Cooking with Stephen: Fried Rice

Steve and I worked together on two different interesting things today, but I’m only going to blog about the one this evening. I’ll save the other one for another post later this week…

For the last several years, I have been trying to teach Stephen to cook whenever the opportunity arises. I always tell him that as much as he eats, he really needs to learn to cook for himself! Sometimes it is rough finding the spare time since it always takes much longer to prepare something when you are showing someone else how to do it. Now that he is 12, I do try to show him how to do at least a little cooking every week or two at the most.

When I first started teaching Steve to cook, he would help with baking cookies and muffins and other simple things. I would let him help measure out certain ingredients or beat eggs, but I would still handle most of the recipe myself. However, lately I have been trying to challenge him more and have been letting him cook whole meals practically on his own while I just stand aside and guide him when necessary. There are now actually several things that he can cook completely on his own from start to finish with no help from me at all. (I never let him use the stove though when an adult isn’t readily available!)

Today I chose to teach Steve how to make fried rice which also happens to be one of his favorite things to eat. Both of my boys could practically live on rice of one sort or another. In fact Stephen bought me a rice cooker this past Christmas. He spent all of Christmas Day annoying me by asking me when I was going to make him some rice. 🙂

I have only made fried rice myself once before, last week in fact. I had been surprised by how easy it is to make and figured that it was something Steve could certainly handle.

The basic recipe I used is here.

I did change the recipe a little bit though. We decreased the amount of oil used by about half, and I increased the amount and kinds of vegetables used by a lot.

We like having some kind of protein in our fried rice, and eggs were what we had on hand. Next time perhaps we’ll try some leftover shrimp.

Beating some eggs

Beating some eggs

Smiling because he survived chopping up all those veggies without losing a finger.

Smiling because he survived chopping up all those veggies without losing a finger.

Steve loves his veggies. Next time maybe we’ll have some asparagus and zucchini on hand too! Fresh mushrooms would be tasty as well.

Chopped veggies to fry with the rice: leeks from our garden, frozen peas, sliced snow peas, carrots, and broccoli.

Chopped veggies to fry with the rice: leeks, frozen peas, sliced snow peas, carrots, and broccoli.

I made up a bunch of rice in the steamer the day before because Tobin wanted some for lunch. We had enough leftover for our fried rice this afternoon.

Using a spatula to break up the cold leftover steamed rice from yesterday's lunch.

Using a spatula to break up the cold leftover steamed rice from yesterday's lunch.

If I hadn’t been watching, Steve would have used a lot more soy sauce than he did. In Steve’s world there can never be enough salt or garlic.

Adding in some soy sauce.

Adding in some soy sauce.

The fried rice is just about done!

The fried rice is just about done!

>Eating the fruits of his labor while translating Latin.

Eating the fruits of his labor while translating Latin.

The fried rice was quite delicious. I made up my own separately after he was done cooking his. I don’t like mine as salty as he does, and I am pretty sure he hogged all the leeks.

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