Pancetta-fried brown rice with mixed veggies

pancetta fried rice

Once in a while, a family favorite comes about by accident.

This one was born a couple of weeks ago. We’d had a family gathering over the weekend that wiped out most of our groceries. Then that Monday, Jon and I both came down with a bad cold. By Wednesday we were feeling better, but it was the night before Halloween and we were busy pulling together last-minute costume details and all the other stuff I’d meant to do early in the week. 

At dinnertime I looked in the fridge and saw…pretty much nothing, except for some staples and several packages of pancetta I got on special at ALDI. I had no idea what I was going to do with the pancetta when I bought it, so it seemed like the perfect time to put it to use.

I also had some rice, a few eggs, and some frozen veggies…which made me wonder if I might be able to find a good recipe for pancetta-fried rice. 

After some searching around I decided to use this post as a guide, but added egg for protein and flavor, and cooked it all in the same skillet without removing the pancetta to simplify. It took about 35 minutes to cook the brown rice, but the rest of the preparation took about 15 minutes.

Rice freezes well, so you could easily double the portion and then keep some on hand in the freezer for later.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked brown rice, chilled. (I took an extra half hour to chill the rice because I keep reading that fried rice has a better texture when you start with cold rice. Truthfully, I don’t know how much difference it made.)
  • 1 package (4 ounces) diced pancetta
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried ground ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen mixed veggies (carrots, corn, peas, green beans…you could use any veggie mix or whatever you have on hand)

Directions:

  1. Heat up the olive oil in a skillet on medium-high
  2. Put pancetta in the skillet and cook until brown and crispy
  3. Add onions and sauté until translucent
  4. Stir in frozen veggies and garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes
  5. Beat the eggs with a little water in a small bowl, then make room in the center of the skillet and pour in the eggs. Scramble eggs in the middle of the pan until about half cooked, then start mixing in with the rest of the ingredients
  6. Add rice and soy sauce, stir until mix is well blended and warmed through.

Serve! The kids loved it and everyone asked for seconds (several asked for thirds.) In the future I would probably serve it as a side dish with Asian-inspired chicken, but in a pinch, it worked as a main dish because there was plenty of protein, and the pancetta flavor gave it a rich heartiness, too.

This also made quite a lot of rice, enough to feed five hungry kids with a little left over.

Here’s a printable version of the recipe:

  • Pancetta-Fried Brown Rice with Mixed Veggies
    An easy-to-prepare dish with simple ingredients.
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    Ingredients
    1. 3 cups cooked brown rice. If you have time, chill it before cooking.
    2. 1 package (4 ounces) diced pancetta
    3. 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
    4. 1 small yellow onion, diced
    5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
    6. 2 tsp dried ground ginger
    7. 2 eggs
    8. 2 tablespoons olive oil
    9. 1 1/2 cups of frozen mixed veggies (or any veggies you have on hand)
    Instructions
    1. Heat up the olive oil in a skillet on medium-high
    2. Put pancetta in the skillet and cook until brown and crispy
    3. Add onions and sauté until translucent
    4. Stir in frozen veggies and garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes
    5. Beat the eggs with a little water in a small bowl, then make room in the center of the skillet and pour in the eggs. Scramble eggs in the middle of the pan until about half cooked, then start mixing in with the rest of the ingredients
    6. Add rice and soy sauce, stir until mix is well blended and warmed through.
    The Happiest Home http://www.thehappiesthome.com/

 

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