Monday, September 9

Zucchini Salmon Fried Rice with Cabbage

Recently I made a delish and super easy weekday salmon dinner and cooked extra food on purpose to make this salmon fried rice recipe. When I say weekday that usually means you can pull it out and start serving it in 30 minutes or less. Please don't misunderstand me. I love cooking for my family, but I was excited to try fried rice with fish for the time, and maybe a little too excited to have half of the dinner already made waiting in the fridge for a second meal.

So this is the second part of the two for one. Cook once and eat a whole different meal with the leftovers. As fall is starting and busy schedules pick up I know some that might appreciate this - I just appreciate it because my son is in the middle of this crazy growing spurt so it seems like he is always hungry. Another benefit of cooking this fast food look alike at home, is the additional fresh veggies. This is a great way to use up those last, end of the summer zucchini, cabbage, and peas.  

I heart fried rice. But its greasy and expensive these days to treat my whole family to the fast food that comes in the cute, square, white cardboard boxes. Occasionally like once or twice a year I will make it at home. It is easy and pretty fast. But with fish? I was skeptical about making this with salmon but it so worked. Fish, even salmon with a stronger taste is a natural fit in fried rice. Tasted so good! I so can't wait to try it with other fish as well.... so tasty and so much better for you than some of the greasier fast food options out there. This will be my go to when I am craving that sort of salty fried rice fast food. If you weren't sure before, now you know, I am definitely one of those gals that crave salt way more than sweet things. I have a special place for chocolate or carmel or cinnamon rolls, but cheese, tuna, pretzels, and all things salty come first. Any one else know what I am talking about here? Trust me - You aren't going to get fresh cabbage and zucchini out of a fast food restaurant fried rice container. You have to try this one. 

The other surprise at least for me, was the addition of cilantro. I was like this isn't Mexican food.... but it adds a freshness that really makes this salty yummy fast food look alike come alive. Don't omit it. You will miss out. If you love fried rice do try this. Salmon is good for you :) 

The Recipe
adapted from Real Simple magazine using leftovers from:
with Green Beans & Shallots 

Serves 4 adult size portions (1-2 cups each)
Cooking time is approx 18-20 minutes

The leftovers that I used were: 
3 cups leftover cooked white rice
1 cup of garlicky green beans 
Two 6-7oz pieces of cooked salmon, broken up in to large pieces

Additional ingredients to complete the recipe are:
1-2 Tbs of oil
2 Tbs of finely chopped fresh ginger (or grated if you have some stored in your freezer - it lasts forever in your freezer)
1/4 -1/2 of a head of green cabbage, thinly sliced (about 2-3 cups)
1&1/2 cup of shredded zucchini, drained thoroughly*
1 cup of frozen peas
2 Tbs of rice vinegar
1/2 Tbs of soy sauce or to taste
1/4- 1/2 Tbs of salt or to your tasting (I did 1/2 Tbs)
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 handfuls of cilantro (1 cup loosely packed), chopped
1 egg
2 egg whites**

*I will have another great zucchini recipe for you next time so buy 2 or 3 small ones or 1 large one at the store or farmers market. 

**I will have a use for that egg yolk with another recipe so store it in the fridge covered for breakfast or for an amazing sandwich spread that will blow your socks off. 

How to put the fried rice together
1. Grab your largest nonstick skillet or a wok if you have one

2. Heat half of the oil over medium high heat and saute the rice, zucchini, and ginger together for 5 minutes so the everything is warm and softened. Stir often. 

3. Add the cabbage and cook until it begins to softened - 3 minutes. Keep stirring, tossing, moving the food around over the medium high heat. 

4. Add in the green beans, peas, pepper, and remaining oil as needed. Saute for about 4 minutes until peas are warm. Carefully add the salmon don't crush it into tiny pieces. 

5. Add the vinegar, and pepper. Taste and add the salt as needed. Taste again and add the soy sauce as needed. You can always add more salt but you can't take it out once its there. Keep stirring.

6. Cook up the egg. I used a separate pan just to make sure it was scrambled and cooked all the way through. Then add it to the skillet. 

7. Turn off the heat. Add in the cilantro and toss everything together so it looks like the picture. 

8. Eat & enjoy your healthier fish-ified fried rice. Try saying that ten times fast :) 

From my kitchen to yours!

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