Fried Rice is often a misunderstood dish. Why? It's because many seem to think that there is a fixed recipe for it. Contrary to that, I do whatever I please for the ingredients that supposedly make up Fried Rice. The number one key ingredient in fried rice is not freshly cooked rice but in fact a day's old rice. Why? This is because the rice has absorbed all its moisture and therefore becomes more effective when going through the process of frying it up!
Fried Rice ala London
Ingredients from my kitchen:
A cup day's old rice
Slices pork - marinated with sesame oil, soy sauce or fish sauce, pepper and cornstarch
(you may substitute the meat for chicken, beef, fish, seafood or omit it all together for a
10 strands french beans or 2 strands of long beans - diced
1 whole red pepper - diced
1 whole apple - diced
5 - 6 fresh button mushrooms
1 medium sized egg
salt and pepper to taste
chilli flakes for added spicy taste
- Heat up wok, add in oil and scramble up the egg. Remove the egg and start frying up the meat slices.
- Add in diced french beans. Stir fry till french beans are half cooked and add in the rice. Be sure to run the rice through your fingers to break it up. This also can be done before you commence cooking.
- Tip!!!! The trick to know when the rice is properly fried is when you see them popping up and down like popcorn. Seriously, they would look like jumping jelly beans except they're rice.
- Add in the red peppers and button mushrooms and stir till they're cooked through before adding in the scrambled eggs. Add in salt, pepper and chilli flakes to taste. Toss further in wok before finally switching off the heat. This is when you add in the diced apple. Why an apple? The apple adds a tinge of sweetness to the dish replacing raisins. Not all households stock raisins and the apple is a fine alternative to it.
- Dish up and serve! Best easten when piping hot.
Notice that there is no use of garlic nor onions. Fried Rice to me tastes weird when you add them. Besides, when you have that many different ingredients in the wok, the garlic nor onion will be missed.
I learnt adding apples to my fried rice from my mom who is a fan of mixing up ingredients in the kitchen. You can also substitute the vegetables for other kinds like diced asparagus or even snow peas. Just make sure to cook them through.
Again...all the ingredients are what is available in the kitchen and there is no need to specifically run to the store to get them. Who knows? You might decide to add pears to replace the apples. Even pomegranates are an alternative to it adding a zing to the dish!
For chilli lovers, I use chiu chow chilli oil as a substitute to the cooking oil because it comes with a chilli paste at the same time. You can of course use sambal belacan as your cooking base. The recipe for sambal belacan will come in later posts. It is extremely simple. You can also find it on http://rasamalaysia.com
So you singletons out there who just don't know what to do with your day old rice can have a great fried rice at the end of the day.
The innovative Baker