Chef Lola Osinkolu agrees that Thanksgiving is for family and food. To make her Nigerian-American styled Thanksgiving one-of-a-kind, she has one secret weapon— Nigerian Fried Rice.
All About Thanksgiving
In Africa, we don’t exactly have Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday. Africans give thanks every other day. It’s a cultural thing. If a person buys a car, they have a thanksgiving at their place of worship and call friends and family to celebrate with them. The same goes if they buy a house, get promoted, have a baby, and so on. Whatever it is that we feel thankful for, we gather folks together (even strangers) to celebrate with us.
Thanksgiving Day is an annual holiday in the United States (celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November), and Canada (celebrated on the second Monday of October), where people come together to celebrate the blessings of the past year. The holiday is a time to kick back and relax with family, spend quality time with them, and enjoy a bountiful meal.
The Best Part of Thanksgiving
The best part of Thanksgiving Day is eating delicious food. The typical Thanksgiving meal is centered around the turkey. Other dishes include bread stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Unfortunately, not everyone finds this meal spread appealing. Most people go for meals that are more appealing to them. Regardless of what’s on the menu, your meal comes with a side dish of drama— which happens when everyone in the family comes together.
Chef Lola’s Kitchen
Lola Osinkolu of Chef Lola’s Kitchen, is a certified foodie. She was born and raised in Nigeria, where her passion for cooking started from an early age.
Lola is all about fresh, minimally processed and cost-effective ingredients that can be found at home or your local store. After moving to the States, Lola had to choose between her two passions. It was either going to be cooking or sewing. She settled for cooking. With the help of her husband, she now runs a food blog that offers a wide range of recipes that can entice everyone, including picky eaters.
Thanksgiving at Lola’s house is a combo of two cultures—Nigerian and American. According to Lola, Thanksgiving Day was her first holiday Stateside. She immediately fell in love with the tradition because it brought back memories of celebrations she had in Nigeria.
Although Lola enjoyed the meal and had a blast, she felt like something was missing. To bring that flavor of home to her thanksgiving table, Lola added Nigerian fried rice with turkey and stuffings. (which makes my mouth water just thinking of it). Did I forget to mention that holidays are a thousand times better when good food is on the table?
Let us give thanks that Lola shared her Nigerian fried rice recipe on Chef Lola’s Kitchen, and declared that the simple yet tasteful dish will forever have a place on her thanksgiving table. And I can understand this, because you can’t miss Nigerian fried rice at Owambes (parties).
Although she uses mixed vegetables and beef liver in this recipe, you can use shrimps or any protein you’d like; omit the beef liver if you love to make vegan fried rice.
Keyword: Fried rice, homemade
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 5 people
Author: Lola Osinkolu
- 2 cups cooked rice
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 3 tbsp oil for frying
- 1 cup onion diced
- 1 cup mixed Vegetables Carrots, Sweet Peas, Sweet Corn and green beans
- ½ tsp thyme
- 1 tsp Curry powder
- 2 scallions diced
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 1 cup beef liver cubed
- salt to taste
- ¼ tsp Cayenne pepper
Hacks To Make Unforgettable Nigerian Fried Rice
- Throw in a dash of cayenne pepper to add some heat.
- Don’t over boil your rice before frying it, otherwise, you will end up with soggy fried rice.
- Don’t overcook your veggies, they should remain crunchy.
- Mix vegetables like carrots, peas, sweet corn and green beans.
- Fry on high heat and stir continuously as you allow the rice to heat up to keep it crisp.
- Chicken or turkey stock is preferable because they are mild, unlike beef stock, which is overpowering.
Take a medium pot and add boiled rice to the stock. Cook until the water dries up.
Preheat oil in a pan on medium to high heat, fry diced onions for a minute or two; add the scallions, mixed vegetables, thyme, curry powder, salt, and stock cube.
Add the beef liver and rice and stir-fry for about 3 to 5 minutes on high heat.
Take it off the heat and serve.
Nutrition Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 257mg | Potassium: 235mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 4635IU | Vitamin C: 7.6mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1.6mg
Yes, to Nigerian fried rice! It’s healthy, delicious, and colorful. I find it fascinating that Thanksgiving can mean a lot of things to different people, and can be celebrated uniquely. It’s amazing how just one day is to be set aside to truly reflect on your blessings, to be grateful for the people who love and care for you, and spend the day showing them just how much they mean to you. That’s the top tier for every holiday. Then there’s the food, even though I don’t need a special occasion to enjoy a good meal.
This song from the movie, Ice Age 2 Meltdown, plays in my head whenever I think of food. It should be the anthem for all foodies.
Food glorious food…
We’re anxious to try it
Three banquets a day
Our favorite diet
Just picture a mammoth steak
Fried, roasted or stewed
Oh, food! wonderful food,
Marvelous food, glorious food…
If you are feeling adventurous this holiday, but fried rice is not for you, check out Chef Lola’s African Turkey Stew and make this Thanksgiving a memorable one for you and your family.
Britannica: Why Do We Eat Turkey On Thanksgiving