Fried Rice with Swiss Chard
This is not an especially exciting dish, but it is one that I cooked frequently last year when we had huge amounts of Swiss Chard from our yield at the Iqaluit Community Greenhouse. I made plenty of different dishes with the chard from that particular harvest, but cooking it in fried rice was a good way of using it up when I ran out of other ideas. This year, our yield was pretty meager but time constraints, which I won’t bore you with, have meant I need to use the batch very quickly and so I am going to reproduce one of my last year’s fried rice recipes for you in this post. As I say, it is not a wildly exciting dish, but it illustrates a really good way of getting some greens into the diet of those who can otherwise take or leave them…
This is our entire yield from this year (shorn of dead leaves and other detritus). It looks like quite a lot for a single dish when fresh but you will be surprised how the volume diminished when it is cooked.
- 2 cups cold cooked rice
- 1 bunch Swiss Chard, leaves chopped coarsely, and stems finely.
- 1 rasher Pork Belly, diced
- 1 Egg
- Soy Sauce to taste
It is most important that, for fried rice, you use cold cooked rice and not rice that is freshly hot from the steamer or rice-cooker. Best of all, let the rice chill overnight in the fridge before you use it.
First of all, beat your egg and then heat just a smidgen of oil on your wok. When the oil is shimmering hot, add the egg and swirl the pan to spread it out into a thin omelet. Allow it to brown, then flip it and repeat on the other side. When it is done, remove to a cutting board and chop it into small pieces.
Add the pork belly pieces to the wok while it is still hot and stir fry until they are golden brown and getting crispy. Remove to a small receptacle and pour off all but a tablespoon of fat.
Add the chard and stir rapidly until it is bright green and wilted.
Finally, add the rice and then the soy sauce. Stir until the soy is incorporated into the rice and then add the egg. Continue to toss and stir until everything is heated through and then plate and serve.
As always, the chard, being so lightly cooked, adds a nice earthy, but slightly bitter, quality to the final product. If you like, you can let the rice cool and then stir-fry a second time before serving as this will blend the flavors a little and let the sharper qualities mellow a bit. This might be preferable for serving to kids, or others not fond of greens but, personally, I like the veggie hit…