Following along with this week’s cook it ahead for the busy week schedule, I whipped together something we have quite often. This recipe takes very little time, especially if you have prepared rice already ready. When I lived in Japan, I remember families always making an entire rice cooker of steaming white rice. At first my thought was there must be a lot of waste going on in the country if this was common in every household. Then I learned the trick after asking of this cultural difference. Apparently, housewives (not being sexist here, the majority of households the wife still makes all the meals) make an entire bath of rice and then freeze the unused portions. Then in the future on busy days, this unused portion will be used in soups and other fried meals. It’s a way of saving money and time in the future. Smart!
Since learning of this cultural difference than in America, where most people will make the exact servings of rice needed, I have tried to continue on with this tradition. So for this recipe I highly suggest doing just that – defrosting old rice or placing it in the frying pan or wok with some water and bringing it back to life. Time and money saved.
- 12-16oz bag frozen mixed vegetables (any vegetables are okay- even fresh)
- ½ c diced onion
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 ½ c cooked black beans
- 4-6 c cooked rice
- 2-4 tbsp soy sauce, to taste
- Tofu, broken into tiny pieces (optional, I did not use this time around)
- Cook rice according to your package instructions. Or use frozen if available
- Heat frying pan or wok at high and gently spray a little olive oil in the pan. Saute the vegetables and black beans (and tofu if using) until glistening and the onions look slightly brown. (For raw version, skip this step)
- If using frozen rice, add the rice with the soy sauce into the same pan with the vegetables. Saute until everything is warmed through. If things start to stick, add a little oil to the pan and stir around.
- If using cooked rice, toss it in with the vegetable mixture and sprinkle with a bit of soy sauce (reduced sodium soy sauce works too).
Note: If you want to be adventurous, go ahead and add some other veggies such as diced orange bell pepper and/or skip the soy sauce and use BBQ. It all works out to be a wonderful, one-pot meal.