Last fall, I bought a wok. I had gotten an Amazon gift card for my birthday and, after much careful consideration, I decided that I just could not live without a wok. Ok, perhaps I’m exaggerating a bit. But, now that I have it, I am surprised that I got by for so many years without one.
I always thought that a large skillet would work just as well for my stir-fries and such. I used one for quite a while. And, if you don’t have a wok, you can get by with a skillet. But, I can tell you that my the wok has taken my stir-fry abilities to the next level. Along with that, I have started making fried rice. All the time.
If you’re in the market for a wok, steer clear of the non-stick ones and don’t worry about all the fancy ones you will see. I bought a carbon steel wok from the Wok Shop (via Amazon… that’s my affiliate link) for less than $25! (That meant that I could pick up a cookbook or two with the remainder of my gift card!) I gave it a quick seasoning one afternoon, and I’ve been cooking with it ever since. I’m still working on developing that coveted perfect patina, but it’s pretty much non-stick these days and it requires very little effort to clean and keep in tip top shape.
And, did I mention the fried rice?
Fried rice used to be my cooking nemesis. Every time I would (attempt) to make it, the rice would stick to the pan, the eggs would then stick to the pan, and I’d end up with a scrambled egg and mushy rice mess. Sure, it was edible, but it rarely resembled anything I would call fried rice.
Now, fried rice is a go to for lunch at my house. Whenever I make rice (which, now that we eat mostly gluten-free, is almost every week), I just make an extra cup or so. Then, the next day for lunch, I can whip up a quick batch of fried rice with whatever leftovers and odds and ends of produce I have hanging around in my refrigerator. It doesn’t stick to the wok, and everyone in the family loves it.
Last week, I had some diced ham leftover from Easter along with some fresh asparagus that I had picked up at the store. And, of course, I had a few cups of cooked rice in my fridge. So, it seemed like a no-brainer to make some ham and asparagus fried rice for lunch. That would have been good enough on its own, but then I saw the pineapple on the counter. I diced up some pineapple and threw it in along with some scallions that we got from our CSA. I think it may be the best fried rice I’ve made so far. We’ll be having it again… Especially because I still have about 3 pounds of ham in my freezer from Easter.
Asparagus, Ham, and Pineapple Fried Rice
Serves 4 (or two very hungry adults and a toddler)
Lately, I prefer to use brown basmati rice when I am cooking, but really any rice will do. They key is to use leftover rice, straight from the fridge. Freshly cooked rice just doesn’t work as well. If you have an extra carton of rice from ordering takeout, that’s perfect, too. For extra flavor, you can cook your rice in chicken or vegetable stock (which is what I did this time around!).
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (preferably extra virgin), divided
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite-sized chunks
- 2 cups leftover cooked brown rice, cold
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup (fully cooked) ham, diced
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
- Soy sauce, to taste
Heat the wok over medium high heat. Swirl 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in the wok until it shimmers. Add the asparagus and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, until tender but not mushy. Transfer the asparagus to a bowl and set aside.
Add about ½ tablespoon of oil to the pan and swirl it around. Toss in the cooked rice and stir-fry for about a minute. Push the rice up the sides of the wok and add the remaining ½ tablespoon of coconut oil to the center of the wok. Add the scallions in the center and give them about 30 seconds to start cooking. Pour the eggs in the center, and begin to stir fry, gradually incorporating the rice from the sides as the eggs cook and scramble.
Add the ham, pineapple, and cooked asparagus to the rice and stir-fry for an additional 2-3 minutes, until the ham and pineapple are warmed through. Season to taste with soy sauce and serve.
Please Note – The link to the wok in this post is an Amazon affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale price, which helps to keep My Kitchen Addiction up and running. Thanks!