Monday, October 27, 2008

The Best Fried Rice

I have always loved Chinese food. I still remember going to Fongs Garden in Las Vegas over 40 years ago. It was so different from anything I had ever had at home. I didn't try to cook Chinese for many years because I had never seen it done. But after starting to watch some cooking shows, Yan Can Cook is the first one that comes to mind, I decided to give it a try. Its really not very difficult, it just requires a lot of preparation before you actually start cooking.

The secret to good fried rice is cold rice. I usually cook about 5 cups of Calrose rice. Place the cooked rice in the fridge, stirring it occasionally to let out the heat, until it is chilled through. Another tip is to season all the ingredients as you stir-fry them. I begin by stir-frying a finely diced onion. Add a little salt and pepper and cook until soft. Remove the onion and place in a large bowl. Add a little more oil to the wok and stir-fry a bag of frozen peas and carrots, again adding a little salt and pepper. When heated through, and maybe even a little browned, place in the bowl with the onion. I then like to add some fresh bean sprouts. Don't over cook them, they need to still be crisp, but do season them with salt and pepper while cooking, and then place them in the bowl with the other veggies. Add some more oil and then drop in about 8 eggs, all at once. Don't scramble them, but let them cook a little as you stir them around. I have seen some people cook them like a big omelet and then slice it up. Its a little more work if you choose to do it that way, just make sure you season the eggs whichever way you do it. Add them to the bowl and then cook the meat. I usually use cooked ham. Dice it into 1/4 inch cubes and stir-fry it until a little charred. I have also used pork that I have slow-cooked slathered in Hoisin Sauce and then diced, or even chopped bacon. Chicken seems to break up too much in the rice. Oh, and by the way, you don't need to add salt and pepper as you cook the meat.

Add the meat to the bowl, wipe out any residue from the wok, add about 1/3 cup of oil (I use peanut) and heat it until shimmering. Be careful as you add the cold rice so it doesn't splash you with oil, and start breaking up the rice as you stir. I sprinkle about 2 tbls. of sugar on the rice as I'm stirring. As the rice begins to heat, add the soy sauce. 1/3 to 1/2 a cup should do. It helps break-up the rice, but you need to keep stirring so it doesn't burn. Dump in the bowl of meat and veggies and stir until combined. Return rice to the bowl and sprinkle with some fresh chopped scallion greens.

Fried rice is one dish that seems to be as good re-heated as fresh, so make enough for later.

1 comment:

Pie said...

Remember you made me fried rice the first night I met you and you almost burned your arm off? It sure tasted good though- I love your fried rice!