Kale Fried Rice for One – Infinitely Adaptable Recipe

Kale Fried Rice
Kale Fried Rice for One

This is the kind of thing I make for myself when I’m the only one around or the only one hungry. It only works with leftover rice that has sat in the fridge for at least a few hours, but in my house that is usually available. And of course, you can make it for a larger group – you’ll just need a bigger skillet or wok so there is plenty of surface area to crisp up the rice.

This isn’t a traditional fried rice with the egg scrambled in. Instead, I just toast the rice in a bit of oil to get lots of crispy, brown bits, then put a fried egg on top.

You can vary this recipe infinitely: Want it vegan? Skip the egg. More protein? Add some small cubes of tofu or tempeh. Spicy? Any kind of fresh or dried chili pepper, or curry spices, or a Chinese chili paste or sriracha or harissa will all work. Just pick one general culinary tradition and stick with it. Don’t have kale? It could be spinach or cabbage or any leafy green – or other vegetables as long as you allow for the time they need to cook. Feeling healthy? Brown rice or red rice or black rice will work as well as rice.

Kale Fried Rice for One
Vegetarian, kosher, vegan if you omit the egg, and gluten free if you check your soy sauce
Serves 1 (but easy to multiply)

  • 1 generous tablespoon oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked and refrigerated rice
  • 4 leaves kales, stripped from stems and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce (gluten free if needed)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat a medium cast iron skillet over high heat. Add the oil and garlic. A few seconds later, add the rice and break up large clumps. Allow to cook, stirring only occasionally, for about 3 minutes, until there are some nice browned bits. Add the kale, salt, and soy sauce and cook for about another 5 minutes until the kale is completely tender.
  2. Transfer the rice to a bowl and turn off the heat. Put the egg in the skillet and use the residual heat to cook it. Slide on top of the rice, garnish with the green onion, season with salt and pepper, and enjoy.
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Posted by Michael Natkin on Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 in Main Courses, Recipes.

8 Responses to “Kale Fried Rice for One – Infinitely Adaptable Recipe”

  1. Reply
    June 26, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    This looks so yummy – especially the fried egg part. I never realized fried rice was so simple. I always thought there were tons of ingredients! Can’t wait to try this out!

  2. Reply
    June 27, 2013 at 3:13 am #

    Reminds me of Korean Bibimbap. Thanks for sharing this. It’s a quick meal when you are starved for something nutritious and hearty.

  3. Reply
    Melané Botha
    June 28, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

    When next you cook rice cook extra and freeze in portions. Then nuke for a few minutes when required and proceed with your recipe. And for those who prefer: cauliflower rice works beautifully with this as well!

  4. Reply
    July 2, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    I was looking for a leftovers recipe, thank you

  5. Reply
    July 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    I’m such a sucker for a fried egg on top of almost any dish! Totally digging the kale in this fried rice.

  6. Reply
    July 3, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    Such a unique fried rice – definitely need to add this to my weeknight menu!

  7. Reply
    August 21, 2013 at 1:49 am #

    I’m a batchelor so this is right up my alley! Didn’t think Fried Rice would be so simple!

  8. Reply
    October 8, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

    This is really awesome. I added fresh ginger and garlic with the onions, brown sugar, chile paste, and rice vinegar with the soy sauce mix, and cilantro at the very end. Excellent.

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