For NPR’s “How Low Can You Go” family supper challenge, some of the nation’s best cooks have each agreed to come up with a budget-conscious meal for a family of four that’s healthy, easy and delicious. The hitch? The meal must cost less than $10 — and the cheaper the better.
Chef Ming Tsai recently took the NPR challenge. He cooked a meal of chicken-and-corn fried rice on top of a spinach salad, because he says the variety of ingredients gives the dish a mix of temperatures and textures. The total for his dish $9.68. That’s less than $2.50 a person. You can listen to Ming Tsai here. See the recipe below the video.
Bonus footage Ming Tsai show you how to make perfect rice
Recipe for Chicken-And-Corn Fried Rice With Lemon Spinach
1 pound ground chicken
1 large yellow onion, minced
1 teaspoon ginger powder
2 ears of corn when in season, or 1 bag frozen (12 ounces)
1/2 (10 ounces) bag spinach (washed, spun dry, de-stemmed, leaves torn)
2 tablespoons naturally brewed soy sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
4 cups cold, cooked long-grain rice, brown and white combination, preferably day-old so it’s nice and dry*
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat a wok or large saute pan over medium-high heat. Lightly coat with oil. When oil shimmers add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and brown, breaking up any large chunks with wooden spoon or spatula. Remove chicken to a plate. Add about 1/2-inch oil to wok and allow to heat; add eggs, which will puff up. Cook scrambled eggs and remove to a paper towel-lined plate. If necessary, add more oil to wok to lightly coat, then add onions and powdered ginger, and cook until nicely caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add corn, rice, chicken and egg, and toss to combine. Add naturally brewed soy sauce, toss to combine, and check for seasoning. Place mound of raw spinach in center of four dinner plates. Drizzle with lemon juice and season. Top with fried rice to cover. Enjoy!
*Alternatively, if you’re not cooking rice the day before, place the cooked rice in a single layer on a sheet tray, and place in freezer to cool and dry.