Sunday, June 8, 2008

Fried Rice


I love fried rice. Fried rice is easy to make, but also easy to screw up. There are a few things that I do to ensure that my fried rice comes out well everytime. Firstly, I always use leftover refridgerated plain boiled rice---I mean last night's rice. That way, the rice kernals are easy to handle, and don't break up when you stir fry. Secondly, I prepare an omelet and set it aside. I never break an egg into the wok with the rice. It just comes out more beautiful and less "eggy" tasting that way. In the above pic, I prepared a thin plain omelet, rolled into a tube shape, and cut it into chunky pieces to achieve a decorative swirly look. For the rice itself, I use 2 tbs of oil or so and fry the aromatics (in this case, crushed ginger and garlic, sliced onions, and roughly chopped dried red chilies), then I add the protein, here prawns, cook for a moment and add soy sauce---about 1tbs per cup of cold rice. For chicken or beef, I sometimes pre-cook then stir in the chicken/beef strips at the end. That is a good tip for all home stir-fries. That seals in the meat juices and prevents the meat from getting boiled in its own juice. Our home cooking ranges don't get as hot as restaurant ranges, so it is a good idea to stir fry protein in small amounts and add it to the rest of your stir fry later on to prevent the boiled meat affect. Anyhow, after the prawns and soy sauce, I add in the rice, stir well until all the rice is coated well and colored by the soy sauce. Quickly, I toss in dried prawns (you can fry these in the oil with the aromatics earlier, but it gives an underlying savoury yet slightly fishy taste to the dish, which not everyone likes ), roughly chopped green chilies, and pre-cooked peas (I just blanch them till tender to maintain that electric green decorative color), and stir on high heat for a few moments. Add in cracked black pepper if desired. If you have used enough soy sauce, you shouldn't need to add salt. Then, turn off the heat and toss in your pre-cooked eggs. Oila.

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