... from the California Kitchen
How you doin’? Who doesn’t love, love, love fried rice?! We were told at our Chinese restaurant, China Rose, that we made the best fried rice ever! What exactly is fried rice?
Fried rice first appeared during the Sui Dynasty (220–589ce) in China and, as such, all fried rice dishes can trace their origins to Chinese fried rice. At the time it wasn’t an expedient way to use leftover rice (as it is today).
It is a dish of cooked rice that has been stir-fried in a wok or a frying pan and is usually mixed with other ingredients such as eggs, vegetables, seafood or meat. It is often eaten by itself or as an accompaniment to another dish. Fried rice is a popular component of East Asian, Southeast Asian and certain South Asian cuisines, as well as a staple national dish of Indonesia and Malaysia. As a homemade dish, fried rice is typically made with ingredients left over from other dishes, leading to countless variations.
Many varieties of fried rice have their own specific list of ingredients. In Greater China, common varieties include Yangzhou fried rice and Hokkien fried rice. Japanese chāhan is considered a Japanese Chinese dish, having derived from Chinese fried rice dishes. In Southeast Asia, similarly, constructed Indonesian, Malaysian, and Singaporean nasi goreng and Thai khao phat are popular dishes. In the West, most restaurants catering to vegetarians have invented their own varieties of fried rice. Fried rice is also seen on the menus of American restaurants offering cuisines with no native traditions of the dish. Additionally, the cuisine of some Latin American countries includes variations on fried rice, including Ecuadorian chaulafan, Peruvian arroz chaufa, Cuban arroz frito, and Puerto Rican arroz mamposteao.
Fried rice is a common street food in Asia. In some Asian countries, small restaurants, street vendors and traveling hawkers specialize in serving fried rice. In Indonesian cities it is common to find fried rice hawkers moving through the streets with their food cart and stationing it in busy streets or residential areas. Many Southeast Asian street food stands offer fried rice with a selection of optional garnishes and side dishes.
Today, fried rice is every person’s dish.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Stir-Fry time: 10-15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
For fried rice seasoning base
8 cups cooked rice, cold, 1 day old
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce (I prefer Kikkoman)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup peanut oil
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
To prep the fried rice base
Shelf Life: 5 days, refrigerated
For the fried rice
1 egg omelet, thin, cut into long julienne strips
Pinch of kosher salt and white pepper
2 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
4 cups fried rice base
1/4 cup frozen carrots/green peas blend
1/4 cup pre-cooked Chinese barbecued pork, chicken or beef, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and/or
1/4 cup uncooked shelled and deveined shrimp or lobster meat (36-40 ct)
1 tablespoon sherry wine
2 tablespoons of cut green onion tops
To stir-fry the fried rice
ChefSecret: The professional’s secret to making perfect fried rice is using leftover rice at least 24 hours old that has been kept in a refrigerator uncovered allowing it to dry out.
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: “I love being married and confined. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.”
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