We are taking fried rice up a notch with bacon and kale and it’s pretty darn magical.
When kale walks on the scene, suddenly even our most indulgent food fantasies are veiled with innocent healthfulness. I love it for that.
Since balance is on so many of our resolution-charged minds, we are also adding a healthful handful of bacon. Kale + bacon = really good living. It’s math. It’s science. It’s a solid Wednesday night dinner.
This recipe is a riff off of my aunt’s ‘famous’ fried rice. She’s the queen of side dishes in our family, and this is one of her best.
Let’s get down to it.
Cook some rice. Not mushy, not crusty, but jussssttttt right. Contact your local Goldilocks for assistance. .
While the rice cools a bit, turn your attention to the bacon. Cook until crisp and then set aside, leaving the rendered drippings in the pan. We are going to cook our vegetables in bacon fat. See? It’s all about balance.
After the vegetables have had a chance to soften, in goes the kale. The kale does not need to cook long, just 1-2 minutes to become tender, but still maintain its texture.
After that, rice, soy sauce, and eggs join the pan and it is time to serve! That was easy, right?
We are winning at this Wednesday thing.
Bacon & Kale Fried Rice
serves 4 (as dinner) - 8 (as side)
1 1/2 cups uncooked jasmine rice
6 rashers applewood bacon, diced
1 sweet onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ounces kale, washed and roughly chopped (stems removed)
6 tablespoons soy sauce
2 large eggs
Cook rice in a rice cooker or on the stovetop according to package instructions. The rice should be soft, but not mushy.
Allow the rice to cool while you prepare the other components.
Place bacon in a 4-quart saucepan and set over medium high heat. Cook, stirring every so often, until the bacon is crisp. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a small bowl and set aside. Return the pan to the heat and add onion, garlic, carrots, and salt.
Reduce heat to medium and cook the vegetables, stirring often, until they are soft and the onions are translucent.
Toss in kale and cook for 1-2 minutes; until just slightly softened.
Add rice and bacon to the pan and toss so that all ingredients are well combined. Pour in soy sauce and toss the rice so that it evenly coats the mixture.
In a small measuring cup, whisk the eggs and pour over the rice mixture, tossing gently with a small spatula until the egg is completely cooked; about 3 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and serve the rice immediately. Top with a fried egg, if desired.