Sometimes you just want something simple for dinner – an easy and quick dish like stir fried rice with vegetables and cashews. Whenever I have cold, left over rice I make this recipe. This is a crunchy, vegetable packed dish that’s filling but still light. There are no fancy sauces – just a little soy sauce. Cashews are added at the end to give the dish a boost of protein.
This dish is based around cold, left over rice. I’ve added snow peas, red bell peppers, mushrooms, scallions and baby bok choy. All the vegetables are sliced thinly so they cook quickly over high heat. High heat is an important factor in this dish. You want the vegetables to be seared but still fresh and crunchy.
Basmati rice is the way to go with this dish. It has a lovely nutty taste that compliments the cashews and veggies.
Let’s talk about cooking rice for a bit. I always see people comment on food sites that they have a hard time cooking rice – it is either undercooked or burned. To cook rice you want a 1:2 formula of rice to water. So 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water. Put the rice and the water in a tall sided sauce pan (use a tall sided sauce pan to prevent the rice from boiling over). Bring the water to a boil and quickly, as soon as it comes to a boil, turn the heat down to the lowest setting possible. Cover the sauce pan with a lid. Set the timer for 17 minutes and let the rice cook. Do not lift the lid off to check on the rice – just let it be until the timer goes off. Then remove the pan from the burner. Do not lift off the pan lid (even to peek). Just let the cooked rice sit (with the lid on) for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes (set the timer) carefully lift the lid off – lift it off levelly – otherwise water/condensation on the bottom of the lid will drip onto the rice. Fluff the rice and you’re done. You should get perfect rice every time.
A lot of people have a rice cooker – and if you do and like the results then please ignore the notes above. I don’t have a rice cooker and the method above always works for me. So give it a try and let me know what you think.
A couple of notes:
Stir fries are all about cooking vegetables quickly over high heat. You are searing the vegetables in order to lock in flavor. In order for them to cook quickly, they need to be cut into small slices or dices – you want all the vegetables to be cut roughly the same size so they cook quickly and evenly. Have all the vegetables sliced and ready to go before you put the wok/skillet over the flame. You want to have everything prepped and ready to toss into the pan.
The pan that you cook in is very important for this dish. It needs to be big enough to fit all the ingredients and have enough room so that you can stir them over high heat. If you have a wok then great. If not, you want to use a really large skillet. I tend to shy away from non-stick pans when stir frying since you’re not supposed to use non-stick pans with really high heat.
If you can’t find baby bok choy, then celery is a great alternative.
|Stir Fried Rice with Vegetables and Cashews|| |
- 2 to 3 cups of cold, cooked basmati rice.
- 8 white mushrooms - thinly sliced.
- 1 small red bell pepper - finely diced.
- 4 thin scallions - thinly sliced.
- 12 snow peas - thinly sliced.
- 2 baby bok choys - thinly sliced.
- 2 gloves of garlic - minced.
- ½ cup of halved cashews.
- 2 tbs olive oil.
- 8 twists of black pepper.
- 2 tbs light soy sauce.
- Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat.
- Have all your veggies chopped and ready to add to the pan.
- Add 1 tbs olive oil to the pan over high heat.
- Add mushrooms and cook for 4 minutes. Don't stir for the 2 minutes so mushrooms begin to brown. After 2 minutes, stir mushrooms continually until they are evenly brown.
- Add scallions, red bell peppers and snow peas to mushrooms and stir over high heat until they begin to brown - about one to two minutes.
- Add last tbs of olive oil to the veggie mixture.
- Add bok choy, minced garlic and black pepper to the skillet with veggies and stir continually for 2 minutes over high heat.
- Add rice and stir until rice is warmed through about a minute or so.
- Add soy sauce and cashews. Stir for 1 minute until all ingredients are combined and serve.