I am back!!!!
Yes I know, my last post said I'd upload my Chinese Fried Rice recipe within 24 hours... I thought I heard the sound of raucous laughter when I wrote that.
But I have returned and am here to divulge the secrets to Chinese Fried Rice. Which sounds like a bit of a nothing dish, but is actually quite tricky to make, and incredibly delicious when done well.
Thanks to my Hong Kong cooking classes, I have become a Chinese Fried Rice connoisseur. Or snob.
At school my pictures turned out wonderfully... the pictures below are from the debarcle of attempting to replicate it at home. All in all though, not a bad effort. So here 'tis.
Authentic Chinese Fried Rice
Serves 1 - Chinese recipes are a little lonely. Just multiply it by your number of brave guests.
200g rice (already boiled) If you have a rice cooker, I suggest you use it, as perfectly cooked rice (not soggy, not too dry) is a MUST.
30g green peas (frozen)
40g honey roasted pork (cha-siu)
40g small or medium sized shrimp (no shells)
1 to 2 stalks of spring onion (around 10g)
Corn oil for cooking
1/4 tsp chicken powder
1 tsp sugar
1. Finely dice the roasted pork and carrot into evenly-shaped squares, around 0.5 cm thick. If you want to be as pedantic as the Chinese, you'll spend nine hours chopping and nine seconds frying. Basically, try and be as neat as possible and ensure each piece is evenly sized.
Cut the shrimps in half and then chop the spring onion into fine pieces, around 2-3mm thick.
2. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar to a saucepan of water and bring it to the boil.
3. Add the following ingredients to a strainer (in the below order) and then dip the strainer the boiling water to blanch them:
- Put the carrot in the strainer and dip it into the boiling water for around 2 minutes, or until the colour deepens.
- Add the peas and hold the strainer in the
boiling water for around 1 minute, or until the colour deepens.
- Add the shrimp and then dip the strainer in the boiling water for five seconds only.
- Finally, add the pork and dip the strainer in the boiling water for two seconds only. That's right, two seconds. And not a millisecond more or my Chinese cooking teacher will hunt you down.
- Then strain all of the ingredients in cold water to cool them down.
4. Add 3/8 teaspoon of salt (yes, that's the bizarre measurement they gave me) and 1/4 teaspoon of chicken powder to the boiled rice.
5. Heat a wok (without any oil in it) until it is very hot. You'll know it's hot enough when it starts to smoke.
The next part is the bit where you need to do things reeeeeeally fast. And possibly grab a mop to clean up afterwards.
6. When the wok is nice and hot, rinse it with corn oil. Just pour it in and use the handle to swish it all around. Drain it thoroughly.
7. Quickly break the egg into the wok, and IMMEDIATELY pour the rice on top. Then flip the mound of rice over straight away and start stirring like mad. You do not want the egg to set and start forming an omelette in the wok. You want the egg to be completely absorbed by the rice. To do that, you need to add the egg and rice almost at the same time, and then stir continuously. Use a spatula to 'press' the rice down and keep flipping, but be mindful not to cut the pieces of rice in half. If you tilt the wok to the side with one hand on the handle, this helps to control the distribution of heat.
If you can't see any egg at all and rice pieces have separated and are not clumped together, you've done a stellar job.
8. Once the egg has been absorbed, the rice is dry, and the dish is smelling nice and aromatic (the Chinese often cook via aroma) then pour in the blanched ingredients. Keep stirring.
9. When the shrimp is thoroughly cooked (around 3-4 minutes), add the spring onion. Toss quickly for a few seconds only and then immediately transfer to a serving place.
All Chinese food needs to be eaten straight away! Otherwise it loses its crispness and a lot of its flavour. That is why when you order food in a Chinese restaurant, you'll often get your entree last and your main meal ten minutes before your partner's. If a meal comes out and doesn't appear to be still smoking, Chinese patrons often complain.
Notice there was no soy sauce (or sauce of any kind for that matter) in this recipe? With fresh ingredients, not overcooked (note the 2 seconds of spring onion and 2 second to blanch the pork), Chinese fried rice tastes absolutely delicious all on its own.
Pics from my at home attempt: