- Olive oil
- Red onion 1 medium-large , diced or 1/2 a large onion
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Garlic cloves 3, minced
- zucchini (courgette) 1 pound or other summer squash, diced
- fresh thyme leaves 1 teaspoon finely chopped
- red cherry or baby plum tomatoes 1/2 cup small , sliced 1/4-inch thick if large.
- white or brown rice 2 1/2 to 3 cups cooked, (ideally day old) short-grain
- Grated Parmesan 1/2 cup, divided
- Handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Eggs 2 large for scrambled egg method, or 4 large eggs for an egg on top of each portion • 130 kcal
If you have some leftover plain rice from the day before, it lends itself perfectly to be the building block for a fried rice meal.
This fried rice is made with zucchini (courgettes in the UK), and can be topped with a fried egg, or eaten with scrambled egg. If you have any leftovers, throw them in the pot too!
That’s the versatility of fried rice dishes – just about anything can be added to it, and it’s ready very quickly.
The quick method:
Put a large, heavy frying pan on medium-high heat. Once hot, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil, then add the onion. Turn heat down to medium-low, and cook, stirring, until lightly browned at the edges – about 4 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more with the heat on low.
Add zucchini and thyme, turn heat up to medium and cook, stirring, until the zucchini is softened and a little browned at the edges – about 5 to 8 minutes.
Add tomatoes and cook for 1 minute more.
Add a little more oil, then the rice.
Season well with salt and pepper, and stir-fry everything together until mixed well and golden brown. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Stir in half of parmesan and parsley.
The slow method:
Heat a large, heavy frying pan to medium-high heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon oil, then onion and cook, stirring, for 5 to 10 minutes, until quite browned at edges. Season well with salt and pepper. Add the garlic, lower the heat to low and cook 1 minute more. put the onion and garlic into a bowl and set aside.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the zucchini and spread evenly in the pan. Season well with salt and pepper. Cook, not stirring at all, until the zucchini is beginning to blister brown underneath – about 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir and flip over the zucchini, then add thyme, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then put the zucchini and tomatoes into a bowl and set aside.
Add another bit of oil to the pan and add the rice, pressing it down in one layer. Cook until the rice is beginning to brown and crisp underneath – about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir it, season it well with salt and pepper, and repeat the pressing and crisping process for a few more minutes.
Return onion, garlic, zucchini, and tomatoes to the pan and cook together for one minute. Stir in half of the parmesan and parsley.
Scrambled eggs for both methods: Push the fried rice to the side and crack 2 eggs directly into the cleared area. Use a fork or spatula to break them up and half-scramble them in the pan, then stir the scrambled eggs back into the fried rice. Serve with remaining parmesan on top.
Fried eggs for both methods: First portion out the cooked rice into bowls or onto plates before cooking the eggs as you like. Top each portion with a fried egg. Serve with remaining parmesan on top.