Dinner This Week: Fried Rice

This week’s menus include Simple Fried Rice, Spanish-Style Toasted Pasta with Shrimp, and Eggs Pipérade for dinner in about an hour

Published Nov. 2, 2022.

Every week, Executive Food Editor Keith Dresser pairs each main dish with a side to give you a complete, satisfying dinner without the guesswork. Look for the game plan section to learn tips on how to streamline your kitchen work so dinner comes together quicker.

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Dinner 1: Fried Rice with Pan-Steamed Broccolini

Game Plan: Prep the ingredients for both dishes. Start cooking the fried rice. Once the rice has been added to the wok, start cooking the broccolini. Finish stir-frying the rice while the broccolini steams. Once the rice is complete, loosely cover to keep warm while finishing the broccolini.

Simple Fried Rice with its simple seasonings and balance of mix-ins makes for a frugal and incredibly satisfying meal. Day-old jasmine rice works best; the varietal is loaded with a popcorn-y aromatic compound that perfumes the fried rice with gorgeous fragrance, and when stir-fried, the hard, dry clumps relax into tender-firm, distinct grains. Broccolini can be tricky to cook because its tender florets are quicker to soften than its stems. For Pan-Steamed Broccolini with Ginger, we split the thicker stems so that they are the same size as the thinner ones in the bunch, allowing for even cooking.

Printable Shopping Lists: Fried Rice with Pan-Steamed Broccolini

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Dinner 2: Spanish-Style Toasted Pasta with Shrimp and Brussels Sprout Salad

Game Plan: The pasta and shrimp require a fair amount of attention during cooking, so prepare all of the ingredients for the salad first, including making the dressing. While the pasta stands for 5 minutes, finish making the salad (if necessary, the pasta can stand a little longer than 5 minutes).

Our Spanish-Style Toasted Pasta with Shrimp is based on a traditional Spanish recipe called fideuà. To streamline the procedure but keep the deep flavor of classic recipe, we replace the traditional slow-cooked fish stock with a quick shrimp stock made with shrimp shells, chicken broth, water, and a bay leaf. We also save time by streamlining the sofrito (the aromatic base common in Spanish cooking), by finely mincing the onion to help it soften and brown more quickly and using canned tomato instead of fresh. The final tweak to our recipe was boosting the flavor of the shrimp by quickly marinating them in olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. We dress our Brussels Sprout Salad with a warm mustard vinaigrette that gently tenderizes the sprouts while allowing them to retain their freshness. Bites of quick-pickled shallot and dried apricots add pop, while Ricotta salata cheese, chopped toasted pistachios, and watercress contribute richness, crunch, and a touch of bitterness.

Printable Shopping ListsSpanish-Style Toasted Pasta with Shrimp and Brussels Sprout Salad with Warm Mustard Vinaigrette

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Dinner 3: Eggs Pipérade and Quinoa Pilaf

Game Plan: Prep the ingredients for both dishes. Start cooking the pilaf. Once the pilaf is simmering covered (step 3), prepare the egg dish.

Eggs Pipérade, a Basque classic, features rich, tender scrambled eggs paired with a mix of tomatoes and sautéed peppers. We use a combination of red bell peppers and pale green Cubanelle peppers, which offer sweetness and delicate fresh flavor, respectively. To prevent the vegetables from turning the eggs stringy and wet, we precook them to evaporate excess moisture, and we also keep the pipérade and the eggs separate until they hit the plate. Our Quinoa Pilaf with Herbs and Lemon uses an almost equal ratio of quinoa to water (about half that of other recipes) to ensure tender grains with a satisfying bite. We toast the quinoa in a dry skillet to develop its natural nutty flavor and finish our pilaf with fresh herbs and a splash of lemon juice. 

Printable Shopping ListsEggs Pipérade and Quinoa Pilaf with Herbs and Lemon

To view more quick weeknight dinner ideas, check out the rest of the Dinner This Week series.


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