Fried Rice, no bean sprouts? What to do?

Broccoli Slaw as Bean Sprout Substitute with Fried Rice
Broccoli Slaw as Bean Sprout Substitute with Fried Rice

There were a good number of celery outer stalks in the fridge, some BBQ pork slices and a packet of petit peas in the freeze as well as some leftover Basmati rice and a couple freshly hard-boiled eggs in the fridge. What to make? Yes, variation on an old standby not made in a long time, but must have the right stuff on hand, you know, not have to fetch everything from the grocer. It’s a notch up from mall versions because home versions have more good stuff in them. Everybody knows that.

But we like lots and lots of bean sprouts in mostly-veggie fried rice. Fresh bean sprouts, not those wretched, slimy, smelly things in cans forced upon innocent children along with other mysterious-looking and weird-tasting canned things stirred together with egg and fried with some kind of gravy poured over it, served on a plate and called “Dinner. Eat it.”

So I went off to one of the big local chain stores to get some bean sprouts. No such luck. Greengrocer said they’d not carried them for six years because of liability issues. I went to another big store. Nope, they spoil too quickly, but can be found in the stores which cater to ethnic foods.

I asked the greengrocer if there is a substitute for bean sprouts since I was not intending to go on a hunt for a new store. Nope. No substitute. Sorry. I did the rest of the shopping and then went back to the produce aisle on the grounds of “must be something” and picked up a package of pre-julienned broccoli slaw with purple cabbage and carrot accents. Close enough..

In the end, I was too hungry to spend time chopping the celery and red bell, so they will go into something else. Instead, I caramelized some yellow onion, added the BBQ pork and garlic, pushed it around and made a well, poured in the entire contents of the bag of broccoli slaw, squeezed some wasabi sauce over that in a zig-zag pattern, drizzled some soy sauce over that, turned the gas up, stirred it for a couple minutes until everything was blended and hot.

It sure wasn’t fried rice, but it does look a bit like a version. We had it sitting in the garden and enjoyed the crispy vegetables and bits in what was a memorable sauce with a bit of rice in it. Broccoli slaw makes a colorful and tasty substitute for bean sprouts. Greengrocer chap must not have much of an imagination, eh?

See those faux sprouts?
See those faux sprouts?

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