One of the things my parents instilled in us from an early age, was to NEVER waste food, so growing up you’d always find containers (usually old margarine containers) with leftover food in the fridge. I love rice (brown parboiled) in just about any way it can be cooked, so having leftover rice in the fridge is like seeing the pieces of puzzle waiting to be put together. Said puzzle does not have an after picture to follow, so it’s rare that my final fried rice is ever the same. This time I’m using some fresh Jamaican callaloo (called chorai bhagi or spinach in the rest of the Caribbean) from my garden.
2-3 cups cooked rice (chilled)
1 tablespoon veg oil
1 shallot (or small onion)
1 clove garlic
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon soy sauce (see note below)
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1/3 cup diced carrot
1 cup prepared Jamaican callaloo (trimmed)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
Notes. Be sure to use gluten free soy sauce if doing this gluten friendly and if you want more of that vegetable – add about a cup more of the prepared Jamaican callaloo.
Learn how to prepare Jamaican callaloo for cooking: How To Prepare Jamaican Callaloo.
Tip! Make sure the rice is chilled so you’ll get a nice grainy fried rice at the end. Prepare all your ingredients in advance (chop/dice) as this recipe cooks very fast. Heat the veg oil on a medium flame in a wok or non-stick pan and add the garlic, shallot, diced peppers, carrot and black pepper. Cook for 2-3 mins.
Then add the prepared (chopped) Jamaican Callaloo and diced scotch bonnet pepper. Remember to wash your hands after handling the scotch bonnet, don’t use any of the seeds or white membrane surrounding the seeds and tailor the amount used to your own tolerance.
Now add the chopped okra, soy sauce (see note above about gluten free) and sesame oil and cook for another 2-3 minutes. The callaloo will wilt.
Basically all you have to do now is add the rice, mix well and warm though and you’re done. You’ll notice that I did not add any salt as my rice was cooked in salted water and the soy sauce will add that extra sodium element. For a bit more flavor you can always add a tiny bit of freshly grated ginger at the start.
A delightful way to make use of leftover rice and for the doubters who think vegetarian food is bland and boring – guess again! This is a superb way to enjoy a quick meal with fresh ingredients (except the rice) and truly comforting.