Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What's for Dinner: Asian Meatballs and Veggie Fried Rice

I made a super simple and very yummy dinner the other night, and thought I would share this week, as maybe something to add to your weekly dinner rotation!  I am constantly on the lookout for new, easy, quick, and tasty recipes to switch it up a bit.  Scott and the kids could probably eat one of about 5 different meals over and over again for the rest of their lives, but I love trying new recipes and different foods and flavors, so I need to change things up pretty regularly.  
Fried rice has always been a quick go-to for me if Scott's out of town or if I want a quick and easy meal, but when I saw some good ole frozen meatballs in the freezer section the other day, a lightbulb went off, and I thought, why not some meatballs over fried rice?  Teriyaki meatballs?  And right there, in the frozen food section, this recipe was born!
So here's what you'll need:
1 bag of frozen homestyle meatballs (don't get the Italian style)
1 jar of Teriyaki Sauce (or Hoisin Sauce, or really any other kind of sticky, thick Asian barbeque-type sauce)
3-4 tablespoons of Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar (or really any kind of vinegar would be fine here)
1 Tablespoon butter
4 cups cooked rice (preferably from the night before or earlier in the day)
2 eggs
about 1/4 c soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, chopped
10 oz package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
4 green onions, chopped
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables, thawed (optional)
And here's what you do:
For the Meatballs:
Empty the entire bag of meatballs into a large saute pan.  Add in teriyaki saice, soy sauce and vinegar, stir to coat all the meatballs.  Heat over medium until meatballs are cooked through, and sauce thins out a bit.  EASY!!
For the Rice:
I personally think that making fried rice is better if you use leftover rice.  Rice that has dried out a bit.  Kind of like making bread pudding with day old bread, kind of the same idea.  If your rice is hot and just made and fresh, when you add everything in and cook it even more, it just gets mushy and overcooked.  But if it's leftover from Chinese lunch takeout, OR, if you make it the night before or earlier in the day, it has dried out enough that when you "fry" it, it doesn't just turn to a mushy mess.  SO, you can either use rice that you make earlier in the day, or leftover.  To begin, melt your butter in another large skillet, over high. Throw all that rice in the skillet.  Add in the soy sauce.  My 1/4 cup was just an estimate; I usually just shake it on my rice until it's the color I like (a light brown, kind of golden roasted brown color), and it takes soy saucy enough for me, but not too strong.  It's not an exact science, here.  I add in my garlic, broccoli (make sure it is thawed and drained; you don't want extra liquid), and if you want to add some leftover veggies (carrots and peas work well, or cabbage and/or mushrooms), throw them in now too.  Taste again to see if you need to add more soy sauce.  Move all the rice and veggies to one side of the pan.  Crack your eggs in, and scramble them up as they cook.  Once they are cooked, mix them into the rice and veggies.  Again, adjust the soy sauce, and season with salt and pepper.

And you're done!  A very simple dinner, with very loose instructions.  I vary my fried rice recipe just about everytime I make it.  What I add in and how much of it, what kind of rice I use, sometimes I add sesame seeds, sometimes sesame oil, sometimes neither, but it's an easy way to use up leftover veggies, and it's usually kid friendly!  My kids were gobbling up these meatballs the other night before I could even get to the table to start eating, so they were a big hit.

Hope you'll try the recipe out, and let me know what you think!

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