This versatile dish is a great way to use up leftover Meat or Seafood. In fact it can be the basis of an amazing panorama of dishes reflecting different Asian flavours and traditions. And, if you let your imagination soar, you can invent your own ‘Fried Rice’ treatment for almost any Western dish…
Fried Rice is more of a technique than a recipe. You can substitute ingredients and flavours to your heart’s content exploring the myriad variations that are possible. But you must follow the technique to get the results you are expecting!
To demonstrate the technique, we’re going to use leftover Chicken. Any kind, originally prepared any way, will work…
The scrumptious example pictured at left includes little Carrot Cubes. You can put anything you want in your Fried Rice, provided it is not too moist. Excess moisture or any apparent liquid in your added ingredients may cause your Rice to Poach, not Fry.
What you need…
2 tbsp. / 30 ml Canola, Peanut or Vegetable Oil
1 cup / 250 Leftover Chicken meat, cubed or shredded
2 Eggs, beaten
1 clove Garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp. / 2.5 ml ground Ginger (or 1 tsp. / 5 ml) Fresh Ginger
1/2 cup Green Peas, fresh or frozen
2 cups Rice, cooked, cooled (preferably day-old)
1 tbsp. / 15 ml Light Soy Sauce
1 tbsp. / 15 ml Sesame Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Green Onions, chopped
What you do…
The best way to make Fried Rice is in a Wok. But if you don’t have one, you can use any frying or sauté pan with high sides.
The key is to make the dish quickly over high heat and keep the ingredients moving in the pan.
If you’re using freshly cooked Rice, fluff after cooking and spread out on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. It will cool faster this way, and the surface moisture will dry off making it easier to fry.
Heat 1 tbsp. / 15 ml of the Canola/Peanut/Vegetable oil in the Wok/pan on high heat and add the Eggs. Stir-fry them for a moment to scramble. Then remove and set aside.
Add the rest of the Canola/Peanut/Vegetable Oil and give it a few seconds to heat to cooking temperature. This is important, to avoid soggy rice.
Add the Ginger and Garlic and sizzle for about 30 seconds, until you can smell, the Garlic.
Add the Chicken and Peas and toss with the other ingredients just until warmed and coated with the Oil.
NOW… Add the Rice and toss heartily to break up any clumps.
Add the Scrambled Eggs back in and toss to combine.
Dress with the Soy Sauce and toss well to cost all ingredients.
Serve with a dressing of Sesame Oil and a sprinkle of Chopped Green Onions.
The whole stir-frying process should take no more than 3-5 minutes!
Go to town!
As I said at the outset, this is a great basic technique, or procedure, to make any kind of fried rice you want. Mushrooms are often added, along with the protein. And, if you ‘re looking for inspiration, there are literally thousands of Fried Rice ‘recipes’ on the good old Internet!
~ Maggie J.