Recipe Makeover: Southeast Asian Fried Rice
We added some whole-grain goodness to a less greasy, less salty version of a comforting staple.
A wok-tossed mix of rice and savory tidbits ought to be a prescription for light eating. But too often an order of fried rice turns up a greasy, salty, clumpy rice-pile low on vegetables and too rich in oily, starchy calories. This sort of fried rice can easily exceed your day’s allotment for sodium. But it need not be this way! Inspired by Thai flavor profiles, our unconventional but utterly delicious fried rice keeps calories, saturated fat, and sodium in check.
Traditionally, the caramel tint of fried rice comes from cooking foods in a slick of very hot oil and then adding a soy-heavy seasoning sauce. We use a splash of lower-sodium soy sauce plus savory, oceany fish sauce that saturates the chicken and rice without overdoing the sodium. We ration oil to curb calories. For meaty savor, we use just two slices of super-flavorful bacon. For chewy texture, we substitute nutty, whole-grain brown rice. And to boost the veggies, we pack in broccoli, bell pepper, and plenty of green onions. You can try green beans, carrots, bean sprouts, or tomato.
OLD WAY | NEW WAY
898 calories per serving | 438 calories per serving
43.8 grams total fat | 16.3 grams total fat
5.7 grams saturated fat | 3.7 grams saturated fat
3,401 milligrams sodium | 786 milligrams sodium
Lots of vegetable oil | Just enough peanut oil
2 cups white rice per serving | 2/3 cup brown rice per serving
3 tablespoons high-sodium condiments | 1½ teaspoons savory condiments
View Recipe: Southeast Asian Fried Rice
TECHNIQUE: 4 Key Flavors
- We let bacon stand in for the ham or barbecued pork often added to Thai stir-fries. Take a look at our Taste Test to see our faves.
- A go-to stir-fry staple, lower-sodium soy sauce is crucial for underscoring meaty flavor. Just a touch keeps tabs on sodium.
- A spritz of zingy lime juice checks the salty edge of a robust stir-fry sauce and boosts flavor without sabotaging the nutrition.
- Even though many Thai dishes rely on plenty of fish sauce, we used just 1 tablespoon to add depth to the poultry and rice.