While we want to behave, January is a tough month to deny oneself a full tummy. We’re happy for a brisk Florida day so that we can bundle up in a sweater and wish away the extra holiday pounds.
Chinese dishes are our fave filler during the chilly months. But instead of takeout, toss together this healthier version from our diva in training – brown rice replaces the white; lean pork, fresh shrimp and crunchy broccoli play leading roles, with peanut and sesame oils hitting just the right notes. OK, so it’s not as fast as takeout, but good fortune comes to those who create this wok-ful of deliciousness.
Shrimp and Pork Fried Rice
Serves 2 big appetites as a main dish, with leftovers
5 to 6 teaspoons peanut oil, divided
1 small head broccoli (about the size of a man’s fist), cut into tiny pieces
1/2 medium or 1 small yellow onion, diced
2 eggs, whisked
1/4 pound lean pork (tenderloin or boneless center-cut chops work well), cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cups brown rice, cooked, cooled, and refrigerated for at least 6 hours
1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of oil, and heat until it shimmers. Add broccoli and onion; toss in oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender but still slightly crisp. Remove from skillet onto a plate, and set aside.
Return pan to heat, and add 1 teaspoon oil. Heat until it shimmers, then add eggs. Cook eggs until firm, breaking into bite-size pieces. Transfer to plate with veggies. Wipe pan carefully with a paper towel to remove any egg remnants.
Return pan to heat. Add another teaspoon or 2 of oil; add pork in a single layer. Don’t stir for at least 1 minute, to get a nice sear on the meat. Cook until mostly cooked through, then transfer to plate with eggs and veggies. Repeat process with shrimp, keeping in mind that shrimp cooks very quickly, and will cook further when tossed with the rice. Transfer cooked shrimp to the plate with everything else.
Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Add rice, in a single layer, and let cook without stirring for about 2 minutes. Toss rice, and continue cooking for another few minutes until rice is coated in oil and golden in color. Add veggies, eggs, pork, and shrimp, tossing to combine. Drizzle with soy sauce and sesame oil, tossing to coat. Taste, and add salt or additional soy, if desired. Serve immediately.
Diva confession: For stir frying, nothing beats a round-bottomed, 12- 14-inch steel wok (also for steaming and even deep frying). For a gas stovetop, we prefer the round bottom with a ring-shaped stand, but flat-bottom woks are available for use on electric stoves. The steel provides excellent heat control. For stirring, look for a long-handled spatula shaped like a small shovel, but any kind of long-handled spoon will work. If you must use a skillet, use an old-fashioned cast iron skillet.