It's the first back-to-bento day and the recent dip in temperature had me wanting to send the kids to school with something warm.
I decided on my mom's fried rice recipe and got a lot of questions from fellow lunch packers when I posted a photo of the finished dish.
When it comes to lunch boxes, I use a very simplified version of our family favourite. I prefer my fried rice with diced onions and sliced mushrooms, but that would be met with frowny faces in the lunch room. I stick to veggies my kids are happy to see.
I use about three cups of long-grain white rice (you could try with brown rice for a healthier version). My mom's number one rule is to let the rice fully cool before frying it. She always made ours the following day, but I leave mine out on the counter for an hour and it works just as well.
Next I scramble three small eggs (or two large eggs) with a pinch of salt. Once cooked, I remove them from the pan and set aside.
My kids are meat-eaters. My mom's version is always made with diced bacon. I used cubed low-fat turkey kolbassa in last night's batch. You can also go completely vegetarian.
If you are using frozen veggies, you can thaw them by tossing them in the pan for a couple of minutes with some light oil (I prefer grape seed oil for stir-frying). I also use diced red pepper or carrots if I have them on hand—the more colour, the better.
Add the rice to the pan (you'll need a large one that allows you plenty of room to toss). Mix well and stir-fry continuously on medium heat. You'll hear the rice starting to crunch.
Sprinkle the rice with a tablespoon of low-sodium light soy sauce. Adjust to your preference.
Continue to stir-fry until everything is well mixed.
I re-heated the rice this morning and used the bento container with a lid. Rice doesn't need to be piping hot to taste good; if your kids are temperature sensitive, you can use a thermos.