Hello from NYC!
I’m back from Ohio, and back in the New York groove!
Gosh, not only was my time at home amazing from a family stand point, but my goodness! It was culinarily magnificent!
*We had Skyline Chili! We had Greaters ice cream! We had the most amazing sushi from E+O, some elevated bar food (think lobster mac and cheese), and of course, delicious meals made by my amazing mother.
But tonight, I’m sharing a fabulous recipe I made for Steven and I, from the weekend before we left for Ohio!
Introducing my Scallop Fried Rice Tower!
I’m telling you — this dish is so delicious…AND EASY!
It’s high in protein and big on flavor!
Plus, it is one of the most stunning dishes I’ve made yet!
You can use either cauliflower rice, like I did. Or, you can use real rice!
Here are a few tips for getting the ultimate fried rice experience!
1: USE COLD RICE. Yep – now is not the time for a steaming, fresh batch of fluffy white rice. Nope, you want cold, from the fridge, day-old if possible, white rice. That way, it really soaks up all the bright and exciting flavors we’ll be adding. (If you didn’t plan ahead and don’t have day old rice, that’s okay! ((I didn’t either!)) You can just make your rice a few hours ahead, and pop it in the fridge to chill out for a couple of hours before you make dinner!)
2: USE BOTH TOASTED SESAME OIL AND OYSTER SAUCE – You may think that soy sauce is enough to make a delicious fried rice meal. ABSOLUTELY NOT!! Toasted sesame oil and oyster sauce are both CRITICAL ingredients to get authentic, restaurant style fried rice! So pick up a bottle of each — they’re inexpensive and will last for a long time. The depth of flavor they both add is bar none!
3: USE BUTTER! I know, I know — for my vegans and dairy free friends out there, this ingredient we’ll have to forgo, but butter truly does make this dish EXTRA DELICIOUS. Why? Because it allows the rice to BROWN. And when we’re talking cooking, BROWN = FLAVOR! So, by all means, bust out the butter, baby!
4: USE HIGH HEAT – This is another important step, because it really allows the veggies and rice to fry, and most importantly…NOT STEAM. If the rice steams in the pan, then it will stick together and get mushy and clumpy…not what we’re going for!
5: THE MORE VEGGIES THE BETTER! Seriously – this is a must, for taste and health’s sake. Plus – the more veggies, the higher the nutritional profile! In this recipe, I used carrots, red bell pepper, shallot and onion! But other veggies would also work great, too! Like — peas, mushrooms, asparagus, okra, green beans, sugar snap peas, mango…the sky is the limit!
And finally, seasoning is everything with this dish. So don’t be afraid to add some extra soy sauce at the end, to taste!
This dish, when made traditionally, is naturally gluten free (if you use Gluten Free Soy Sauce!) If doing the SCD/cauliflower version, forgo the oyster sauce (it has sugar), and use coconut aminos in substitution for the soy sauce, as soy is not permitted on the SCD! (I will note the substitutions on the recipe!)
Here’s What You Need:
1 lb scallops
1 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning
Half a lemon
1 bundle of asparagus
2-3 cups chilled, cooked rice (or cauliflower rice, for SCD)
2 eggs, scrambled
2 medium carrot, small dice
1 red onion, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, small dice
4 cloves garlic, freshly-minced
salt and pepper
3 Tbsp butter (or oil)
4 Tbsp soy sauce, GF tamari, or coconut aminos (SCD use coconut aminos)
2 tsp oyster sauce (SCD omit)
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
fresh cilantro, garnish
1/2 avocado, sliced (for garnish)
Cashews, chopped, for garnish
2 Large, non-stick pans
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place your asparagus on a tin-foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for 30 minutes.
It’s important to have all the ingredients prepped and ready to go, since this meal comes together quickly! So first, prep all your veggies and measure our all of your sauces.
In the large nonstick pan, add 1 Tbsp butter to the pan, and heat until melted. (SCD, substitute oil for butter). Add your carrots, onions, shallot and red bell pepper, season with salt and pepper, and let them cook for about 4 minutes, until they begin to soften. Then add your garlic and let it cook for another 2 minutes.
Finally, add another Tablespoon of butter, let it melt, and then add the rice (or cauliflower rice). Stir to combine. Then, create space in the middle where you can cook your scrambled eggs. Once they cook, incorporate them into the rest of the mix. Finally, add your soy sauce and oyster sauce, and stir until combined. Stir for another 3-4 minutes to fry the rice.
Remove from heat, and then stir in the sesame oil, and more soy sauce to taste.
***Note on Cauliflower Rice: If you are using cauliflower rice, you’ll need to let it cook for an additional 5 minutes, so that it softens and becomes tender. Also, you’ll need to use less soy sauce than rice, because it doesn’t absorb it the same as a grain does. I would suggest adding a Tbsp at a time, and then tasting, and adding, and tasting, etc, to ensure it doesn’t get over dressed!***
Set aside while you cook your scallops.
to cook the scallops: you want them to be bone dry. So after you rinse them, put them on a paper towel, and dry them completely with another paper towel. Sprinkle the one side with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. (You’ll season the other side when it’s in the pan.)
Next, you want your pan to be very hot. Add about 2 Tbsp Olive oil or avocado oil to a large nonstick pan. Heat until right before it starts smoking. Then starting at the “12 o’clock” position, place your scallops one by one clockwise around the pan, being careful not to crowd the pan. Once they are all placed in, let them sear untouched for 1:45. (Set a timer, it goes fast!)
Then, using tongs, start again at the 12 o’clock position and flip each scallop going clock wise.
Set another timer and let cook for another 1:30. At this time, sprinkle them with salt and pepper and drizzle with the juice of half a lemon.
After a minute and 30 seconds, take them off the pan and put on a plate to rest. (Otherwise they will continue to cook on the pan.)
To serve, place a mound of the fried rice on the plate. Top with slices from half an avocado. Place your roasted asparagus on top of that. Finally, place your cooked scallops on top of that, creating a ladder-like, tower of goodness! Garnish with cashews, fresh cilantro or green onions if desired.
Oh my gosh, what a treat!!
This was not only a feast for the tummy, but also for the eyes! Holy cow! I can’t get over how beautiful this meal was! (If I do say so myself!) I’ve gotta be honest, this meal was a bit thrown together: we were going out of town, and I had to clear out the veggies in the fridge, so I made this fried rice, and boy, did I surprise myself!
That’s why the video on instagram isn’t as robust, because I wasn’t even planning on posting this!
The burst of flavor in fried rice is outstanding. It’s a little warm and nutty from the rice — real or cauliflower — and then it’s got this salty umami flavor from the soy sauce, the oyster sauce and scrambled egg. But the toasted sesame oil is what really takes it over the top!
If you’ve never tried it before, I HIGHLY suggest it! And a little goes a long way! But be sure to add it off the heat, as a finishing oil, because that sesame is so delicate, you don’t want to ruin the flavor with heat!
And my goodness, those scallops were perfect! Steven has really perfected the art of searing these bad boys. And wow, is it ever phenomenal. That, with the buttery avocado and the perfectly crispy asparagus…mmm mmm mmm!
I can’t wait to make this meal again!
So do yourself a favor: clean out the veggies in your fridge, and make a DELICIOUS fried rice meal! It’s budget friendly, and the flavor is out of this world!
And be sure to stop by for tomorrow’s post, where I’ll be sharing a day in the life of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet — what I eat in a day! Along with most asked questions!
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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