Saturday, August 9, 2008

Chinese Fried Rice

Fried Rice


Cold, cooked rice (This is important because hot rice will be too mushy.)
Canola Oil
Minced Garlic
Eggs, scrambled
Chopped Green Onions
Diced Fresh Ginger
Dark Soy Sauce
Soy Sauce
Sesame Oil
Left-overs (cooked, or fresh, meat and vegetables) (I used left-over grilled chicken breast and grilled eggplant from Monday's dinner, and added some carrot ribbons)

1. You can use a wok, but I have better luck with a thick-bottomed dutch oven over medium high heat. (My wok is really thin and EVERYTHING sticks to it.) Add 1 T. canola oil and add your garlic. (We like garlic, so I add about 1 1/2 tablespoons.) Stir or shake the pot. If you like ginger, add that here too - about the same amount you used of garlic. The idea is to cook the and ginger and flavor all of the oil in the pot. Make sure your garlic doesn't burn!

2. When your oil smells delicious, whatever is going to need to cook the longest. If you're using raw meat, it's raw meat. If you're using carrots or fresh broccoli, add those. The idea is to get everything done at the same time. Don't cook this step to DONE, just cook it until you know it COULD be done in the next 5 minutes.

3. When your ingredients are cooked about halfway, add your beaten eggs. (I used two.) Scramble those up with your ingredients. You can add your green onions here - you don't want those as cooked as the other ingredients. (Since I was using already-grilled egg plant, I added my eggplant AFTER the eggs - I just wanted to heat it up!)(If things start sticking or looking dry, add a little more oil. This is Fried Rice, afterall!)

4. Finally, add your cold rice. (I had about 3 cups of left-over rice, by the way.) Work quickly and make SURE you break up any rice clumps - nothing's worse than a bunch of lily-white rice in a fried rice bowl! When all the rice is broken up, and all the ingredients are mixed through, you can start to season. Using sesame oil, soy sauce, dark soy sauce and sugar, make this dish your own.
Here's a guide:

Sesame Oil - adds a nutty flavor, but too much can be bitter. Go for about 1 teaspoon and see how you feel after that.

Sugar - obviously, makes it sweet. This is an important partner for the sesame oil. Start with about 1/2 teaspoon.

Soy Sauce - adds the salty factor. Don't go overboard - about 2 teaspoons should get you started.

Dark Soy Sauce - this gives color, sweetness and depth. Dark soy sauce is much darker than normal soy sauce and tastes kind of like molasses. Use about 2 teaspoons of this and see how that works for you.

When everything is hot through, you're ready to go! This dish will keep hot for quite some time, and with some vegetables on the side or some dumplings, it makes a VERY filling dinner. I like serving this when I have guests over since I can have it all done cooking when the guests are SUPPOSED to arrive, and it will still be hot when they ACTUALLY arrive. The thing you want to be careful of, though, is steaming the rice after you're done cooking it. If your fried rice needs to wait a while, make sure to vent the lid so the steam can get out. Trust me - that mess of rice, oil, eggs and chicken will keep hot in the pot for quite some time.

To make it pretty, like the restaurants, pack your fried rice into a small bowl before turning it out onto a plate. Garnish with more green onion and serve with dumplings and vegetables.


  1. Fried rice is the most humble dish that I know I would enjoy so much!

  2. I LOVE fried rice and what a great guide on the oil, sugar, and soy sauces. I also enjoyed how you shown the versatility and user friendliness of fried rice. Thank you =D

  3. Nice picture, and great instructions. Thanks!

  4. Fried rice is a great way to use leftovers!
    You and I were on the same wavelength this week. I was using up what was in the fridge too. True Chinese cooking is about resourcefulness, I think.
    I like the tip about using the bowl as a mold. Thanks!