Chinese Food: How to Make Fried Rice
Although it does take some practice, fried rice is the easiest Chinese food dish to make. Fried rice can be served as a side dish or on top of soft lo mein noodles as a main dish. You can use any vegetables you like. You can also add some cooked meat like pork, chicken, or shrimp.
After years of trying different Chinese food recipes, techniques and mixing and matching recipes, I’ve found that the key ingredients for fried rice, and all Chinese food dishes, are vegetable oil for frying, fresh grated garlic and fresh grated ginger. As soon as you add ginger and garlic to the heated vegetable oil, the entire house smells like a Chinese restaurant.
The fresh ginger sold in grocery stores is usually an extremely large ginger root and is quite pricey. Don’t be shy about tearing off a small piece, especially if you are just cooking up one dish that only requires 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger. One teaspoon of ginger goes a long way. Don’t forget to slice the skin off of the ginger!
Anything goes with fried rice. Add any vegetables that you love. You can either add a little bit of a bunch of different vegetables or a lot of only a few vegetables. Keep in mind that when you are cooking the vegetables, you add the vegetables that take the longest to cook first. You are pretty much tossing in vegetables one after the other, so its best to have all of your vegetables cut up and ready to toss into the pan.
If you’re making fried rice for the first time, you might find it beneficial to cook the vegetables one at a time, adding them to the serving dish holding the rice when they are done. This way none of your vegetables will be overcooked and soggy, and you can gauge cooking time for the next time. If you decide to do it this way, make sure to add vegetable oil to the pan before cooking each ingredient and break up the garlic and ginger into smaller portions. It’s also best to use a slotted spoon to avoid carrying over all of the vegetable oil into the rice; otherwise, you will have a very oily dish of fried rice.
Best Fluffy and Moist Rice:
1 Cup rice to 1-1/2 Cups water
Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Add rice to the unheated water in a saucepan and tilt the lid. Cook at medium-low heat until craters form in the rice. Put the lid on tight, turn heat to low, and cook another 10 minutes or until the water is dissolved. Immediately place the cooked rice in a serving dish. Fluff and separate rice with a fork.
While the rice is cooking, scramble 2 eggs. Add a dash of salt and white pepper. Fry the egg in a pan coated with a small amount of vegetable oil. Flip the egg and remove from heat. Slice the cooked egg lengthwise into a dozen or so thin strips and then cut it in half. Add it to the serving dish with the rice.
If you want to add meat:
If it is chicken or pork, cut up the desired amount into small bite-sized pieces. If it’s shrimp, leave it whole, of course. Coat the bottom of a frying pan with vegetable oil. Add ½ teaspoon of grated ginger and 1 teaspoon grated garlic. Add meat and cook until meat or shrimp is done. Add to the rice.
Cooking your Vegetables:
The must have ingredients:
½ onion, diced
2 green onions, sliced thin
1 teaspoon fresh grated garlic
½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
Dash of salt and white pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
Ingredients I usually use for my fried rice:
Two handfuls of cut broccoli
5-6 mushrooms, sliced or cut
½ celery stalk, cut into small pieces
Half a can of small peas
Medium-low heat. Coat the bottom of a wok or large skillet with vegetable oil. Add garlic and ginger when oil is heated. Immediately add the onions and stir to prevent the garlic and ginger from burning and sauté for about two minutes. Add the celery. Add the broccoli. Add the mushrooms.
Once the broccoli begins to turn a bright green color, add the cooked rice with the egg and the meat. Add the peas. You may need to add some additional vegetable oil in the pan to prevent the rice from sticking prior to adding the rice back into the pan.
If you cooked your vegetables one at a time, it’s now time to put everything back into the pan and heat through.
Add salt and white pepper to taste. Stir gently to incorporate all ingredients. Add soy sauce, about two tablespoons at a time, to taste or until the rice has a light brown color. Heat through. Remove from heat and eat.