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.

The Ingredients

  • 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.

The Method

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.

The Verdict

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…


12 thoughts on “Fried Rice with Swiss Chard”

    1. Melts in the mouth. Actually, pork belly is the same cut as bacon which is a hugely common breakfast meal for many. We almost never eat bacon for breakfast so, in fact, we really don’t eat that much.

      1. Ha ha, the nutritionist would not agree with you. Anyway, ice cream has more calories than bacon! Using your comparison, pork belly is better than ice cream in terms of calories. I just made that up. Have a good afternoon. Eat ice cream!

  1. I like Swiss Chard, but the problem is, whether you buy it or your grow it, you usually have way more than any mere mortal can tolerate and some always turns into a science project in the fridge.

    1. This year it was manageable … last year my wife was bringing home bags of green stuff every other day and I was overwhelmed. The rice trick allowed me to use quite a bit without straining my inventive powers 🙂

  2. I’m not sure if I would have made fried rice with kale. But then I don’t use kale. If I didn’t eat it raw, I might have sauteed it with some onions.

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