Fried rice is one of our family’s favorite Chinese recipes. It is so simple to make but you wouldn’t guess it from the amount of flavor there is in it. It is totally customizable to your taste, you can add as many veggies as you wish and remove what you don’t like. In this recipe I made it with onions, carrots and pees but you are free to use whatever you prefer. Some broccoli or green beans would be great too. Also I love to garnish with some green onions which I didn’t have at the time.
In fried rice some ingredients are essential, these include sesame seed oil, soy sauce and oyster sauce. Sesame seed oil you only need ½ a teaspoon, it is pretty strong and a little goes a long way. Soy sauce and oyster sauce are key ingredients in my opinion and you can’t make fried rice without them. It just won’t be the same.. cooked rice with veggies maybe, but not Chinese Fried Rice. They add the depth of flavor you won’t be able to obtain from any other ingredient.
Another important ingredient in this recipe is obviously the rice. It must be precooked and completely refrigerator cooled, preferably overnight. This way when you fry it on high heat, you get the crispy exterior with the almost chewy interior. Again, freshly cooked rice will not work in this recipe. So plan ahead and cook your rice a day earlier. Or just make fried rice when you have plenty of leftover rice.
What rice to use? Ideally Jasmine rice is the way to go. But I’ve tried it many times and any short grain rice will do. No worries. Even Basmati rice will do if you don’t have anything else just don’t make it your first choice.
The key to good fried rice is what we call “rice browning”. It is basically frying the rice on high heat until you get somewhat of a brown exterior that gives it the crunch we all love. So be patient and don’t skip on this part.
Originally fried rice is made with eggs. Eggs scrambled in the beginning and added later, eggs scrambled alongside the rice and mixed in the recipe or even eggs added on top of the rice in the end. Any which way you prefer will do. You can also eliminate the whole egg component and just count on the chicken for protein. For vegetarians, leave out the chicken and add in some broccoli or maybe some mushrooms for a meat substitute.
- 2-3 boneless chicken breasts
- 3 cups precooked rice
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- ½ - 1 cup frozen pees
- 2 medium garlic cloves
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce(optional)
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 eggs (optional)
- Nob of butter
- Green onions
- Sesame seeds
- Red pepper flakes
*Traditionally this recipe is made in a wok but you can totally make it in a large nonstick pan that can handle high heat.
*Chop the chicken breasts into cubes. In your pan add some vegetable oil/butter and cook the chicken cubes with a sprinkle of salt and black pepper until they are fully cooked and have gained some color. Remove them from the pan for now.
*In the same pan add a tablespoon of oil if you don’t have any left and sauté the chopped onion until translucent. I find covering the pan helps speed this process.
*Add the chopped carrots and the crushed garlic cloves and mix, then the pees and cook for a few minutes.
*When all is cooked, drop in the precooked chilled rice and give them a good mix. Now you want to gain the rice a slight color so you need to keep mixing it on high heat until you get there. It might take a few minutes, be patient.
*Once the rice is browned and done, bring back the cooked chicken. Now you add the sauces, soy, oyster and fish. You can do without the fish sauce but soy sauce and oyster sauce are essential. It just won’t be as good without them.
*In your pan push the rice aside and make space for scrambling the eggs. Add the nob of butter, break in the eggs and scramble them with some salt and pepper until cooked and dry. Now turn off the heat and gently mix them in with the rest of the rice. If you prefer scrambling the eggs separately and not in the same pan with the rice, you do so, and then mix it in at this stage.
*Pour on the sesame seed oil and give it your final mix. Again, be careful sesame seed oil is powerful stuff please do not add more than ½ a teaspoon.
*Now the fried rice is ready. Garnish with slices of green onions, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and red pepper flakes for some heat. Must be devoured immediately, enjoy!