Meatless Monday: Egg, Asparagus and Mushroom Fried Rice

By: Patty Lee
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Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

If you spent most of the weekend making a beautiful Mother's Day spread, we wouldn't blame you for wanting to spring for takeout tonight. But before you call your local Thai or Chinese joint, consider this: It might actually be faster (not to mention cheaper and healthier) to make carry-out favorites at home. In the time it takes to deliver your haul, you can have Ching's vegetarian fried rice on the dinner table. Ready in just half an hour, the rice is loaded with flavor — even sans meat — thanks to earthy shimeji mushrooms, spears of baby asparagus and diced red chiles. Best of all, fried rice is a one-pan meal, so you won't be left with a mountain of dishes at the very end.

Scrambled Eggs
3 large free-range or organic eggs, lightly beaten
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch ground white pepper
1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
Fried Rice
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 1/3 ounces baby asparagus spears, tips sliced 3/4 inch, stems sliced into 1/3-inch slices

1 ear fresh sweet corn, kernels removed, core discarded
2 3/4 ounces shimeji mushrooms, individual stems separated
1 3/4 pounds cooked jasmine rice, cold
3 tablespoons low-sodium light soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 red chile, deseeded and finely chopped

For the eggs: Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.

Heat a wok over medium heat and add the peanut oil. Pour in the beaten eggs and stir to lightly scramble until the eggs have turned golden and are still fluffy. Take off the heat and set aside.

For the fried rice: Reheat the wok over high heat until smoke starts to rise, and then add the peanut oil. Add the garlic and stir quickly for a few seconds, then stir in the asparagus and corn and cook until the asparagus starts to turn a deeper green and the corn starts to turn golden yellow, 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and toss together. Stir in the rice and toss to combine for 1 to 2 minutes. Season with the soy sauce, stir and mix well.

Return the eggs to the wok, season with the sesame oil and pepper and give it a few more stirs. Transfer to a large serving plate and garnish with chiles. Serve immediately.

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