We often eat fried rice here at the castle. When I make rice for dinner I purposely make extra so I can make fried rice the next evening. Once I learned to always start out with cold rice, making fried rice was a cinch. But making it interesting, with new ingredients, prevents boredom. This time I wanted more vegetables. I had zucchini to use and the other vegetables were a bonus.
I started with the zucchini, diced into cubes with the skins on. I heated my large nonstick skillet with a good drizzle of oil and added the zucchini to brown it a bit.
I added orange sweet bell pepper I’d diced and frozen when they were on sale and let it brown for a few minutes with the zucchini. This sweetens it up further and gives the pepper a more finished flavor. I’d salted the vegetables to encourage the moisture to come out, which aids in the browning.
My next idea came from having used the frozen peppers. I also found a small bag of frozen corn I’d cut from the cobs and frozen, along with some frozen green peas. I always like peas and carrots in fried rice but was too lazy to dice carrots this day. I’d use corn instead.
I had ham in the fridge and diced a good handful and added it to my skillet of vegetables to brown a little and heat through.
I’d beaten several eggs and now pushed aside the skillet’s contents and poured the eggs into the pan. I scrambled them, cutting them into smaller pieces.
When the eggs were done I stirred them into the ham and vegetables.
While my ham and vegetables fried I cut a fresh pineapple up and removed the outside layer. I cut up about a cup into smaller chunks and added it to my skillet. I’d make pineapple fried rice with extra vegetables. There, I finally had a theme!
I like garlic in fried rice and it’s easily integrated using a granulated garlic. I sprinkled it over the contents of the skillet along with a pinch of cayenne and stirred well. I was ready for the rice!
I’ve mentioned previously how I like to prepare the rice before putting it into the skillet. I drizzle about 1/4 cup of oil over the rice and use my hand to work it into the rice, separating the kernels nicely. After doing this again I added the rice to the skillet and stirred. I also added a handful of chopped green onions, reserving some for garnish.
My final addition was a few glugs of soy sauce. My hand slipped and I ended up splashing quite a bit into the skillet but it ended up being just right. Whew! I hate when that happens, but this time it wasn’t a disaster.
I served the fried rice for dinner and we enjoyed every mouthful. Having so many vegetables was a nice change from my usual rice dish. I originally had planned to also add eggplant but unfortunately my eggplant was brown inside and no longer edible. Poo. Oh well, maybe next time!
Vegetable and Ham Fried Rice
Ham and pineapple fried rice with lots of lovely vegetables.
- 1 cup zucchini; diced with skin on
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup orange sweet bell pepper; diced
- 1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas
- 1/2 cup ham; small dice
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup fresh pineapple; diced
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- pinch of cayenne (or to taste)
- 3 cups cooked rice; chilled
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/4 cup green onion; thinly chopped
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
Add frozen corn, peas, ham and pineapple. Sprinkle with garlic powder and a pinch of cayenne. Heat through, stirring occasionally.
In a bowl, mix rice and oil using your hands until rice is separated and evenly coated. Add to skillet and stir well to integrate with the ham and vegetables.
Add soy sauce and stir well. Taste test for seasoning, adding more heat or garlic powder to taste.