Many moons ago, when my now-husband and I first started dating, we did the thing that many couples do: we tried to increase our appeal by cooking meals for one another. At the time, neither of us cooked very much, so we both fell back on comfort foods that we had grown up with. For me, that was my dad’s Bolognese sauce. For my husband, it was eggs and rice.
When he first told me of his love for eggs and rice I was dumbfounded. Outside of fried rice at Chinese restaurants I had never heard of the combination. And to be completely honest, I thought it sounded absolutely awful. But in the interest of being a good sport with my new boyfriend, I agreed to try it. As I looked down at my plate of rice topped with a fried egg, I was still doubtful. And then I took my first bite and I was blown away! It was delicious, nourishing, and comforting. It felt like something I would imagine a grandmother would make for you when you were home sick.
Eggs and rice have since become a staple in our house in a number of forms and while putting a fried egg on top of a bed of rice feels too simple to share as a legitimate recipe here, I did want to share with you the other way that we eat eggs and rice in our family on an almost-weekly basis: Brazilian-Style Fried Rice.
I love this recipe because it is so flexible. It is the meal we make when there is nothing much in the house. It is meal we make when we have no time to cook. It is the meal we make when we have various leftovers to use up, but not enough of any one thing. It is the meal we make when my little one hasn’t eaten a vegetable in days and it is starting to stress me out.
In Portuguese this dish is called Mexidinho and in Brazil it is one of those dishes that everyone’s family does in their own way. My recipe is based on my husband’s approach, which is really by feel rather than a recipe, so feel free to adjust it to your own tastes and desires.
The basics are simple: leftover rice, eggs, and a vegetable of some sort. After than you can add anything you want: beans, cheese, diced meat, leftover cooked vegetables, etc.
I know this may seem strange, but I highly recommend trying this one out!
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 3-4 eggs (about 1 egg per person)
- 2 cups cooked rice (or another grain)
- 1 cup chopped or small vegetable, frozen is fine (e.g., peas, chopped spinach, broccoli florets, corn, chopped tomatoes)
- 1 cup of optional add-ins: beans or legumes, diced already-cooked meat or tofu, grated cheese, leftover cooked vegetables, I’ve even added leftover stuffing (see picture)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large frying pan, melt the butter. Add the eggs and scramble in the pan until just starting to solidify, about 1 minute. Add in the rice and stir until starting to warm, about 1 minute. Add in vegetables and any other add-ins. Mix until everything is warm. Salt and pepper to taste.