The most beautiful dinner in all the land.
I made this last weekend thinking that it’d be more of a side dish, and it can be, but then I realized that protein + starch + vegetable = dinner, so the one-skillet main dish was reborn. It’s fried rice, but it’s not too Chinese-tasting. It’s Brussels but not obnoxiously so. It’s pancetta, which needs no introduction.
This method for making fried rice comes from my host mom in Japan, Keiko. I lived with her family for 5 months in 2006, and everyday I pinch myself because there’s no way it’s been that long, right? Also 2006 doesn’t feel like 11 years ago, not even a little bit. The method is the best – saute the flavor items for the fried rice, warm some leftover rice in the same skillet, dump eggs right on top, and stir stir stir until everything clumps up and gets nice and crispy. No making omelets and carefully slicing them, no extra dishes, just simple, delicious food.
Also: bagged shredded Brussels are my new boyfriend.
The ingredients are simple! Leftover rice, a bag of shredded brussels, diced pancetta, 3 eggs, tons of minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce and sesame oil. Maybe some salt depending on how things go.
First, pancetta! Add it to a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil, and let it render over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes until it’s crispy and slightly browned.
Then, Add the Brussels and the garlic. It looks like a lot of vegetable, and it is, but they’ll cook down a lot! The pan should be really hot at this point to char the Brussels just a bit.
Stir the brussels for about 3 minutes, then remove the veggie/pancetta mixture to a plate.
Then, to the same skillet, add another drizzle of olive oil and the rice. Spread the rice all over the bottom of the skillet to create a crust.
When the rice starts to sizzle, add the Worcestershire sauce, the sesame oil, and the eggs. Use a spatula or rice paddle to stir the eggs into the rice, flipping the rice around to cook the eggs.
Repeat this for another 3 minutes or so – stir, press down the rice, wait a minute or so, then repeat to get a few layers of crispy rice.
When the rice has started to brown slightly, add the Brussels mixture back in. Stir everything together in the same manner – stir, flatten into one layer, wait for crispy bits, repeat – then taste and add more Worcestershire or salt and pepper if you’d like.
Again, this would be great served in smaller portions with a piece of grilled chicken and a side salad, but it’s great as a meal all alone.
Surprisingly, Beck loved it too, although I regretted giving her rice the second I did it, but that’s why we have dogs, right? Not tidy, that little girl.
I love this because it’s a great use-up for leftover rice, and you can easily customize it based on what veggies you have around that you’d like to use up. You could add leftover chicken, fresh herbs, BACON….you get the picture.
Brussels for President!
- 3 cups cooked rice
- 4 ounces diced pancetta
- olive oil, as needed
- 12 ounces Brussels Sprouts
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- In a large skillet, add the pancetta with a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook for 7 minutes or until the pancetta is crispy and some of the fat has rendered. Add the Brussels and the garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes until the Brussels have softened slightly and browned. Remove the Brussels mixture from the pan.
- To the same skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil and the rice. Press the rice into a single layer so that it can crisp on the bottom. Wait one minute, then stir the rice and press it into another layer so more pieces can brown. Add the eggs, Worcestershire, and sesame to the skillet. Quickly toss the eggs with the rice to scramble and cook them - they should coat most of the rice.
- Again, press the rice into a single layer for about one minute, then flip it and repeat a few more times to brown the rice and egg.
- Return the Brussels mixture to the skillet with the rice. Stir to combine and taste; add more Worcestershire or salt to increase the flavor as needed (how much salt you use will depend on how salty your pancetta is).
- Serve as a main course or in smaller portions as a side dish. Enjoy!