Usually a plate of fried rice in a Chinese restaurant in Philadelphia what we can choose is white rice sauteed with soy sauce, some meat (pork, beef, shrimp or chicken), some onions, corns, carrots, peas, etc. Are there any more creative version of fried rice than this? The answer is absolutely yes!
One day when I glanced over some leftover rice and quinoa, and chili bean paste in my refrigerator, and some pickled Napa cabbages in the jar, I had a brainwave. If I combined them together, what would it taste? The final dish is a pleasant surprise!
Let me talk more about the main ingredients first in the dish.
White rice was the staple food my husband and I grew up with eating in Hubei province abounding with rice. As a wife and mom, I care for balanced diet much. My family seldom only eat white rice for staple foods now. I usually put half rice and half quinoa （藜麦）in the rice cooker to boil. The latter one is nutritious and easily-digested, good for my son.
Chili bean paste is broad beans fermented usually with salt, chili and oil . It can be called the soul of Sichuan cuisine. It’s a little spicy, salty and aromatic. Pickled Napa cabbages is sour. Both are flavorful. (See the pictures above)
Da cong (大葱) is added in this dish. The small and thin spring onions Chinese usually use to garnish a final dish are common to be seen in many local supermarkets. However, da cong (大葱) in the above picture are not easily to be available. I bought them from H Mart and have not found them in any other Asian store. It is much longer ,thicker, more flavorful than the common spring onions. You can easily tell their green leaves are much darker. It is common in North China, where people only eat the stalk part, usually mixing together with meat as dumpling fillings, or stewing with meat or sometimes stir frying. It is also an indispensable ingredient for authentic scallion pancakes. Unfortunately, there is no exact name in English language. Even Wikipedia says the translations are ambiguous. I decide to use the Chinese pinyin da cong, without translating.
Fried Rice and Quinoa with Chili Bean Paste and Pickled Napa Cabbages (Vegan)
Ingredients: (Serves one person)
- Two cups of leftover rice and quinoa
- 5 pieces of pickled Napa cabbages, diced
- Half a tablespoon of chili bean paste, roughly chopped
- Two pieces of one-inch ginger, diced
- Two inches of da cong stalk, chopped
- Half a sweet pepper, diced
- Two spring onions, roughly chopped
- One tablespoon grapeseed oil
- One teaspoon sesame oil
- Salt to taste
- Heat grapeseed oil in the wok.
- Stir fry ginger and da cong over low flame until aromatic, for two minutes.
- Add chili bean paste to stir fry for one minute.
- Add rice and quinoa and Napa cabbages to stir fry for five minutes over medium flame.
- Add sweet pepper and spring onions to stir fry for 30 seconds.
- Add sesame oil and salt to taste.
- Transfer to a plate and ser.