Low Carb Sticky "Porkchop" Fried Rice, Vegan and Vegetarian Options
Updated: Mar 16
(All photos in this post will be have taken by me, 2021.)
We're just coming out of the Lunar New Year season but as a Vegetarian, my ability to participate was kind of limited. As a mixed-race person, I also like to blend different forms of cuisine to create "mixed-race foods". I usually don't like fried rice since it seems like a lot of empty carbs. So, I tried to invent a plant-based variant on fried rice that would be rice with nutrition and flavour! Here are the things you'll need! Tools:
- Fry pan or wok
- Spatula or wok spatula
Foods: - One large onion, diced.
- One can of beans, drained and rinsed.
- Bacon or Plant-based bacon replacement, to taste.
- Three-quarters of an apple, diced.
- One cup of cooked rice.
- Oil, sesame is recommended but choose what you like.
- Salt and pepper, to taste.
- HP sauce, hoisin sauce, tonkatsu sauce, to taste. (I couldn't see anything from animals in the ingredient lablelling. But you might want to check which brands you buy if you are vegetarian or vegan.)
- Parsley, to taste.
- Two eggs (leave out for vegan version.)
1. Put a couple of your tablespoons of sesame oil in your pan and heat it to high heat.
2. While your pan is heating, cut up your onion and throw it into the pan.
It will look white at first. But you're trying to caramelise it so that it will get lots of nice umami flavour. If at any point you find things are sticking to the pan, just add more oil. You don't have to stir the onions constantly. But you'll want to stir them often enough that they don't burn. You can see the difference in colour in the before and after photos. If you are a meat-eater wanting to put real bacon in, it would be a good idea to add it at the same time as the onions.
Once the onions are browned, I suggest putting your rice in the pan and stirring it in with the onions so it has the chance to fry a little before anything else it. It helps the flavour and texture of the rice. If you're really wanting to help your heath, I suggest brown, red or basmati rice. But white was all I had, so it was what I used. You'll want to stir this fairly often and add more oil, since the rice often likes to stick to the pan.
4. While the rice is frying you can dice your 3/4 of an apple and wash your beans. I recommend borlotti beans since they seem to taste more like pork. They also taste similar to a bean that sometimes appears in Chinese stews. But really, all beans will add lots of texture and nutrition to your fried rice.
You'll also want to wash and cut your apple. I said to dice it, but really, the point is to make it small enough to cook easily, and I actually like it a little chunky.
If you have a plant-based bacon replacement, I recommend cutting it up and adding it to the pan now.
Stir, stir stir it all together so it is well mixed. Then you'll want to add the sauce. I suggest adding a tablespoon of each sauce and stirring the fried rice well, then tasting the fried rice to see if you want to add more. Stir it like crazy some more to make sure everything is evenly seasoned. Sprinkle in the parsley. It doesn't seem to change the flavour, but it adds some micronutrients. You'll want to taste again and decide on how much salt and pepper you want to add.
You'll know your fried rice is ready when the apple has wilted to the point where it is silky and sweet.
5. Many people would feel that a fried rice isn't complete without eggs, so while vegans may want to leave them out for this recipe, here his how I like to do it. Take all your fried rice out of the pan and put it in your bowl. add some more oil to your pan and then crack two eggs in (I prefer free-range. You can absolutely tell that those chickens had better lives.) Let the eggs fry sunny-side up and then place them on top of your rice. Mine didn't go so well since I accidentally burst my yolks. But all the nutrients are still there.
I think some chopped spring onions would add some beautiful colour but I didn't have any. And the fact is, this dish tastes pretty dang good. Apples, bacon and Asian barbecue flavours come together really nicely.
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