Sunday, March 14, 2010

Home-Cooked Take Out: A Recipe for Healthier Shrimp Brown Fried Rice

shrimp brown fried rice DSC_0017

Home-cooked take out (or homemade take-away as the Brits say). It's an oxymoron, but you know what it means.

There are loads of articles in cooking / health magazines touting the benefits of making your own take out favorites. It's no surprise. At-home take out is more affordable, healthier, and often tastes better.

Without a doubt, my favorite take out food is Chinese and Thai, which unfortunately is usually loaded with sodium and excess fat from oil. So I often make my own Chinese and Thai take out favorites such as this Thai Pineapple Fried Rice.

With a few tweaks, fried rice can easily become a healthier take out dish. In this recipe for Shrimp Brown Fried Rice, brown rice and added veggies boost fiber and complex carbohydrates while reduced sodium soy sauce and unsalted cashews keep sodium levels on check. Boldly flavored toasted sesame oil is more flavorful than regular sesame oil, so less is needed without sacrificing flavor.

So tell me, dear readers, what are your favorite home-cooked take out dishes?

Shrimp Brown Fried Rice 
Makes 6-8 side servings
Print recipe only here.

3 large eggs, lightly beaten (or 2 whole eggs and two egg whites)
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 1/2-2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided
24 medium shrimp, deveined, cleaned, and tails removed (about 2/3-3/4 pound)
4 cups cold cooked brown rice
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 small red or green chili, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup frozen peas
3 tablespoons unsalted cashews
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
sliced green onions, for garnish

1. Place a small fry pan coated with cooking spray over medium high heat. Add eggs; cook until nearly set. Flip once, and cook until set and no longer runny. Set aside. Cool and cut into small strips.

2. In a small bowl, whisk soy sauce, brown sugar, and ginger; set aside.

3. In a wok or large, wide, deep pan, heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil over high heat. Cook shrimp until bright red, but not browned. Remove from pan and set aside.

4. In same wok or pan, heat remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Saute shallots and chili for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add red bell pepper for 1 minute. Add brown rice, and cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp. Add soy sauce mixture and stir. Return shrimp to pan. Add eggs and peas and stir until well combined and heated through, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in cashews and cilantro. Garnish with sliced green onions, and serve immediately.

You might also enjoy these healthier adaptations of classic dishes from Food Blogga:
Orange Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese
Healthy Chili
Whole Wheat Veggie Pizza
Mom's Chocolate Pudding with Bananas and Graham Crackers

You might also enjoy these fried rice recipes: 
Stir-Fried Brown Rice recipe from A Veggie Venture
Vegetable Brown Fried Rice recipe from The Perfect Pantry
Chinese Fried Brown Rice (Indian Style) recipe from My Diverse Kitchen
Fried Rice with Scallions, Edamame, and Tofu recipe from eat me, delicious