Gluten Free Chinese Takeaway: Szechuan & Chili Pepper Zucchini Brown Fried Rice Recipe

frricetri.jpgI’ve always found finding good gluten-free Chinese food in restaurants to be a challenge. Wheat based soy sauce seems to always be lurking somewhere, and even those dishes without soy sauce tend to be either bland or contaminated by preparation in a busy, glutenated wok. I know some people have had luck, but I tend to avoid Chinese restaurants, with the exception of the less than authentic P.F. Changs or Pei Wei (its cheaper sister restaurant) and the offerings of their gluten free menu on occasion. The only trouble is that strict vegetarian dishes are rare at such places, and unless you’re willing to consume the occasional seafood, you’re pretty much stuck with one or two rather bland vegetable dishes. (I do enjoy P.F. Chang’s flavorful garlic snap peas, but their other vegetable dishes look less than exciting.) Anyway, it’s a good thing that you can make your own tasty Chinese food at home! I started studying Chinese cookbooks seriously when I met DH, who loves Chinese restaurants more than almost any other. With time, I learned to wield a wok with confidence, and whip up a tasty sauce to make any vegetable sing. Fried rice took more experimentation, but I’ve been experimenting with recipes for a while now and now I’ve finally come to a point where I can whip up a 100% vegetarian and allergy friendly (Even soy free!) fried rice up on the spot. I have to admit, DH is not crazy about brown rice- but I’ve always enjoyed its nutty, unique flavor. Really, I’ve never met a variety of rice I didn’t like. The other day I had some leftover brown rice and decided to use some lovely seasonal zucchini for a grilled, smoky ingredient adding depth to a totally vegetarian, totally delicious “fusion style” fried brown rice recipe. Even DH liked it. (He’s my in-house equivalent of “Mikey”, when it comes to certain ingredients.) So, why not try a healthier version of a classic, Chinese takeaway favorite, with my Szechuan and Chili Brown Fried Rice recipe?

Try my other Chinese Recipes:
Gluten-Free Soy-Free Chinese Fried Rice Recipe (Veg)
Gluten Free Chinese Food: Spicy Chili Tofu and Chinese Mushroom Broccoli Recipe (Veg)
Szechuan Chinese Peas and Sweet and Sour Veggie Stir Fry (Veg, Soy Free)
Special Fried Rice (optional seafood ingredients)

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Zucchini Szechuan Pepper Chili Fried Rice Recipe
Ingredients
Grilled Veggie:
1 large zucchini or zucchini squash, sliced
sesame oil
1 tsp mesquite seasonings (any blend with earthy flavors like chili powder, onion, garlic etc.)
Salt
—-
Main Ingredients:
1 tbsp schezuan peppercorn oil
1 tbsp scallion oil
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil

3 cloves garlic, smashed lightly
1 small onion, diced
3 cups cooked brown rice, cooked in vegetable broth preferably cold and left in refrigerator overnight
1 tbsp. crushed ginger (like from trader joes, from a jar)
1 orange pepper, cubed
3/4 cup green peas

salt
generous amount of freshly ground pepper (szechuan pepper or white pepper is especially yummy)
—-
Sauce:
1/4 cup tbsp GOOD GF vegetable broth
healthy glub of sherry
1 tsp chili garlic sauce
10 drops of sesame chili oil (the small japanese variety, at most equivalent to 1/4 tsp, maybe 1/8 tsp of oil altogether)
1/2 tsp flavorful honey (mesquite, raw etc)

Directions
Grill:
Baste your zucchini slices with sesame oil and sprinkle them with mesquite seasoning and salt on both sides.

Heat your grill (propane is easiest) and grill your veggies so that zucchini slices have grill marks on each side but are NOT burnt or excessively mushy. When done cut into bite sized squares.Reserve.

Prep:
Mix your sauce ingredients

Stove:
Heat your peppercorn and scallion oil in a wok or cast iron pan on high and add your garlic, letting it get golden brown and then removing the garlic from the oil. (Toss the garlic.) Throw in your diced onions, stirring occasionally until slightly caramelized. Add your rice and leave alone until it forms a light crunchy crust on the bottom, and then turn. Mix crushed ginger into the rice. Add your orange peppers on the top, but don’t fold in yet. Microwave your peas (if frozen) and pour the sauce over them. Check your rice, and if it’s brown, fold in peppers and toss peas and sauce on top. Mix peas throughout rice and let achieve desired level of dry, golden brown texture. Season GENEROUSLY with salt and pepper to taste. (Really, taste it!) Remove to large plate or bowl and enjoy!


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