Chinese ODM – Fried Rice

001 Fried Rice edited re-sized

THE best way to use up left-over rice! Fried Rice is so delicious and appealing to every palette that we make it a point once in a while to double the quantity of cooked rice a day ahead. One of the meals the next day would be Fried Rice.

It is also absolutely versatile One Dish meal (ODM). May I suggest that this be one of the first recipes which you teach your helper? She will love it too and is hard-to-fail recipe will be a great motivator for her to learn how to cook.

This post teaches you how to cook traditional Chinese Fried Rice. However, variations are limitless BUT the only ingredient that cannot be replaced is left over rice. Your Fried Rice can be vegan, vegetarian, spicy, seafood only.

Some comments about the Ingredients

Ooops! Please excuse my blooper.I had forgotten to include shallots and cloves of garlic in the photo. These aromatics are musts in traditional Fried Rice. Shallots can be replaced with a medium onion, finely diced.

  • Long Grain white rice. You can also substitute long grain white rice with mixed rice as long as it is left over. Short grain rice can also be used if it is left over and cold and you have a wok that heats up to a high temperature.
  • Cha Siu (Chinese BBQ pork). Pork can be substituted with minced beef, cubed chicken or even canned luncheon meat. You may also add diced Chinese Sausage (“Lap Cheong” 臘腸 most common flavour being pork which is marinated and smoked). I have also posted a recipe for making your own Cha Siu. Click here.
  • Shrimp/prawns. Prawns can be replaced with crab meat or imitation crabs sticks. Deep Fried Ikan billis added as a garnish will provide the protein in place of any meat. You might find my posts helpful – “Shelling and Preparing Prawns” Click here and “Deep frying Ikan Billis” Click here.
  • Eggs. Replace with just egg whites. A good way to use up your excess egg whites from your foray into making custards and cakes.
  • Peas. Frozen peas can be replaced with sliced French Beans or Long Beans.
  • Vegan or Vegetarian? Replace any meats or seafood with fried Tau Kwa (fried cubes of Firm Tofu) or fried Tempe cubes (fermented soy bean pieces or blocks).
  • Spicy? Make a curry paste of 1 Tbsp of Fish or Meat curry powder with 1 Tbsp of water and add this curry paste to finely chopped shallots or onions in Step 2 below and stir fry over medium heat till both smell aromatic and proceed with the rest of the frying.

COOKING

Step 1. Season the left over rice with 1 Tbsp each of light soy and fish sauce, 2 to 3 dashes of ground white pepper, 1 Tbsp of cooking oil and 1 tsp of sesame oil. Mix well. The best way to do this is to don on a disposable plastic glove on one hand and gently toss and mix all the ingredients together by hand – the rice grains remain whole and un-crushed.

HINT: low gluten or gluten free diet? Use San J Tamari Sauce to replace light soy and double check that your Fish Sauce is also gluten free. If you are not sure, replace both with Himalayan Rock Salt or sea salt.

Step 2. Heat wok over medium high heat for 2 mins, add 2 Tbsp of cooking oil and stir fry sliced shallots. Once it softens, add 1/2 Tbsp finely chopped garlic. Fry till both turn very light golden brown.

Step 3. Add prawns next into the heated wok and fry for 1 min. or so – till the prawns just turn pink. Lift aromatics and prawns onto a small plate and set aside. Fragrant oil remains in the wok.

Step 4.  Add the cubed Cha Siu into the heated wok and fry for about 2 mins. Push cubes to one side of the wok if you are using a large wok or lift them out onto one side of the plate which is holding the cooked prawns.

HINT: gluten free or low gluten diet? Cha Siu should be replaced unless you made it at home. Add minced pork or chicken instead.

Step 5. Add another Tbsp of cooking oil into the heated wok. I had chosen to use just egg whites this time, fry and cut the white omelette into smaller pieces using your frying spatula. If you prefer using whole eggs, crack them one by one into the oiled wok and make a quick scramble of the whole eggs, taking care not to over cook them.

Step 6. Add another Tbsp of coking oil into the heated wok and pour in the seasoned rice, cubed Cha Siu. Fry for 2 to 3 mins, add the frozen peas, cooked prawns and eggs. Fry over medium high heat for a further 2 to 3 mins. Serve.

RECIPE

Serves 4

Rice

5 Cups of  left over long grain Jasmine Rice OR mixed rice ( a mixture of white, brown and red long grain rice)

Alternatively, (when the craving hits you)

2 cups (rice cooker cups) of raw Thai Jasmine Rice which has been washed twice and cooked in a rice cooker with about 3 Cups water, depending on whether the rice is new or old rice. Cool rice to room temperature and flash cool it  further in the freezer whilst you prepare you other ingredients.

Seasoning Rice (substitute accordingly for gluten free diet)

  • 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 to 3 Dashes of white ground pepper

Other Ingredients

  • 250 gm of Cha Siu, cut into small cubes (replace with minced pork or chicken for gluten free diet)
  • 120 gm of frozen peas, keep frozen
  • 100 gm headless and shelled medium prawns
  • 1 to 3 eggs
  • 1/2 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbsp shallots, peeled and sliced finely

Garnish (optional)

  • 2 Tbsp roughly chopped spring onions
  • 1 fresh red chilly, seeded and slice diagonally.

Method:

1.  Season the rice with 1 Tbsp each of light soy and fish sauce, 2 to 3 dashes of ground white pepper, 1 Tbsp of cooking oil and 1 tsp of sesame oil. Mix well. The best way to do this is to don on a plastic glove on one hand and gently toss and mix all the ingredients together by hand – the rice grains remain whole and un-crushed.

2.  Heat wok over medium high heat for 2 mins, add 2 Tbsp of cooking oil and stir fry sliced shallots. Once it softens, add 1/2 Tbsp finely chopped garlic. Fry till both turn very light golden brown.

3.  Add prawns next into the heated wok and fry for 1 min. or so – till the prawns just turn pink. Lift aromatics and prawns onto a small plate and set aside. Fragrant oil remains in the wok.

4. Add the cubed Cha Siu into the heated wok and fry for about 2 mins. Push cubes to one side of the wok if you are using a large wok or lift them out onto one side of the plate which is holding the cooked prawns.

5. Add 1/2 Tbsp of cooking oil into the heated wok. I had chosen to use just egg whites this time, fry and cut the white omelette into smaller pieces using your frying spatula. If you prefer using whole eggs, crack them one by one into the oiled wok and make a quick scramble of the whole eggs, taking care not to over cook them.

6. Add another Tbsp of coking oil into the heated wok and pour in the seasoned rice and cubed Char Siu. Fry for 2 to 3 mins, add the frozen peas, cooked prawns and eggs. Fry over medium high heat for a further 2 to 3 mins. Serve immediately.

Serving Suggestions

Fried Rice can be served as a One Dish Meal. I suggest a great accompaniment – Spinach in Broth with 3 Types of Eggs which is both a broth and a vegetable. Click here.

How about including a bowl of nourishing Chinese Soup like one of these listed below?

1. Jin Hua Ham and Winter Melon Soup. Click here.

2.Lotus Root, Peanut and Pork Ribs. Click here.

3. Radishes and Dried Squid. Click here.

Depending on the number of people and their dietary preference at mealtime, other suitable dishes may be one or more of the following meat, seafood and vegetable dishes.

Seafood dishes

1. Dry Assam Seafood. Click here

2. Fried Fish with Fermented Black Bean Sauce. Click here.

3. Stuffed You Tiao (Baked).  Click here.

Meat dishes

1. Chicken Breasts with ketchup. Click here.

2. Paper-wrapped Chicken (Baked). Click here.

3. Pari Pari Style Chicken Wings. Click here.

Vegetable Dishes

1. Broccoli and Meat/Tofu Stir Fry. Click here.

2. Spinach in Broth with 3 types of eggs. Click here.

3. Pork, Spinach and Egg Stir Fry. Click here.

4. Ladies Fingers with Dried Prawn Sambal (spicy). Click here.

5. Kai Lan and Sweet Potato Lemak (spicy). Click here.

6. Bitter Gourd Lemak (spicy). Click here.

Dessert

Besides seasonal fruits and ice cream, some cold desserts which can be prepared ahead would be most suited to our hot tropical climate.

1. Almond Jelly + Longans Click here.

2. Coconut Jelly with Can Lychees. Click here.

3. Sago Pudding. Click here.

4. Ginger Poached Pears. Click here.

5. Caramel Custard. Click here.

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