Fried wild rice with toasted pecans

While I love nothing better than spending an entire snowy day in the kitchen, there are many days (most in fact) when that just isn’t possible. On those days, it’s nice to have something relatively easy to throw together – something which manages to be both healthy and delicious. This recipe is just one such of those easy-to-throw-together concoctions, and as I imagine life might be as hectic and busy for you as it has been for me lately, I thought I’d share it with you.

Fried wild rice with toasted pecans

This is a festive and wintry take on the Asian classic. Wild rice is actually not a grain at all, but the seed of an aquatic grass growing in the lakes of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan (one of two native grains to the US). If you don’t have wild rice, you are welcome to use a jasmine brown rice instead – but I highly encourage you to try out the wild. The nutty flavor and chewy, toothsome  texture is quite divine – plus it contains more protein, folate and vitamin E than brown rice.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup wild rice, soaked overnight
  • ghee, olive oil or sesame oil for cooking
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1-2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
  • 1.5 cups finely sliced cabbage
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 small head of bok choi, thinly sliced
  • 4 eggs, beaten well with a generous pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup  toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup tamari, or to taste
  • Bean sprouts, to garnish
  • Hot sauce, to taste

To Make:

  1. Place the rice in a saucepan with 2 1/2 cups of water and a dash of fat (olive oil, ghee, sesame oil, etc). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 35-40 minutes, or until the rice is tender and some of the grains have begun to burst open. Strain off any excess water.
  2. While the rice is cooking, place the pecans on a baking tray, and roast in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, or until golden and fragrant with a nice toasty aroma.
  3. Next, cook up your eggs. Heat a generous tablespoon of fat in a large frying pan. When a droplet of water splashed in sizzles nicely, pour in the beaten eggs. Tip the pan so the eggs spread all the way out to the edge of the pan, and then let cook for a minute. When the edges begin to set, gently pull them towards the middle to allow the runnier parts to escape to the edges. Continue this process until the top of the egg is mostly cooked, and then gently flip the whole thing over and cook for another 30 seconds or so to give the top a final sear. Remove to a cutting board, and slice into thin segments, then chop the segments into small pieces (about 1 inch long). 
  4. In a wok or large frying pan, heat 2 heaping tablespoons of fat. Once you can get a nice sizzle when you splash in a droplet of water, add your onions and ginger and cook until the onions begin to turn translucent. Add in the rest of the vegetables, cooking until they become brightly colored and are just barely softened – you really want to retain a nice bit of crispness. 
  5. Add in the rice, pecans and egg, and cook for a good 5 minutes to let the flavors meld together.
  6. Add the sesame oil and tamari to the pan along with a nice grinding of black pepper. Let the flavors meld for a minute or two, and then check for seasonings, adding more tamari, sesame oil or pepper as you see fit.
  7. Serve in wide, shallow bowls with a garnish of pea sprouts on top and a bottle of hot sauce on the table for flavoring.

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