A Chinese bàn fàn (拌饭) is a simple bowl of mixed rice similar to Korean bibimbap (albeit much simpler). It’s almost crazy how easy it is to put together, and it’s super satisfying and tasty.
As you may have guessed from our almost 2-week hiatus on posting, we’ve been very busy with the cookbook.
The book is designed (exciting!) and we have been doing edits all day (and night) on a tight timeline to ensure the book comes out this fall.
Add to that all the craziness going on in the world, and we’ve found that we just haven’t had much time or energy to cook.
This recipe is for times like these—something comforting and tasty, without much effort. Make this recipe with leftover rice and a couple eggs. I made it for the girls and Justin on a busy day of cookbook editing, and everyone raved over how delicious and simple a meal it was.
What to Make with Leftover Rice
With this Chinese mixed rice recipe, fried rice may no longer be your go-to method for using up leftover rice! This tasty meal takes even less time, and it’s hard to mess up.
The only real cooking involved is frying up two eggs to your liking—sunny side up, over easy, or scrambled, runny or firm—the choice is yours!
This recipe is also perfect for any time of day—breakfast, lunch, dinner, hearty snack, or late night indulgence. And I bet you have all the ingredients in the refrigerator right now.
A Plant-based Substitution for Gelatin
If you would like to make this recipe completely plant-based, you can use agar agar powder in place of gelatin. Keep in mind though that it won’t give you the same wiggly effect gelatin yields.
You’ll need much less of it—about 2-3 teaspoons, as agar agar is much stronger than gelatin. Note that we haven’t tested this substitution, so if you try it, let us know how it goes in the comments!
Cooking for One?
This mixed rice recipe is for a single serving. It’s ideal for those of you who are cooking for one or two—it’s great for solo weeknights and students!
If you want to make the 2 servings shown in our photos, you’ll need to double the recipe. That said, I suggest that you still construct each serving in separate bowls—though simultaneously—for the best results.
Rewards far outweigh efforts here. You will be amazed at how scrumptious just a few pantry ingredients can be. Give it a try!
Add the ingredients to a medium heatproof bowl in the order listed: the oyster sauce, light soy sauce, sugar, garlic, scallion, and cilantro. If you’re making multiple servings, multiply the ingredients to prepare the number of bowls needed.
Heat the oil in a small saucepan until it starts to smoke. For this step, you can simply multiply the quantity of oil by the number of servings and heat it all simultaneously.
Drizzle the hot oil over the aromatics and hear it sizzle.
Fry the eggs in the same saucepan you heated the oil in.
Then add the cooked rice (reheat it first if using leftover rice) to the bowl, and top with the eggs.
Mix well and enjoy!
Ban Fan, Simple Rice Bowl
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon garlic (minced; heaping tablespoon)
- 2 tablespoons scallion (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or any neutral oil)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup cooked rice (a Chinese rice bowl's worth; if using leftovers, microwave or steam to reheat)
- Add the ingredients to a medium heatproof bowl in the order listed—the oyster sauce, light soy sauce, sugar, garlic, scallion, and cilantro. If you’re making multiple servings, multiply the ingredients to prepare the number of bowls needed.
- Heat the oil in a small saucepan until it starts to smoke—for this step, you can simply multiply the quantity of oil by the number of servings and heat it all simultaneously.
- Drizzle the hot oil over the aromatics and hear it sizzle.
- Fry the eggs in the same saucepan you heated the oil in. Then add the cooked, warmed rice to the bowls, and top with the eggs. Mix well and enjoy!