USA Swimming News

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Natalie Coughlin Shares her Recipe for Breakfast Fried Rice

Natalie Coughlin Shares her Recipe for Breakfast Fried Rice

Editor's Note: Last month, 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin published her book, Cook to Thrive: Recipes to Fuel Body and Soul. 

In honor of National Nutrition Month, here’s an excerpt from Natalie’s book – a recipe for an Everyday Green Smoothie. Cook to Thrive is available now at Amazon.

Breakfast Fried Rice


Eating meals during athletic competition, especially when traveling, can be a challenge. Often you’re faced with unfamiliar food when you need something reliable to fuel your body for the day. Fortunately, my breakfast of choice was almost always available. Whether I was at the Olympics, World Championships, or Pan American Games, I could reliably find rice, eggs, and soy sauce.

Leftover rice mixed with lots of garlic, veggies, and eggs is actually a common Filipino breakfast called sinangag. Rather than fry the eggs in a separate pan, I like to cook them directly in little craters that I make in the rice mixture. My version uses collard greens, which I love because they become silky during cooking while providing you with all sorts of nutrients and minerals. But feel free to substitute other vegetables that strike your fancy.

1 bunch collard greens

1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons

grapeseed oil or other high heat neutral oil

8 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari, plus more for serving

3 cups leftover cooked rice (brown, white, or a combination)

6 large eggs

3 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced


1. Set an oven rack 6 to 8 inches from the heating element and preheat the broiler.

2. Cut out and discard the ribs of the collard greens. Stack the collard leaves on top of one another and, starting on a long side, roll them up into a burrito- like shape. Thinly slice the rolled greens crosswise into ribbons, then coarsely chop the ribbons so that they are not too long.

3. Heat a large oven- safe skillet, such as cast iron, over medium- high heat. When the skillet is hot, add 1 tablespoon of the grapeseed oil and the garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is a light golden color and very fragrant, about 1 minute. Do not let it burn. Add the collard greens, 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, and ¼ cup water. Cook, stirring, until the collard greens are wilted and all the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes.

4. Add the rice and the remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce to the collard greens. Cook, stirring, until the rice has warmed, 2 minutes. Spread the mixture out evenly in the skillet and make six wells with a spoon. Pour ¼ teaspoon of the remaining grapeseed oil into each well and then carefully crack an egg into each well. Cook, undisturbed, until the egg whites are beginning to set, about 1 minute. Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil until the eggs are cooked to your desired doneness. (I prefer just-set whites and runny yolks, which takes about 1 minute.)

5. Remove the skillet from the oven and sprinkle the scallions over the rice and eggs. Serve immediately, with soy sauce on the side.

 LEFTOVER RICE Fried rice is meant to be a convenience food that utilizes and gives new life to leftovers. Leftover rice is actually preferred when making fried rice because it is slightly dried out and holds up to frying better. If you want to make this dish using freshly cooked rice, simply spread the rice out on a baking sheet and place it in the fridge, uncovered, for 30 minutes to dry out.

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