Eating out has its benefits: someone else gets to take out the garbage and do the dishes.
Eating out has its downfalls: it’s gets pricey and there is no way to control how much fat goes into the dish.
A recent study conducted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest called to attention just how unhealthy eating in a Chinese restaurant can be – even the veggies, which seem like a healthy choice, pack a below-the-belt punch of calories and sodium.
I’ve started putting together a take-out fake-out menu so when we get the urge for restaurant food, we can at least have the option to eat those same items at home. The menu includes fried rice, potstickers, and sushi thus far. Chicken Lo Mein and wonton soup will follow soon.
Pork Fried Rice
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 cups cooked rice, cold
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
- 1/3 cup carrots, chopped
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 cup green peas
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- Brown the pork over medium high heat, drain and set aside.
- Add vegetable oil to skillet over high heat, stir fry onions and rice.
- Add carrots and peas and stir fry for 2 minutes. Push rice to side.
- Whisk egg, pepper, and sesame oil and pour into skillet. Stir until egg is cooked and mix into the rice.
- Add pork and soy sauce, taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary.
Yields: 4-6 servings
Estimated time: 20 minutes
Whenever mon mari travels with me to the U.S. the first thing we have to do is go to a Chinese buffet! I use to love them but can’t do it anymore. (He still does) Too mush salt and fat, and, you’re right, even in the vegetables and salads!
I still love Chinese food, I just prefer to make it myself.
Your recipe sounds perfect – quick and easy…and healthy!
I love homemade fried rice! It really is easy and healthy. A good tip is to cook the rice the day before so it has time to dry out a little or just use leftover rice.
Oh, I’ve got wonton soup nailed – willing to share, if you’d like. My cousin’s wife is from Singapore, and her recipe is what I use.
I love this idea of take out, fake out. I love chicken fried rice. So I will have to try this with that substituted. When you figure out how to make figure friendly crab rangoons let me know right away!!!
Kelly – I’m all ears for your wonton soup!
I love the idea of creating a take out menu. Your are a genius!
I buy the wrappers from a Chinese grocery store since they are “thinner”…the wonton wrappers in the American grocery store are very ‘thicker”. Get them in the frozen section at the Chinese grocery – either Twin Dragon or Wei Chuan brand (the skins are thinner). You’ll also get a better price on the sesame oil, soy sauce, cilantro, and green onions at the Chinese/Asian grocery.
My cousin’s wife doesn’t “measure” her ingredients, so I’m not able to give “exact’ measurements…do it through trial and error…depending on individual taste. I think I used a couple of teaspoons each of sesame oil and soy sauce, maybe? I kind of just added each until it smelled “right,” if that makes any sense? I guess you could start adding them, and pop a small amount of the meat mixture into some boiling water or brown it in a pan and taste it to see if you were happy with the seasoning.
Ground pork (I used about a pound, I think. You can get ground pork in packages in the meat dept. at Randall’s – whatever size those are sold in is what I used)
Sesame oil (Also get this at the Asian grocery – the price in the Asian Dept. in regular grocery stores is RIDICULOUS!)
Cilantro (3 stalks), chopped
Green onion (2 stalks), chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
Put ground pork into a large mixing bowl. Add chopped onion, chopped cilantro, chopped green onion, and onion to ground pork, mix together. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and pepper to the pork mixture, and combine. Crack the egg into the mixture and mix it thoroughly. Your mixture is now ready for you to use.
Put a teaspoon of the mixture onto a wonton wrapper and seal it with water.
You can either fry your wontons in hot oil until golden brown or make wonton soup…
Add 16 oz. of chicken broth (I prefer to use stock), and 32 oz of water into a pot over medium-high heat. When the liquid comes to a boil, add dried shitake mushrooms and wontons. You can also add meatballs made out of the pork mixture if you like (sometimes you run out of wontons and have leftover filling). Salt/pepper to taste. Additional chopped green onions and cilantro can also be added to the broth (my preference) for better taste. If you like, you can also add some fresh tofu to the soup, but into approx. 1″ square pieces.
Recipe is above – let me know if anything is unclear!
Wow great idea for the take out menu – which I love by the way AND a recipe for won ton soup. A double header THANKS!!!
I do make fried rice because it is so much better than take out. So very high in sodium at least at home you can contain that.
Fantastic idea! To be honest, I rarely eat out; I find the food is typically to high in sodium and contains too much fat. It’s a challenge to find healthful, light fare when dining out.
Shawnda – this is great! I bow to your ingenuity! And thanks to Kelly for the Wonton Soup recipe!
I know this is an old (but agelessly) post, and you must have made endless variations of ochawan (fried rice), but my family enjoys it with bits of super-finely-chopped spam. Most of my non-Asian (I’m half-Japanese. Lots of Asian food in my house) have a serious problem with the very idea of spam but, truly, it makes delicious fried rice. Especially when you pre-cook before everything else in a little sesame oil and and shoyu (soy sauce) to get it to caramelize and be so yummy.
To cut the rich taste of fried rice, you might like a little pickled red ginger on side, which is what Chinese and Japanese restaurants put on the side out in the Los Angeles area. The Japanese name is “beni shoga” and, personally, it goes with everything.