With Chinese New Year’s just around the corner (February 19th), we’re getting ready here to do some serious noodle-slurping and lion dancing. Years ago, before Ge Ge was born and we were still living in Malaysia, I bought a kid’s lion costume that is greeted each year with a level of excitement usually reserved for Santa. Ge Ge keeps asking when he can “wear the lion.”
No, it’s not a euphemism. It’s really a lion.
Anyway, I promised Ge Ge that he could pull out the lion (seriously, there’s no entendre here) this weekend, but then I realized that I haven’t actually seen the thing since we moved up to the DC area last summer. So I’m quietly just not mentioning the lion, hoping he’ll forget it long enough to buy me time to root through every nook and cranny in our house to find it.
In the meantime, today I’m sharing three homey one-dish meals that will work as Chinese New Year’s recipes for kids. Note that I tend to use a variation of chopped baby carrots and fresh, shelled edamame in our home mainly because those are veggies our kids will eat almost any day of the week, in any form. I’ve realized, though, that you could substitute or add vegetables to suit your own kid’s likes and/or dislikes – shiitake mushrooms, chopped red bell pepper, bean sprouts, baby bok choy and celery all come to mind. The recipe for the salmon teriyaki noodle soup can be found here and my peanut sauce soba noodles can be found here. I went through a serious soba noodle phase for a few months because we accidentally over-subscribed on Amazon (with whom we carry on a very co-dependent, needy relationship, by the way), and I was determined to use every last package before it expired. I’ve since discovered that the noodle soup recipe works well with ramen or flat Chinese flour noodles, but the soba salad really needs the bite and grit of the soba to avoid becoming a gummy mess.
In any event, here’s my basic recipe for fried rice that my kids devour. Enjoy!
- 3 cups day-old steamed white rice
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 sprigs finely chopped green onion
- ⅔ cup fresh or frozen shelled edamame
- ⅔ cup roughly chopped baby carrots
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- optional: chopped ham, red bell peppers and/or chopped shiitake mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- In a large wok or stir-fry pan, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.
- Add minced garlic and chopped carrots and stir-fry, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender, approximately 5-6 minutes
- Remove carrots and garlic from heat and place in a large bowl.
- Return pan to heat, reducing heat to medium.
- Add eggs, scrambling until cooked just through but not browned.
- Remove eggs from pan and add to carrot mixture.
- Rinse pan with cold water and wipe dry with paper towels.
- Add oil and turn heat up to high. When pan is hot, add rice in a thick single layer; do not stir. After 1-2 minutes, break up chunks of rice and add soy sauce (add more to taste).
- When rice is thoroughly mixed through with soy sauce, add carrot and egg mixture and edamame and toss to mix thoroughly.
- Add scallions and serve immediately.