Chicken Fried Rice with Fresh Water Chestnuts

Lunch, Wednesday August 20, 2014


  • Chicken (skinless/boneless), cut into stirfry strips (about 1 large breast or 2 thighs)
  • Zucchini, 1 small
  • Carrot, 1 medium
  • Fresh Ginger Root, shredded (about 1/4 cup)
  • Fresh Lemon Juice (about 1 tbsp)
  • 8 fresh water chestnuts, peeled and sliced
  • Fresh Shiso leaves, shredded (about 1/2 to 1 cup)
  • Cooked Rice (I used brown rice), about 2 cups
  • Oil for frying (I used extra virgin olive oil)
  • Salt to taste

Cut your meat and vegetables into stirfry sized pieces. I like to quarter my long round veggies lengthwise, and then cut into thin slices on an angle. When peeling fresh water chestnuts, I like to put the peeled ones into a bowl of water. This removes a bit of the starch and prevents them from discoloring. I don’t know if it makes a real difference.

You can use any aromatic herbs that go well with your ingredients. Basil would work well. Because I was avoiding soy and a bunch of other classic Asian ingredients, this recipe doesn’t really have an Asian taste. It would work just as well with oregano.

I really like cutting my shiso into a chiffonade, but because of the size and texture of the leaves, they tend to tangle up when cooked. As such, I cut into ribbons and the cross cut so that they mix in well.

You can use canned water chestnuts, or omit water chestnuts entirely. Canned or fresh give a really nice refreshing crunch; fresh have a really nice sweetness.

Once all your ingredients are ready, heat up your pan (I used a carbon steel wok on an induction hotplate) and add the oil. Fry the ginger root for about 30 seconds and then add the chicken. Stirfry until mostly cooked, then add the water chestnuts and a bit of water or chicken stock; cover until the chicken is cooked through. At this point the water chestnuts should be fully cooked. Add in the carrot and stirfry until slightly softened, then add the zucchini. If you need more moisture for cooking, add the lemon juice now (or save it for the end). When the zucchini is almost cooked, add the rice, making sure to break up any lumps. Once the rice is heated through, mix in the shiso and any remaining lemon juice.

Serve and enjoy!