Use this fried rice recipe as a template and make it with your choice of seasonal veggies. It’s especially good for using up small bits of leftover veggies in your fridge or as a destination for summer garden veggies.  I developed this recipe (based on my Gingery Fried Rice with Broccoli or Asparagus recipe) to help you reduce food waste in your kitchen, so don’t be shy about using thinly sliced broccoli, cauliflower, or Swiss Chard stems in this (in addition to florets and leaves). Radish tops or beet greens, thinly sliced, can go in, too. I always include a bit of either onion, bell pepper, or mushroom if I can, as those aromatic veggies give off moisture as they cook and help soften the other veggies. Green beans, asparagus, bok choy, okra – they’re all good! The photo at top shows a summer version with green beans, peppers, Fairy Tale eggplants and okra. The photo below shows a spring version with asparagus and chard stems.

Recently my stir-fry pan died and I've been temporarily using my large nonstick skillet instead. Since the skillet has more surface area, I'm finding I need a little bit more oil than I do with the stir-fry pan. Use your judgment and add what you think is best, but be judicious. 

Susie Middleton

I like to keep this rice vegetarian, but when I’m cooking for my carnivore, I add some diced ham into the pan with my vegetables when I begin the stir-fry.

If you’re in a rush or don’t have the ingredients for the little sauce, you can skip it and just add soy sauce (and maybe a squeeze of lemon or lime) to taste at the end.

For the sauce

• 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
• 2 teaspoons sherry or mirin
• 2 teaspoons Chinese oyster sauce
• 1 teaspoon brown sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon Asian chili-garlic sauce

For the rice

• 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (grapeseed is perfect for high-heat cooking)
• 2 generous cups thinly sliced or small diced vegetables (your choice, include a bit of onion or bell pepper)
• Kosher salt
• 2 to 3 teaspoons minced fresh garlic 
• 2 to 3 teaspoons minced fresh ginger 
• 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions or chives
• 2  to 2 ½ cups cold cooked short grain brown rice 
• 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, mint, cilantro, or a combination
• 1 to 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, toasted sliced almonds, chopped peanuts or any nuts  
• 1 egg, cooked into a flat omelet and cut into strips (optional)
• Lime or lemon wedges 

For the sauce

1. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, sherry or mirin, oyster sauce, 2 teaspoons water, brown sugar, and chili-garlic sauce.


For the rice

1. In a large (12-inch) nonstick stir-fry pan (or large nonstick skillet), heat the 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat.

2. When the oil is hot, add the vegetables and 1/2 teaspoon salt, turn the heat to high, and cook, stirring, until the veggies are crisp-tender and all the pieces are lightly browned, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add a teaspoon or two more of oil if necessary.

3. Add the garlic, the ginger (if using), and half the scallions or chives. Stir-fry for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

4. Add the rice and cook, stirring and breaking the rice up with a spoon, until the rice is heated through, broken apart, and slightly “toasted” (you will hear it crackle), 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Carefully pour in half of the sauce, and stir until well incorporated. Immediately remove the pan from the heat. Taste and add a bit more sauce; you may not need it all.

6. Stir in the herbs and transfer the rice to a serving bowl or plates. Garnish with the remaining scallions, the nuts, and egg strips (if using). Serve with lemon or lime wedges.