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Kale & Fried Eggs over Rice

October 24, 2013

Kale and Fried Eggs over RicePin it!

My friend Lauren beat me to it and discovered this dish—or let’s just call it a dinner strategy—first. (About three years back.)

I’m so glad she shared it with me, because over the years it has become one of our Very Frequent Weeknight Dinners (VFWDs). (Don’t worry, that’s not a thing I actually say.)

Kale and Fried Eggs over RicePin it!

In fact, it’s frequent enough to rival bulgogi chicken, ochazuke, and avocado chicken tacos, but probably faster and healthier than any of those, depending on your choice of rice. And feel free to exercise your choice in the matter; the bed of rice is really just a backdrop for the juicy, citrus-doused kale, and the delectable warm, runny egg yolk.

The best part: Runny Egg Yolk Pin it!

Before she moved away from Santa Barbara, Lauren was my yoga buddy. We went to our very first beginner yoga class together, and continued to offer each other endless support in terms of evening yoga class motivation, company, and transportation. (Thank you, Lauren, for driving me to more yoga classes than I could count!)

Ingredients for Kale & Fried Eggs over Rice

Evening yoga is a whole different experience than morning yoga (I suppose this applies to any kind of exercise, but the truth is… I wouldn’t know!). Instead of energizing you for the day ahead, it exhausts you—in a good way—while making you really, REALLY focused on dinner.

Making Kale & Fried Eggs over Black Rice

The question would usually hit me during shavasana (the final relaxation pose), if not during the very first downward facing dog of the class: what am I going to make for dinner?

After all, you get home, it’s approaching 9pm on a weeknight, and you’re high on endorphins, yet completely ravenous, and ready to drop onto the couch and not move a muscle. So how to solve the dinner dilemma, and not just settle for consuming whatever’s salty, crunchy, cheesy, or …beer within arm’s reach?

Kale & Fried Eggs over Black RicePin it!

The answer is to have a quick dinner planned in advance. (You know, so you can fantasize about eating a specific dinner when you should be clearing your mind during that final meditation, rather than worrying about what you can cobble together from your half-empty fridge.)

Kale & Fried Eggs over Black RicePin it!

Bonus points if it’s healthy, since you just got done with a yoga class, and it’s always nice to stretch out that virtuous feeling as long as you can.

Making Kale & Fried Eggs over Rice

Lauren told me she’d been eating brown rice and kale with a poached egg on top after getting home from yoga, so I tried it, too, and was immediately hooked.

Everything tastes better after yoga, but especially this. It’s an immensely satisfying warm meal, that just feels, well, complete. Yet it all comes together quickly, and leaves plenty of room for variation.

Black Rice (also called Purple Rice or Forbidden Rice)

You can use any type of rice or grain, really, including sticky white rice, or brown basmati rice (which takes longer but you can either get it on the stove the second you walk in the door, or make it earlier in the evening, then warm it up again). But as long as you’re signed on for the longer cooking time of a healthier brown rice, you could also try this black rice (which looks brownish when raw, but turns purplish when cooked). It might be beloved for its fiber and antioxidants, but I love it for its nutty, sweet flavor and the unexpected color it adds to a meal.

Black Rice (also called Purple Rice or Forbidden Rice)

I make the kale through a combination of sautéing and steaming, with olive oil, garlic, and water. To build up the flavors more, though, you can use broth, stock, or whey (from homemade paneer) instead of water to steam the kale. I finish it off with salt and pepper along with fresh lemon or lime juice; I used to add just a tiny squirt of citrus, but I now go all out with a few generous squeezes because I really enjoy the way it can take kale from dull to mouth-watering.

Lemony Sauteed Kale for Kale Fried Eggs over Rice

Top it all off with an egg (or two). This is a dish for runny egg yolk-lovers, whether you like your eggs fried, poached, or soft-boiled.

(Because of its irresistible egg factor, Paula and I have agreed that we are just as happy to eat this for breakfast as for dinner.)

The best part: Runny Egg Yolk

Over the past year, I stopped going to as many yoga classes, and my friend Lauren moved away. Not that there’s a cause-and-effect relation with that, but I won’t deny a correlation… I fell off the evening yoga wagon for lots of other reasons, too: car trouble, laziness, our favorite yoga teacher retired, I got a deal on a subscription to an online yoga class website (so now I still do yoga—more cheaply but probably less effectively—at home)…

Kale and Fried Eggs over Black RicePin it!

But on or off the yoga wagon, I will never stop making or enjoying this for (breakfast and) dinner. I think under an egg and over some rice is the perfect home for kale.

Kale and Fried Eggs over Black RicePin it!

p.s. Now that I’m finally sharing this particular dinner strategy with you all, I believe I will take this opportunity to add a “weeknight dinner favorites” section to my recipe index.

Print these recipes. (PDF)


Black Rice

(Serves 4)

~ 1 cup black rice, rinsed
~ 1¾ cup water
~ sliver of butter (or dash of olive oil)
~ pinch of salt

How to make it:

1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan with a tightly-fitting lid. Cover and bring quickly to a boil (I set a timer to check in after only 3-4 minutes, since it shouldn’t take long). Then lift the lid to give it a quick stir, cover again, and turn the heat down to its lowest setting.

2. Simmer for 40-45 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Then give the rice a quick stir, moving it away from the walls and the bottom of the saucepan, cover it again, and remove from the heat. Let it steam, covered, for 5 more minutes before serving.

Print these recipes. (PDF)

Kale & Fried Eggs over Rice

(Serves 2-4)

~ cooked black rice (above), or some other white rice, brown rice, or grain
~ 1 large bunch kale (or 2 small bunches)
~ 2 Tbsp. olive oil
~ 2 cloves garlic, diced
~ ⅓-½ cup water (or broth, stock, or whey)
~ sea salt and black pepper, to taste
~ fresh lemon or lime juice, to taste
~ chili flakes (optional)
~ 1-2 eggs per person (fried, poached, or soft-boiled)
~ olive oil for frying eggs
~ hot sauce, like Sriracha (optional)

How to make it:

1. Rinse the kale well in water, but don’t bother to dry it. De-stem and roughly chop the kale.

Kale (for Kale and Fried Eggs over Rice)How to de-stem and chop kale: fold the leaves in half

2. In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat, then add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds or so. Add the kale (you may need to add just some of it at a time, since it might not all fit at first), and stir to coat the kale in olive oil and garlic. Once it’s shrunk down just enough to fit all of your kale into the stockpot, pour over the water/broth, then put the lid on, and lower the burner to nearly (but not quite) the lowest heat. Allow the kale to steam for 10-15 minutes, opening the lid to give it a stir two or three times. (Usually the liquid will all have evaporated by the time the kale is cooked, but if your kale is fully cooked and there’s still excess liquid, you can drain it away.)

How to de-stem and chop kale: fold the leaves in half and cut away the stemHow to de-stem and chop kale: fold the leaves in half and cut away the stem

3. Once cooked, season the kale with sea salt, black pepper, a generous squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice, and optionally chili flakes. Stir to mix well, and remove to a serving dish (if the rice isn’t done yet) so that it won’t continue to cook and get burnt in the stockpot.

4. Assemble the dish by adding cooked rice to individual bowls, then topping that with the cooked and seasoned kale. Finally, place a soft-boiled, poached, or fried egg on top. Serve immediately, with hot sauce.

Print these recipes! (PDF)

Kale and Fried Eggs over RicePin it!

Related recipe posts:

Garlicky Kale Pizza Skillet-Baked Eggs with Garlicky Yogurt Turkey Lentil Soup with Kale Kimchi Fried Rice (Bokkeumbap)
Garlicky Kale Pizza Skillet-Baked Eggs with Garlicky Yogurt Turkey Lentil Soup with Kale Kimchi Fried Rice (Bokkeumbap)
51 Comments leave one →
  1. October 24, 2013 8:54 am

    This sounds very delicious and the pictures are beautiful!

    • October 24, 2013 9:04 am

      Thank you! I actually had this recipe half-photographed from an entire year ago when I first decided I wanted to post this recipe, but I had to do them over again because, needless to say, those pictures were not so beautiful… :)

  2. October 24, 2013 8:56 am

    The black rice is SO GORGEOUS in this!!!! Adding it to my shopping list…

    • October 24, 2013 9:06 am

      Yes! You will be glad you did! It simmers for longer than white rice, but it doesn’t take any longer to cook than some types of brown rice (like brown basmati), and it looks stunning and tastes delicious.

  3. October 24, 2013 10:00 am

    This is such a great idea! It’s quick and easy, yet uses healthy ingredients. I am a sucker for runny eggs too. Great for a weeknight when there isn’t a ton of time! Thanks. The Sriracha is the perfect touch.

    • October 24, 2013 2:06 pm

      Definitely! It is the perfect weeknight fallback meal for us, as long as we have kale in the fridge (almost always)… since we always have rice and eggs (and Sriracha!).

  4. October 24, 2013 10:21 am

    This is pretty much my dream sunday Brunch! can’t wait to give it a try!

    • October 24, 2013 2:09 pm

      Nice! I hope you enjoy it!

      I really enjoy this for brunch, too… I like to make extra kale and rice when I make it for dinner (amounts included in the recipe if you’re only making it for two), and then heat them up again the next morning + eggs.

  5. October 24, 2013 11:34 am

    I have an undying love for putting fried/ baked eggs on top of things.

  6. Jessica permalink
    October 24, 2013 1:48 pm

    Yum, I do love all things kale! Where do you buy black rice? I’ve never noticed it in the store.

    • October 24, 2013 2:15 pm

      Oh yeah, that might be tricky for some people… It’s definitely not at every grocery store; I only started noticing it within the past year, at just one of the big grocery stores in town (it’s at my local Ralphs, but not Safeway/Vons) in the same aisle with all the other rice, but in a very small bag (just 1 lb.; I usually buy other types of rice more in bulk).

      The brand I’ve been buying is “Hinode” (a company that also sells Japanese rice), so you might also have luck at some Asian markets, especially those that sell lots of Thai ingredients. Or if all else fails, try an overpriced health food market/whole foods or any store that would have a big selection of rices/grains in bulk.

  7. October 24, 2013 4:13 pm

    This is such an awesome dinner idea. I was looking for different ways to use kale (as my present repertoire is rather limited) and this one has completely won out for my next dinner plan. I love the colour contrast between the purple rice, green kale and sunny yellow yolk. So beautiful. And sriracha? Yeah baby! Definitely trying this, thanks to you and Paula! xx

    • October 26, 2013 12:42 pm

      Yay, I’m so glad to hear you’re into this dinner strategy, too! I love the color contrast of all the ingredients, too… Sometimes it’s the presentation that really makes a meal extra satisfying! I hope you enjoy(ed) it!

  8. October 24, 2013 4:20 pm

    I cannot wait to try this dish for dinner over the weekend!!!

  9. October 24, 2013 6:39 pm

    So simple but looks delicious!

  10. October 24, 2013 9:40 pm

    The egg topping is the piece de resistance :D perfect!

    Choc Chip Uru

  11. October 25, 2013 7:04 am

    I have some red winter kale that would go perfect with this dish.

    • October 26, 2013 12:48 pm

      Connie, yes, that sounds lovely! I’ve only gotten my hands on red/purple kale a few times (and I’ve always turned it into salads rather than cooking it down), but I’m sure that would be delicious in this dish (and extra colorful), too!

  12. October 25, 2013 9:11 am

    Ah, what a perfect way to end (or, right, start) the day. I can do this even if I don’t make it to yoga, right? ;-)

  13. October 26, 2013 4:04 am

    This looks RIDICULOUSLY good! And I’m pretty sure it would make me smarter…

  14. October 26, 2013 3:17 pm

    This looks so familiar and comforting, my friend. Makes me think of bibimbap but with a boost of nutrition and fiber, gotta love that!

    • October 27, 2013 4:43 pm

      Yes! I totally thought of bibimbap when I was taking these photos and trying to get the rice and the kale to both peek out from under the egg. Of course if I’m going to make bibimbap, I’d rather use Korean rice, but this has made me realize that a little kale might be a nice bibimbap addition/substitute for the spinach!

  15. October 28, 2013 10:54 pm

    Yup, I definitely want to see this new category of frequent weeknight dinners! I love creeping on people’s go-tos.

    This reminds me of one of my favorite simple breakfasts–runny egg on top of steamed rice with a few drops of fish sauce (yes, in the morning). Sooooo simple and satisfying!

    • October 31, 2013 8:55 am

      Wow, that sounds really good, too! I’m not sure if Paula would be into that, because she has a (mostly psychological) aversion to (undisguised) fish sauce, but when I sneak it into recipes, she still loves them.

      The small but substantial recipe index category of “weeknight dinner favorites” has been created! (You can find it here.)

  16. October 29, 2013 1:29 am

    Ah! VFWDs so that’s what they’re called! Classic.

  17. October 29, 2013 9:40 am

    Love this idea! I want it for dinner tonight!

    • October 31, 2013 9:00 am

      Hope you got to try it out! It’s seriously one of our most frequent go-to dinners on weeknights, just as long as we’ve got kale in the fridge! (And I happen to have some in the fridge right now…)

  18. November 6, 2013 5:49 pm

    Yum! I’ve done something very similar with spinach, but didn’t think to use kale like this. a great frequent dinner (or breakfast) idea for sure!


  19. November 11, 2013 8:04 pm

    wow, this looks great! i love anything with rice as a staple. and your pictures are so beautiful!

    • December 26, 2013 4:39 pm

      Oh no, sorry I missed responding to your comment earlier! Thank you so much for commenting; I also love dishes that center around rice. Besides making (this dish and) fried rice and ochazuke pretty often, I frequently make rice just to accompany leftover other stuff, and then I can consider it a complete meal! :)

  20. December 24, 2013 12:35 am

    I definitely plan on making this! Trying to figure out how to use my kale haha…

  21. January 29, 2014 8:43 pm

    Just wanted to let you know I couldn’t get this off my mind and I finally tried it a few weeks ago (picture in my latest post) ! Instead of rice I used quinoa, instead of frying an egg, I baked it and I also threw in sliced avocado for good measure. My sister sounded skeptical when I was describing the dish but she now requests it weekly. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • February 5, 2014 10:14 am

      Awesome; I’m so happy to hear this! I’ve made this with brown rice, white rice, and black rice, but still haven’t tried it with quinoa. Or avocado! But oh man, now I want to try adding avocado to this—in addition to the egg!—the next time I make it.

      (The avocado + sriracha combination always reminds me of the laziest dinners I used to make myself frequently when I was working full time in Japan and would come home exhausted after work— I’d just slice up a tomato and an avocado, drizzle over some sriracha, and eat it all out of a bowl.)

      • February 5, 2014 11:29 am

        The avocado is clutch, haha… I also like to add curry powder to my quinoa for this dish– amazing flavor combo.

      • February 5, 2014 4:54 pm

        This would definitely go well with curry flavors! I sometimes add cumin and/or turmeric to my rice as it’s cooking, so I’d just need to add a few more spices, too, for it to be like curry powder. :)

  22. May 7, 2014 12:19 pm

    I love black rice so this sounds right up my street!

    • May 8, 2014 9:53 am

      Thanks, Caroline! I love black rice, too. I always used to make excuses for not cooking with it, since it takes a little longer than white rice, but now I’ve realized that the time it takes to cook brown or black rice is just about the minimum amount of time it would take me to prepare the rest of the meal anyway (and I like the taste of black rice much better than brown rice), so now I eat it much more often. :)

  23. April 14, 2015 8:42 am

    Though I heard of black rice, I didn’t taste it yet. The pictures are so tempting that I’ll make it asap. As we do not get black rice, I need to order it online. Thank you.


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