few restaurant secrets to stir fries, and I couldn’t be more thankful! You’ll see some of that knowledge in the directions.

A lot of different food blogs have their own version of Three pepper chicken – and it’s so understandable. It’s definitely a stir fry where the flavours can vary from one household to the next. It usually holds a numbing flavour of Szechuan Peppercorn, but I usually omit it because I enjoy the flavour of the peppers more for this dish.

I also like to have colour in my stir-fry, so I add in an orange bell pepper which also adds in a little sweetness.The heat in this dish really only comes from the Long Hot Green Pepper and the Thai Chili (both of which are a staple in my weekly grocery list). You can usually get these at your generic grocery store and they hold a really great heat which is very different compared to the jalapeno pepper or habanero (I wouldn’t substitute with those).

This is also a dish where it can be converted to be vegetarian by substituting the chicken with tofu and the oyster sauce with a vegetarian mushroom “oyster” sauce!This stir fry is ultimately very very agile, you can move the flavours around to suit your needs, but I will warn you, if you follow my instructions directly – this IS a spicy dish!

I encourage you to eat with white rice.Here’s everything you need!

INGREDIENTS & COSTS

Ingredients – for the marinated Chicken

1 Chicken breast ($2.33)
1 Tsp Corn Starch ($0.01)
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda ($0.01)
1/2 Tsp Dark Soya Sauce ($0.005)
1 Tsp Oyster Sauce ($0.01)
1/2 Tsp Sesame Oil ($0.035)
1/2 Tbs of Rice Vinegar ($0.06)

Ingredients – for the Stir Fry

1 Long Hot Green Pepper ($0.34)
1/2 Bell Pepper (could be either Red or Orange) ($0.52)
1/3 Zucchini ($0.31)
1 Cloves of Garlic ($0.02)
1 Scallion ($0.09)
1 Tsp Ginger ($0.01)
1 Red Hot Thai Chili Pepper (Bird Eye Pepper) ($0.05)
1 1/2 Tbs Canola Oil ($0.075)

Ingredients – Finishing sauce

1 Tbs water
1/2 Tsp Dark Soya Sauce ($0.005)
1/2 Tsp Oyster Sauce ($0.01)
1/2 Tsp Sugar ($0.002)
1/2 Tsp Chili oil (optional)

Takes 25 min
serves 2.

Total Cost = $3.89!*

Compared to the $12-$16 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

First dice up the peppers, green onions, and zucchini, then mince the ginger, garlic, and Thai chili.

three-pepper-chicken-ingredients

Dice up your chicken next. Add in the soy sauce, sesame oil, corn starch, rice vinegar, oyster sauce, and baking soda. If you’re confused about the baking soda, this is something I picked up while working at a Chinese restaurant. Baking soda is a fantastic meat tenderizer and gives you that restaurant-meat-consistency.

three-pepper-chicken-marinated-meat

Mix it all together and let it sit in the fridge for about 10 minutes. While you wait you can make your finishing sauce by combining soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and water in a small bowl.

three-pepper-chicken-mixed-meat

Pour the canola oil in a wok and set it on the stove at medium-high heat. Once it starts to slightly bubble, toss in your ginger. The second the ginger gets golden, add in the chicken. The chicken will get caramelized due to the sugar content in the oyster sauce, which will give it a nice crispy outer shell.

three-pepper-chicken-cook1

After stirring for about 3 minutes and waiting for the chicken to cook evenly through, toss in the zucchini and bell pepper. Saute for about 1 minute.

three-pepper-chicken-cook2

Add in the long hot green pepper.

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As soon as the spice of the long hot green peppers become fragrant (and I promise it will within 45 seconds), add in the finishing sauce, garlic, Thai chili, and green onions.

three-pepper-chicken-cook4

Stir quickly for about 30 seconds and you’ll notice that the stir fry has taken on a whole new aroma of garlic and sweet peppers.

three-pepper-chicken-cook5

Take it off the heat and onto a separate plate. Serve immediately with rice!

three-pepper-chicken-stir-fry-3

Delicious stir fry for two in under 25 minutes!

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three-pepper-chicken-5

Enjoy with write or an accompanying stir fry like the Spicy & Sour Shredded Potato Stir Fry!  Any comments or feedback on the recipe is 100% 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

Pack of 4 Chicken Breasts – $9.33
355 ml Seasoned Rice Vinegar ($3.29) – $0.93/100ml
500 ml Rooster Superior Dark Soy Sauce ($1.99) – $0.40/100ml
430 ml Rooster Oyster Sauce ($2.49) – $0.58/100ml
4 kg of Labtic Granulated Sugar ($5.69) – $0.14/100g
946 ml No Name Brand Canola Oil ($4.19) – $0.44/100ml
250 g Arm & Hammer Baking Soda ($0.99) – $0.40/g
1 Orange Bell Pepper ($1.02)
1 Zucchini ($0.94)
Garlic – $0.88/100g
Ginger – $0.43/100g
1 bunch of green onions ($0.79)
Green Long Hot Green Peppers – ($0.34) – $4.39/kg
75 g Red Hot Thai Chili Peppers ($3.99)

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