Saturday, September 29, 2012

Breakfast Fried Rice

Ohhhhhh, I love breakfast. Am I the only one? Don't you love breakfast as much as I do? Well, if you don't, you totally should! It's such a versatile dish-- how many renditions can you think of for pancakes? Or french toast? The possibilities are endless, and all of them delicious. If you think of breakfast as a blank canvas and let your imagination run wild.... now that would be a fun day-dream filled afternoon!

Here's a new combination that I had never tried before : Breakfast Fried Rice. The concept is very simple, and like the dinner version of fried rice is customizable to include just about anything you'd want. I didn't want to incorporate any "dinnery" flavors like soy/fish sauce or garlic. I know I live in Japan and here they eat rice, fish, and soy sauce for breakfast sometimes, but I still can't get into it. I'm learning to branch out more, but that's still a little untraditional for this American. 

That being said, when I walk Otis in the morning after a night shift it's usually around 7:30, which is the time our neighborhood children are walking to school. This universal activity is pretty much the same as it probably is in your own neighborhood or childhood experience if you walked to school: Moms stand out in the street talking with each other, sharing the latest gossip or frustrating motherhood experience while they watch their kids walk away in their adorable, colorful backpacks as they clique together usually based on gender and age range. The girls walk hand in hand singing songs and the boys run after each other yelling. It's a comforting sight to see and not only does it remind me of my home and childhood and stir up all of those nostalgic memories, it makes me look forward to the day when I'm able to watch my future children participate in the same, timeless activity. The wonderful thing about children walking to school here in Okinawa is that it's so incredibly safe that there is no fear of children being abducted, a feeling which I don't think I'll be able to savor once it's me watching my kids back in America.  
Anyway, the point of the tangent about morning time is that if I'm able to get home before the kids head out for school, I'm able to smell such wonderful things coming from our neighborhood kitchens. To this day I cannot describe exactly what it smells like other than what I feel like umamai would smell like. Possibly rice, soy sauce, fried garlic and some fish stirred by an experienced hand and made according to generations old recipes. I have never wished I knew more Japanese than these mornings when I would love to knock on doors asking, "what is that wonderful smell?" Of course that would probably be rude so I would hesitate to be so crass in this incredibly polite society, but I can wish, right? If I were able to recreate those smells in my own kitchen, I might be a convert to traditional Japanese breakfast, after all.

Until then, I'll settle for my play on fried rice with breakfast ingredients. It was incredibly delicious and will be made again very soon. I "fried" the rice and vegetables in a little bit of bacon grease but it didn't impart as much flavor as I was hoping and I think I used just a little bit too much and made it more greasy than I would have preferred. I made this a second time the next day and added more bacon and a little bit of breakfast sausage and not add any additional grease and let whatever's present in the ingredients cook the vegetables, which was much less greasy and added more depth with the sausage.

It's a wonderful way to use leftover rice and any vegetables that are about to go bad. Please feel free to add in anything that you think would go with rice and eggs. It's customizable to you, remember! And look at those colors! It's a tasty way to get in your first serving of vegetables, and that's never a bad thing, right?

Breakfast Fried Rice

a Butter Than Toast original
serves 2

1/2-1 full cup leftover cooked rice, whatever ya got in the fridge
3 eggs
1/4 cup egg whites (the ones in the carton)
1/2 bell pepper, diced (use 1 whole pepper if yours run small, and feel free to combine colors!)
1/2 medium onion, diced
2-3 large handfulls spinach, stems trimmed and leaves chopped
5-6 slices bacon
1/3 pound breakfast sausage
pinch ground black pepper

Beat the eggs and egg white together, adding black pepper an set aside for now. Cook the bacon in a large skillet and drain on a paper towel lined plate, breaking up with your fingers once it's cooled slightly. In the same skillet, cook the sausage until no longer pink, breaking up with a spoon. Store the meats on the same plate while you continue cooking. Drain excess grease from the pan, but don't wipe out with a paper towel. Reheat pan over medium heat and add in the bell pepper and onion, and cook until soft. Add in the rice and spinach and cook until spinach is just wilted. Place rice vegetables over the bacon and sausage, and return pan to heat. Spray with Pam, add eggs, and scramble. Once the eggs are still slightly wet but almost done, Add in the rest of the ingredients: rice, vegetables and meat. Stir together over medium heat to combine and heat everything through. Serve hot with a side of fruit. Enjoy!


  1. Never had fried rice for breakfast but I'm certain I probably could if it was in front of me in the morning :)


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