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Yum
Spiked with sweet rum and accented with dragon fruit, this vegan fried rice is a healthy way to get your daily dose of delicious.

Daphne Cheng, executive chef and produce pioneer at New York City vegan haven Mother of Pearl, can cook a mean plate of veggies. Think dishes like green mango poke with tomato, jicama, crispy rice and macadamia, and coconut rolls with coconut miso butter and black lava salt. Then there’s our personal favorite, this rum-spiked fried rice with dragon fruit, edamame, orange, ginger and scallions. It’s so packed with flavor, you won’t have time to wonder where the pork went while you’re shoveling it (politely, of course) into your mouth.

“Fried rice was the equivalent of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in my family, a super-quick fix for those moments when hunger strikes and you want instant gratification,” says Cheng. “Hawaiian cuisine draws from Chinese cuisine, but I wanted to create a dish with more Hawaiian flavor, so I added rum and tropical fruits, including fresh citrus, pineapple and dragon fruit. The end result is full of flavor and fun textures.”

Looking for a tip? “Don’t be afraid to leave the rice alone while cooking,” adds the chef. “It’s tempting to be constantly stirring, but it’s only when you leave it standing still that the crust has the chance to develop and become crisp.”