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Traditional Chinese Fried Rice

Traditional Chinese Fried Rice

Traditional Chinese fried rice, known for its aromatic flavours and versatility, is a staple dish in Chinese cuisine. Originating from the Sui dynasty in China, this dish was a clever way to avoid wasting leftover rice. Over the centuries, it has evolved into countless variations across different regions, but the essence remains the same: a quick stir-fry of rice with vegetables, meat, and eggs, seasoned with soy sauce and other condiments. This version sticks to the roots, embodying simplicity and the classic taste that has made it a global favourite.

Preparation Time and Servings: 

Serves 4

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Ingredients List:

  • 2 cups (500ml) of cold, cooked long-grain rice (best if left overnight)

  • 2 tablespoons (40ml) vegetable oil

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) ginger, minced

  • 1/2 cup (75g) frozen peas, thawed

  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup (100g) cooked shrimp, chopped (optional)

  • 1/2 cup (75g) cooked chicken, diced (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) oyster sauce

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Sesame oil, for drizzling

Equipment Needed:

  • Wok or large frying pan

  • Mixing bowl

  • Spatula

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Ensure the cooked rice is completely cooled and grains are separated. Leftover rice from the fridge works best.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the beaten eggs and scramble until fully cooked. Remove and set aside.

  3. In the same wok, add the remaining oil. Sauté garlic and ginger until aromatic, about 1 minute.

  4. Increase heat to high. Add the peas, green onions, shrimp, and chicken (if using). Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until heated through.

  5. Add the rice, breaking any clumps. Stir-fry for 5 minutes, ensuring the rice is heated evenly.

  6. Return the cooked eggs to the wok. Add soy sauce and oyster sauce, stirring well to coat the rice and ingredients evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Once everything is well mixed and heated through, drizzle with a little sesame oil for an added fragrance.

  8. Serve immediately, garnished with additional green onions if desired.

Suggested Side Dishes:

  • Stir-fried vegetables

  • Chinese cucumber salad

  • Spring rolls

Common Mistakes/Points of Care:

  • Avoid using freshly cooked rice as it can become mushy. Cold, day-old rice ensures the grains remain firm and separate.

  • Keep the heat high to achieve the characteristic 'wok hei' flavour, but keep the ingredients moving to prevent burning.

  • Be conservative with soy sauce and oyster sauce to avoid overpowering the dish.

Nutritional Values: Per serving (approximately):

  • Calories: 320

  • Protein: 15g

  • Fat: 9g

  • Carbohydrates: 45g

  • Sodium: 600mg

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