Benihana Fried Rice Copycat Recipe

benihana fried rice recipe copycat

Rice recipes are inherently frugal.  Problem is, too many people don’t make it correctly.  When it comes to making rice, the right type of rice is important.   Believe it or not, not all rice is created equally.  A true risotto requires arborio rice, sushi a sticky short-grain, and for certain Indian dishes only Basmati will do.  Also, attention to detail in its preparation is equally important.  When it comes to making fried rice, the key is to use cold, day-old rice.  Who knew?

I was browsing the internet for a copycat version of the Benihana Fried Rice.  All the recipes I saw didn’t include those important details!  Plus, adding garlic to the butter was omitted in many of them.  It makes a big difference.   My whole family loved this dish, and my husband said, “This is the best fried rice you’ve ever made.”  This recipe is definitely a keeper.   My only regret is not making more.  Sadly, there are no leftovers.

 

Benihana Fried Rice Copycat Recipe
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Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 4 C. cooked Jasmine rice, day old and cold
  • 5 Tbsp. butter
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. ginger
  • 1 C. chopped onion
  • 1 C. chopped carrots
  • ⅔ C. chopped green onions
  • 3 Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
  • 5 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 eggs
Instructions
  1. In a 350 degree oven, toast your sesame seeds for 15-20 minutes until light brown. Meanwhile, In a large skillet, melt the butter along with the minced garlic and ginger over medium heat. When garlic is translucent, add the onions, green onions, and carrots. Add the cold, cooked rice and soy sauce. Cook until the rice starts to get slightly brown and crispy. Push rice/vegetable mixture to the side of the skillet, and scramble the eggs. Once scrambled, mix in to the rice/vegetable mixture. Add sesame seeds at the end of the process and serve.

Halal Guys Chicken and Rice Copycat Recipe

halal guys chicken and rice copycat recipe

The Halal Guys Chicken and Rice is one of my favorite frugal New York street food experiences.  Located on the corner of 53rd and 6th, New Yorkers and tourists alike line up for a taste of this mouth-watering goodness for just $6 a pop (more on Frugal New York Eats).  Every once in a while, I crave it and nothing I can get in my smallish Minnesota city comes close.

Recently, I experimented with Halal Guys Chicken and Rice copycat recipes I could make at home.  The one I landed on was definitely close enough to keep me happy until my next New York City trip.  To make it even easier, I used my crock pot to cook the chicken thighs.  It’s a great meal to make on a busy evening.  Just set the crock pot to go before you leave for the day, and come home to the savory smell of chicken.  The rice can be ready in about half an hour.  For a kick, add Harisa Hot Sauce.

Halal Guys Chicken and Rice Copycat Recipe
 
Ingredients
  • For the Chicken:
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ C. olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (the kind in the bag work well)
  • For the Rice:
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. cumin
  • 1½ C. Basmati or Texmati rice
  • 2½ C. chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Sauce:
  • ½ C. mayonnaise
  • ½ C. Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. For the chicken, whisk together the lemon juice, oregano, coriander, cumin, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Place inside a crock pot and pour sauce over it. Cover and cook until chicken is done (4 hours on high, 6-8 hours on low).
  2. For the rice, heat butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Saute the rice for a couple minutes together with the tumeric and cumin, until it begins to brown slightly. Add the chicken broth, cover and reduce heat. Cook 20-25 minutes until liquid has been absorbed.
  3. Serve with shredded lettuce, tomato wedges, and pita.

Thanks to Serious Eats and The Huffington Post for the recipe inspiration.

Asian Glazed Salmon: A Flavor-Packed Dinner in Under 30 Minutes

asian glazed salmon ruby tuesday

The best thing about salmon, other than its great flavor, is the fact that it’s good for you.   It’s packed with Omega-3 fatty acids that have been shown to lower your cholesterol and improve your memory (among other great things).

When it comes to preparing salmon, I often get stuck in a rut.  I went about searching for recipes the other day and came up with this one.  I love that this dish can be made in under 30 minutes from start to finish.  The red pepper flakes add a kick, but you can dial back the heat by adding more or less according to your taste.  Hoisin sauce is almost like an Asian molasses.  I found it in the ethnic section of our regular grocery store, but if you have trouble finding it you can always get it on Amazon.com.   If you want to go the frugal route, don’t get it at all and substitute molasses.  It won’t be as authentic-tasting, but it will still be good.

Frugal Tips:  Many people avoid eating salmon because it tends to be expensive.  A bag of four salmon fillets is just $4.99 in the freezer section at ALDI Food Stores.   When you offset a dish like this by serving it with rice, the cost is actually very reasonable.

This was originally posted on Mommysavers:  Ruby Tuesday copycat salmon

Asian Glazed Salmon
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Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • ½ C. brown sugar
  • ⅓ C. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 4 salmon fillets
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix together the brown sugar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, red pepper flakes, garlic powder and fresh lime juice. Heat in a medium saucepan until bubbly. Place salmon fillets in a baking dish. Pour the sauce over the fillets, coating well. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Serve over rice.

 

 

Homemade Condensed Cream Soups

homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup

Making homemade condensed cream soups is one way to save money and end up with a healthier product at the same time.  Once you get the hang of it, you’ll want to add your own seasonings and flavors according to taste.  In my book, Instant Bargains, you’ll find dozens of other recipes that will help you save money in the kitchen.

Note:  These recipes makes a roux which can be substituted for the can of soup.  It doesn’t make the finished soup product.

Homemade Condensed Cream Soups

Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
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Make your own cooking soups at home for a fraction of the price!
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • ½ C. beef broth
  • ½ C. milk
  • ¼ tsp. each garlic and onion powder
  • 8 oz. fresh or canned mushrooms (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir until smooth. Lower heat and add broth, milk, mushrooms and spices.
  2. For a chicken variation, substitute chicken broth and omit the mushrooms.

 

Copycat Recipe: Near East Parmesan Couscous

copycat recipe near east parmesan couscous

If you’re currently buying the boxes of Near East Parmesan Couscous…. why?  Parmesan couscous is easy to make, frugal, and only takes a few minutes.  Not only that, you can have fun experimenting with fun add-ins and tweaking the flavor.  After you get the basics down, you can create a copycat couscous of just about any of the flavored box mixes you typically buy.

Frugal Tip:  Couscous is usually located near the rice and grains in most supermarkets.  If you have a hard time finding couscous, you can purchase it on Amazon.com or Vitacost.  Plus, when you register for a new Vitacost account you’ll receive a code valid for $10 off a $10 order.

Source:  Inspired by the Mommysavers Parmesan Couscous recipe


Copycat Recipe: Near East Parmesan Couscous
Recipe type: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: 2-4
 
A yummy, quick-and-easy copycat version of Near East Parmesan Couscous
Ingredients
  • 1 C. dry couscous
  • 1 C. chicken stock
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ onion, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • ⅓ C. grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Add garlic and onions and saute until soft. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add couscous. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand for five minutes, then fluff with a fork. Add remaining ingredients: pepper, balsamic vinegar, and grated Parmesan. Fluff again and serve while hot. DO NOT overcook. It will become a gloppy mess if you allow it to sit too long.
  2. Yummy add-ins include feta or goat cheese, basil, parsley, diced or sun-dried tomatoes.