Thursday, August 28, 2008

Chinese Fried Rice


3 c. Cooked rice*
2-3 tbsp Vegetable oil
2 Stalks of green onions, chopped
2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
4 Eggs
1 c. Carrots, grated
2 c. Mushrooms, cut small
1 tbsp Sesame oil
2-3 tbsp Soya sauce

1.5 c. Chicken, cut into small cubes
1 tbsp Teriyaki marinate sauce (or Soya sauce)
1/2 tbsp Vegetable oil
1 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
Pepper
1 tsp Sesame oil (optional)

* Freshly cooked rice has too much moisture and it is too soggy to fry; therefore, it is best to use leftover rice. If you don't have leftover rice, you can cool freshly cooked rice to room temperature and then place the rice in the refrigerator, uncovered, for a minimum of 1 hour to reduce the moisture.

** You can use any vegetables you like. Frozen vegetable mix works well if you want to save some time (use 1 - 1.5 cup for this recipe). Thaw the vegetables to room temperature before frying.


Marinade the chicken with teriyaki sauce, oil, sugar, salt and a little bit of ground pepper. Leave the chicken, covered, in the fridge for 30 min (or overnight).

Heat up a little bit of vegetable oil on a frying pan and cook the chicken until it is cooked through. Set aside.

Clean the frying pan with paper towel.

Heat up a little bit of oil in the pan. Beat the eggs and quickly "scramble" the eggs until the eggs are just cooked (can be a little bit runny). Do not overcook. Set aside with the chicken.

Clean the frying pan again with paper towel.

Cook the carrots with oil. When the carrots are almost cooked, add the mushrooms and fry the vegetables until the liquid is gone. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside with the rest of the ingredients. (Note, if you are using frozen vegetables, you only need to cook it for a few minutes until the vegetables are hot.)

Drizzle 1 tbsp of oil to the rice and break up the rice into grains with a fork. Set aside.

Heat up a 2-3 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a wok. Cook the green onions and garlic for about 30 seconds, or until the onions and garlic are fragrant.

Add the rice, chicken, eggs and vegetables to the wok. Toss to combine the ingredients. Spread out the rice evenly on the wok and let it cook until the rice "dance" (popping noise), about 3 min. Do not stir the rice too much while it is cooking.

Drizzle soya sauce and sesame oil over the rice, give the rice a few quick toss and remove the wok from heat.

Do a quick taste test and add salt if needed.

Transfer the fried rice to a serving dish.

Variations:

  1. Vegetarian - Omit the chicken and use more vegetables.
  2. Seafood - Shrimp or scallop would be really nice. Clean the seafood and marinade with a little bit of salt for 30 min. Pre-cook the seafood and set aside, as you do with the chicken.
  3. Beef or pork - Prepare the same way as you do with the chicken. Beef can be left slightly under cooked to preserve its tenderness.
  4. BBQ Pork or Duck - BBQ pork and duck can be bought fresh from Chinese grocers. They are pre-marinaded and super tastey in fried rice. Simply cut the meat into small cubes and warm it up on the frying pan before adding to the rice.

My comments:

The principles of cooking this fried rice is the same as the Thai Curry Stir-Fried Rice. The important thing to remember is to not drown the rice with liquids, either vegetable/chicken stock or liquids from the vegetables; otherwise, the rice will become too soggy and mushy. I used a teflon pan to cook the ingredients so that I can minimize the amount of oil. However, I had to use a little more oil to cook the rice since I don't have a teflon wok. While this fried rice turned out pretty yummy, it is not exactly a healthy recipe.

I encourage you to try the other variations I've suggested. In particular, the BBQ pork or duck version is my favourite. Whenever I get a chance to go to Chinatown, I like to come home with both types of meat and you can do so much with it because they are just so tastey!!

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