Weeknights are usually for quick meals. I don't indulge in anything that involves a lot of prep time or needs constant attention. More often I cook so I can take a boxed lunch and look for dishes that are easy to carry. I like dishes that are all-in-one where I don't have to carry multiple boxes to work, and this fried rice fits the bill perfectly. This summer I indulged in the bounty fresh snow peas in the market. They are good to go with hardly any cooking, and a perfect snack or a salad with a few extra flavorings added to it. One of my favorite ways of eating them was in this burger, the other way is to blanch them in salted water for just a few minutes and then saute them in some oil with chopped garlic. This was my dinner for quite a few nights the past months and a very good one at that.
I still do find snow peas in the stores but they are not as tender as they used to be and have a tough string around them that needs to be removed. I find that a little cumbersome when I am dealing with a whole bag of these, but the fresh taste of the beans makes it worth all the time spent. I end up eating most of the beans once they are done blanching and the rest goes into the saute. This time I added some fresh crunchy carrots to the mix, few more of my favorite flavors and came up with a lunch I was waiting to have..
Ingredients:This was really good fried rice. I ate quite a bit of it right from the pan under the excuse of tasting and checking for seasonings. The veggies are still crunchy and the sesame seeds just make it better. Garlic and red chilli flakes give it the kick but don't overpower the dish with spices. The brown rice is a perfect pair for these veggies with its nutty texture making it a component of the dish and not just a filler base. For me black pepper in fried rice reminds me of Indo-chinese fried rice and I absolutely love its flavor. All in all it was a wonderful meal and I was looking forward to lunch all morning :)
- 2 handfuls - snow peas
- 2-3 medium carrots
- 1 cup - Arugula or baby bok choy
- 1 Tbsp - Tamari/soy sauce, adjusted to taste
- 1 Tbsp - sesame seeds
- 1/2 tsp - garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 tsp - Red chili flakes
- 1 tsp - Oil
- Salt to taste
- 2 cups - brown rice, cooked
- 1/2 Tbsp - tamari/soy sauce
- 1/2 -1 tsp - freshly ground black pepper
- Wash and de-string the beans if required. Boil some water in a saucepan and salt it. Add the snow peas and blanch for no more than 5 mins. They must still be crunchy and a bright green when you take them out. I usually drop them into cold water or place them under the running tap water at this point so they stop cooking.
- Wash & peel the carrots, cut them first into 2 inch pieces and then slice them thin, length wise. Similarly cut the snow peas about the same size as the carrots, roughly into thirds.
- Heat a pan with the oil and add the garlic and red chili flakes while the oil is still cold. As the oil heats up it will absorb their flavors. On medium-high heat, toss in the sesame seeds and carrots, saute for 3-4 mins , next add the snow peas, arugula and tamari ( or soy sauce). Saute on high heat for a few more minutes until the veggies are well coated with the flavorings and the arugula wilts down.
- Transfer this to a bowl and add the brown rice to the pan. Add some more soy sauce and black pepper to taste, mix well. Cook for 1-2 mins, turn off the heat, add the veggies, stir and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
Looks like this will be perfect for Srivalli, the mela queen's Rice Mela, perfect timing I say. I wish I had even a tiny share of the enthusiasm she has for holding events!