EVERYDAY FRIED RICE
This classic Chinese dish is practical, affordable, quick and easy to make. Although it is "simple" in its ingredient list and technique, it is a fantastic dish to learn some very important and basic Chinese cooking skills.
4 free-range eggs
⅓ cup vegetable oil
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 tsp diced ginger
1 tsp diced garlic
2 tbsp finely sliced coriander roots and stems
2 rindless bacon rashers, finely diced
2 tbsp shao hsing wine, or dry sherry
4 cups steamed rice
⅔ cup finely sliced spring onions
1-2 tbsp light soy sauce
¼ tsp sesame oil
coriander leaf to garnish (optional)
1. Break eggs into a bowl and beat lightly. Heat half the oil in a hot wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly. Pour beaten eggs into the wok and leave to cook on the base of the wok for 10 seconds before folding egg mixture over onto itself with a spatula and lightly scrambling for about one minute or until almost cooked through. Carefully remove omelette from wok with a spatula and drain on paper towel. Set aside.
2. Heat remaining oil in the hot wok and stir fry onion, ginger, garlic, coriander roots, stems and bacon for one minute. Pour in wine or sherry and stir fry for one minute.
3. Add rice to the wok with spring onions, soy sauce, sesame oil and reserved omelette and stir fry for two minutes or until well combined and rice is heated through. Use a spatula to break up the omelette into smaller pieces while cooking. Transfer rice to a bowl and serve garnished with coriander.
■ Fried rice is a great dish to make from leftover rice. Freshly cooked rice is also fine to use when making fried rice. Fried rice is also delicious when eaten cold! I love the subtle scent of Jasmine rice and I like to use medium-grained rice. Yet any rice is fine for this recipe.
■ Slice and dice your ingredients up as finely as possible so you end up with a whole lot of interesting, textural, tasty bits. Season your rice well, so it is flavoursome and moreish. This recipe is really like a basic fried rice – you can add to it however you like and make up your own version. Add in one tablespoon of the suggested soy sauce first, then add the rest if necessary. It will all depend on the saltiness of your bacon and your taste preferences.
■ Serve with a side of chilli: combine in a small bowl, one large red chilli, finely sliced with three tablespoons light soy and serve alongside your fried rice.
■ Stir-fry about 600 grams worth of peeled, roughly chopped king prawn meat until almost cooked through, then put this on top of your cooked fried rice.
■ Instead of using bacon, you could also use diced Chinese barbecued pork for extra flavour and caramelisation.
■ For vegetarians, substitute the bacon with one cup of fresh bean sprouts. Cook the bean sprouts at the same time I have instructed to cook the bacon, using the same method. Garnish the fried rice with one cup of finely sliced Chinese white cabbage and fresh Asian herbs (including round leaf mint, sweet Thai basil, Vietnamese mint). This vegetarian option may need more flavour, seeing we have omitted the salty bacon, so I suggest you definitely serve this version with the chilli-soy dipping sauce.