Fried rice is such a versatile dish that there are so many variations. Every culture, i.e. Thai, Filipino, Vietnamese, etc., has their own unique and signature fried rice dish, and all so very tasty!
For me, fried rice has to be just right on many aspects. It should be just moist enough (not mushy or soggy), light and fluffy, free of clumps, naturally flavourful with minimal added seasonings, and wonderfully aromatic. I like every mouthful to have the taste and texture of every ingredient that defines the variety of fried rice I am cooking, so I tend to use generous amounts. You can be as varied or as simple as you like, with your choice of ingredients.
Here is a quick and easy-to-prepare Cantonese style fried rice, which can be easily adapted to suit what you have on hand.
Serves 4 persons.
2 cups Cooked Rice*, preferably chilled overnight
1 large Onion, thinly diced
1 Carrot, peeled and thinly diced
1 Chinese Sausage, thinly sliced and diced
1/4 cup Roasted Pork (Char Siew), diced
6 medium-sized Prawns, shelled, de-veined and diced (optional)
2 stalks Spring Onion, chopped
5 tbsp Light Soya Sauce, or to taste
Olive Oil for frying**
1 tbsp Peanut or Sesame Oil
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
* If using freshly cooked rice, let rice chill uncovered, in the refrigerator for a few hours to dry out the excess moisture. Spread rice on as large a dish or pan as can be accommodated in your chiller. Turn over the rice after an hour, to allow even drying.
** Traditionally, lard is used which makes the rice more flavourful.
1. Heat up a wok over high heat with 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp peanut oil. When hot, sautee the diced onions and carrots till just turning soft. Add the diced sausages and fry till fragrant. Then add the prawns, stir fry till it starts to change colour. Finally, add the diced roast pork and stir fry to combine well. Dish out into a deep bowl or dish.
2. Heat up 2 tbsp olive oil in the same wok, this time, over medium heat. When hot, crack eggs into the oil. When the eggs start to set slightly at the edges, lightly scramble egg yolks around, but still leaving the egg whites spread across the centre of the wok.
3. Add cooked rice on top of the eggs, spread in a thin layer from the centre to the sides all around the wok, pressing down with the back of the wok chan to break clumps. Stir fry for a minute or so, continuously flipping rice over to mix evenly with the scrambled bits of egg. If the rice gets too dry, add very sparingly, up to 1 tbsp of water or chicken stock. Add the light soy sauce, pepper and salt, to taste.
4. Add cooked ingredients from (1), stir fry to mix evenly, tossing constantly to allow air into the rice to fluff it up. Keep tossing until the rice is light and fluffy. Turn off heat, add chopped spring onions and toss to mix evenly. Serve hot.