The one-pot BLT stir fry is the answer to your need-something-good-and-fast weeknight dinner dilemmas.
Let me just say this right at the start: the stir fry is genius.
Here’s just a sampling of the wonderfulness of the BLT stir fry:
- It’s the fastest hot meal game in town! If you’re using leftover rice, it’s 15 minutes, done.
- Since you’re working over fairly high heat, vegetables cook to a perfect al dente quickly, while keeping their beautiful colors.
- Slicing your proteins into thin slivers lets them cook up quickly, too, without drying out.
- If shrimp is your protein, you don’t even cut it up (less prep!), and it finishes faster than even beef. Ditto with bay scallops.
- The high heat crisps up your rice ever so slightly, which is dreamy.
- You can use leftover rice and pre-cut frozen veggies, and it tastes fabulous.
- You can change things up and use noodles instead of rice, like I did with my Ramen Noodle Stir Fry.
- Stir fry sauce is my favorite thing to pour on other things, ever.
- You can add eggs to your stir fry without it being weird. (Not that I think eggs are ever weird, but some folks are like, eggs in my dinner, whah?)
- It’s the perfect clean-out-the-fridge meal. Do you have sad looking mushrooms and broccoli wasting away in the produce drawer? Perfect! Bell peppers about to turn the corner to softsville? Muah! Frozen leftover BBQ pulled pork you keep forgetting about? Super yum!
- They’re one pot meals. Total clean-up: knife, cutting board, saute pan, stirring thingy. Holla!
Did I mention that stir fries are super fast?
But …. what about the rice thing? Doesn’t rice take for-evah?
First, I would always encourage everyone to make extra rice whenever you’re preparing a meal with rice. It’s foolproof to just double the amount of rice you need – no weird little fractional adjustments needed to the amount of liquid used. For me, having rice in the fridge is sometimes the only thing standing between me and a cold bowl of cereal for dinner. You know, on those kind of days. Stir fries are so easy that sometimes my dinner is just a quick stir fry of brown rice, frozen shrimp, and an egg. But it’s not really “just” a quick stir fry. It’s warm and filling and savory and satisfying. And takes no time at all.
Second, if you don’t have prepared rice on hand, it’s really no big deal. I’m not sure how cooking rice got this reputation for being all long and complicated. It’s 45 minutes of hands-off cooking. Seriously. The only thing you have to do is turn the heat off halfway through. Check out my tutorial for cooking brown rice, and you’ll see how easy it is. So, basically you get the rice going, and then go off and do other things for 20 minutes. Come back, take the pan off the heat, and start prepping your other stir fry ingredients. The rice will be ready by the time you have to add it to your stir fry. Easy peasy.
Third, I always keep packets of ramen noodles on hand. Yup, those super cheapy packs from the soup aisle at the grocery (not the cups of ramen, just the 20 cent packets). When I don’t have rice, I just boil up some ramen noodles (trash the nasty seasoning packet!) — three minutes! — and toss them right into the stir fry.
Oh! I’ve been so enthusiastic about sharing the goodness of the stir fry that I sort of forgot to talk about this recipe.
The flavor combo of a BLT is one of my favorites, and I use it as a foundation for many quick-and-easy dishes.
Now, I’m not actually using bacon in this recipe – I subbed pancetta instead, which is far less greasy but still smoky good. And instead of lettuce, I snuck in kale, which is still going nutso in my garden (yay!). Any hearty leaf will do well here (try spinach if you’re not a kale fan), as the saute is quick and blanches the greens rather than wilts them into sad oblivion.
Top with green onions and fresh herbs, and this can’t-believe-it-took-only-20-minutes, one pot BLT stir fry dinner will blow your mind.
As chilly weather continues to seep in, the BLT stir fry will be making frequent appearances at my table. Easy, quick, and super delicious!
- 1 tablespoon peanut or coconut oil
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 ounces pancetta, diced
- 5 kale leaves, very thinly sliced
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes, well-drained (or 1 1/2 cups fresh diced tomatoes, peeled and seeds removed)
- 3 cups cooked brown rice (leftovers are perfect!)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons stir fry sauce (plus more to taste)
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, for garnish
- Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Add the shallots, garlic, and pancetta, and saute until fragrant (just a minute or two). Add the kale and stir until it turns a deep green. Dump in the tomatoes and let any remaining liquid cook off (30 seconds or so). Add the rice and mix well with the vegetables.
- Clear a little well in the center and crack the eggs into it. Immediately stir the eggs into the rice mixture, breaking up the yolks as you go, and continue stirring until there's no sign of liquid eggs.
- Add the stir fry sauce, mixing thoroughly. Taste, and add more sauce, if necessary. Divide into two bowls, and top with scallions and cilantro.