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A Healthier Takeout-Level Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

By adding tons of yummy veggies in the mix, you won't turn to the takeout menu again.
A Healthier Takeout-Level Chicken Fried Rice RecipeMitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

The name says it all: One of the most nutritionally dubious staples (white rice) combined with the most treacherous technique (frying). The calorie counts are predictably stratospheric; even a small scoop used as a base for a stir-fry will run around 500 calories. More important, it contains little to no true nutrition. Our recipe turns fried rice on its head, relying on a ton of fresh vegetables, considerably less rice, and a bit of oil for crisping it up.

Nutrition: 390 calories, 10 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 720 mg sodium

Serves 4

You’ll Need

1 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
4 scallions, greens and whites separated, chopped (Scallion greens are best used for garnish at the end, whereas the whites should be used like onions, to build flavor from the beginning.)
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 cups bite-size broccoli florets
2 cups mushrooms (preferably shiitake), stems removed, sliced
1⁄2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced into thin bite-size pieces
4 cups cooked brown rice
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 eggs, lightly beaten

How to Make It

  1. In a wok or a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  2. When the oil is lightly smoking, add the scallion whites, ginger, and garlic, and cook for 30 to 45 seconds.
  3. Add the zucchini, carrots, broccoli, and mushrooms, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, using a spatula to stir the vegetables throughout.
  4. Add the chicken and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes, until the pieces are no longer pink.
  5. Stir in the rice and soy sauce, and cook for another 5 minutes, allowing the rice to get crispy on the bottom.
  6. Create an empty space in the middle of the pan and add the eggs.
  7. Use a spoon or the spatula to quickly scramble the eggs until light and fluffy, then stir them into the rest of the ingredients.
  8. Serve garnished with the scallion greens.

Eat This Tip

You might not find it at your local Chinese joint, but really well-made fried rice contains grains with a lightly crisp, caramelized exterior, which deepens the flavor and the texture of the dish immensely.

To achieve that coveted crisp, you’ll need to turn up the heat to high during the final moments of cooking. Don’t stir the pan—just let the rice sit there for up to 2 minutes as the heat of the pan does its magic.

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