My daughter’s love of vegetables can be directly traced to the fried rice I used to make for her when she was a toddler. I can see the kitchen of the house we lived in at the time and remember whipping up fried rice from leftover rice and adding lots of bite-sized broccoli, carrots, and baby green peas on many a day.
She devoured it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and loved the broccoli trees, fresh carrots, and sweet peas and would always try to share a broccoli tree with our dog, Vincent. If you want to know how to get your kids to eat vegetables, my advice is to start very young, as soon as your child graduates from baby food, and this dish is the perfect vehicle because most kids love rice.
BBQ Pork Fried Rice
1 c. jasmine rice
1 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. broccoli florets
2 carrots, chopped
1/4 c. green onion, sliced
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 cup leftover pork, chopped
1 tablespoon hoisin or BBQ sauce
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. frozen baby peas
Soy sauce to taste*
1. Cook rice according to package directions in a rice cooker or 2 qt. pot. Remove rice from pot, place in a glass bowl and refrigerate uncovered for several hours if you can – the drier the rice the better. (Leftover rice from a recent Chinese dinner is perfect).
2. Cook the pork with 1 T. hoisin sauce or BBQ sauce. (You can also use chicken, shrimp, or sausage – that’s the great thing about fried rice!)
3. Use microwave-safe container and cook broccoli in 1 T. water for 2-1/2 min. Drain. Set aside. Cook the peas in same container for 2-1/2 min. Drain.
4. Saute carrots in a wok or large skillet with 1t. sesame oil mixed with 1 t. canola oil. Transfer carrots to a small bowl. Using same pan, add more oil, turn heat to high, add rice, stirring often, cook for 5 min. Add broccoli, carrots, pork, green onion, continue to stir and cook for 2 more minutes. Push rice mixture to one side, add egg, cook for a minute or so and mix into rice. Add peas to one side of the pan to cook off any moisture and then mix everything together.
*Cooks notes: I don’t add soy sauce during the cooking – it can make the rice mushy. Plus, kids can be very discerning – they may not want their rice looking brown, you know what I mean. Also, please use lower-sodium soy sauce or, my preference is Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (I’ve used this for years – again, the trick is to develop tastes and bottle recognition during the tender years!).