If you love fried rice, but are looking for a healthier twist, try this Farro “Fried Rice” dish. The slightly nutty flavor of farro combines with classic veggies of corn, carrots, and peas, for a hearty, delicious Lunar New Year dish…or it’s perfect for any dinner as well!
The Lunar New Year, or Chinese New Year as some people call it, begins Monday, February 8! If you are looking for a great Chinese food dish to serve but maybe one with a bit of a twist, my Farro “Fried Rice” recipe is just the thing!
I’ve been obsessed with farro for a couple of years now, and I am always so excited when it’s served at a restaurant. But for some reason, I haven’t really cooked with it at home…until now. I’ve cooked a few different dishes with farro now and can’t believe I waited so long to cook with it at home!
Farro is an ancient grain that is soft, chewy, and satisfying. It looks a little like wheat berries. Heartier than quinoa and packed with more cholesterol-lowering fiber than rice, farro has an absolutely delicious texture and slightly nutty flavor. It’s also packed with vitamin B, zinc, iron, and more heart-healthy nutrients. I think it’s especially delicious in salads, but you can also use it for risotto dishes, soups, or, as I used it here, as a substitute for rice in recipes!
Italians have been cooking with farro for centuries, and it is said to have been found in the tombs of Egyptian Kings. So, you know: you can say you’ve made a dish fit for a king when you make this recipe! ;)
Tips for Buying Farro
My favorite farro to cook with is Village Harvest Italian Pearl Farro. It’s about $5 per package at my local grocery store, and lasts a long time. The Italian Perlato (or Italian Pearl) farro is the easiest, in my opinion, to cook with because it doesn’t need to soak overnight; if you buy whole grain farro, you’ll need to soak those puppies overnight. I also just ADORE the taste of the Village Harvest Italian Pearl Farro.
Farro “Fried Rice”
Growing up, my Filipino great-grandmother and my mother would cook different variations of Filipino fried rice. This recipe is akin to the more traditional, Americanized version of Chinese Fried Rice, but you can certainly adapt the ingredients to include your own favorite vegetables and meat. It can also easily be made as a vegetarian dish!
I start with a base of garlic, ginger, onions, corn, peas, and carrots in one large skillet, while I have the farro cooking in a separate pot. Once the farro is done cooking according to the package directions, you simply add it to the vegetable mixture and you’re done!
- 1 cup uncooked farro which turns into 3 cups of cooked farro; Village Harvest Italian Pearled is my favorite variety
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onions
- 2 garlic cloved minced
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger or 1/4 teasoon ground ginger, but it's not going to be the same, folks!
- 1 cup peeled cubed carrots
- 1 cup peas
- 1 cup corn
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 - 1/2 cups shrimp or chicken breast or pork loin that is cut into very small pieces
- Cook farro according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the onions, garlic, and ginger. Stir with a wooden spoon and sauté for one minute.
- Add the carrots, peas, and corn to the skillet, and stir well. Sauté all of the pretty veggies, stirring occasionally, for about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the soy sauce and sesame oil.
- Add your meat (shrimp, chicken, or pork) to the skillet and cook for 4-8 minutes, until the meat is fully cooked. I usually use cooked frozen shrimp that has been thawed, which takes about 5 minutes in the skillet. If you are using uncooked small pieces of of chicken breast or pork loin, you'll probably need to cook them for about 5-8 minutes.
- Once the meat is cooked, add the cooked farro. Stir and cook for another minute or two, so that the farro soaks up all of the delicious flavors in the skillet.
- Serve immediately.
Do you like farro dishes? Have you cooked with it at home or enjoyed a farro dish at a restaurant? If so, what was the dish?