A terrific Asian one-bowl comfort food, this ketchup fried rice is the perfect way to serve up leftovers.
I lost my driver’s license a couple of weeks ago (on the day I passed the RD exam of all days). Note to self: Never store anything in the most unpractical place, a.k.a. the front pockets on women’s pants (minus jeans). I should’ve known it wasn’t going to be deep enough. I told the Hungryman that it must be a bad omen, and he said, “No. It would be if you had failed your exam AND lost your license.” Wow…I’m glad I didn’t have to live through that one.
In any case, I delayed going to the DPS with the hope that someone would find my card and mail it to me. “There are good people in this world, ya know,” I told the Hungryman confidently. However, a week passed, and driving around town without a license was starting to make me a bit antsy. Disappointed, I finally paid a visit to the DPS, all the while feeling angry that it hadn’t been returned. Honestly though, I had no one to blame but myself. I was the careless one.
Some days later, the Hungryman walked into the house after work and said, “There ARE good people in this world.” And I thought, “Oh you’ve got to be kidding me. Now?!? Did he/she have to take a million years to send it?” I felt no gratitude at that moment. Not even a little.
Once I had some time to soak it all in, I was overcome with shame, acknowledging that my egocentric self had once again reared its ugly head. Had I not gone to the DPS, I would’ve jumped up and down with joy, wishing I could kiss/hug the gracious person. So there I was reminding myself, yet again, the world does not revolve around me and my “perfect” timing.
So whoever you are, I truly thank you for going out of your way to return the license to me.
I’m also thankful for fried rice come a busy weeknight or lazy day when I just want to be one with the couch. Anything goes when it comes to this dish. It’s the perfect way to use up any leftovers in the fridge or pantry. Regardless of what you decide to add, cold, day-old rice is a MUST. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself with a pan of mush. If you end up making too much rice, simply portion it out into freezer-safe plastic bags and freeze. That way you can make fried rice whenever the desire calls.
For this version, I kept things very simple. And vegetarian. However, feel free to add whatever ingredients you have on hand. Just don’t go overboard with your veggies as too much can release excess moisture making the dish mushy. And, of course, don’t leave out the ketchup! You’ll appreciate the sweet and tangy elements that it adds to the dish. At the end, you can taste and squirt some more ketchup if you’d like. Be careful not to add too much as it can make the dish mushy. If you didn’t get the message by now, mushy = bad fried rice.
You can serve with some sriracha, sesame seeds, more green onion and cilantro, if you prefer. As you can see, we like our heat.
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil divided
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 pack 14-ounce firm tofu, drained and cut into bite-sized cubes
- 1/4 cup diced yellow onion
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups leftover rice
- 3 Tablespoons ketchup
- 1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 3/4 cup diced zucchini
- 2 Tablespoons chopped green onion
- 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon roasted crushed sesame seeds
- Heat a large pan or wok over medium-high heat and add 1 Tablespoon of oil. Fry garlic with a pinch of salt until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add tofu and cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan. Add eggs to the pan and cook without stirring for about a minute, or until egg is cooked; do not scramble. Break into small pieces. Remove from pan.
- Add 1 Tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add onion and zucchini, and sauté for about 2-4 minutes. Add rice, and cook until it gets a bit crispy. Add tofu, egg, ketchup, and soy sauce. Mix everything around until the rice fully absorbs the ketchup. Top with green onion, cilantro, sesame seeds. Squirt some sriracha on top if desired