Question by lizzzg: Where is the best place to find authentic Chinese recipes?
I am searching for recipes for Chinese food as good as what I eat in a restaurant. Who has the best recipe for fried rice?
Answer by lindaleetnlinda
I’ve always thought of fried rice as the quintessential comfort food. Think of it – a bowl of steaming white rice, cooked to just the right consistency, filled with bits of meat and vegetable. What could be more perfect?
Of course, producing the above-mentioned dish is sometimes easier said than done. Ideally, fried rice should be light, fluffy, and easy to pick up with chopsticks. For another, there is a philosophical debate over which is better – fresh cooked rice or leftovers from last night’s meal. Personally, I prefer to use cold leftover rice, but I will cook a fresh pot if necessary.
The Chinese have been enjoying fried rice for centuries; that’s hardly surprising when you consider that rice has been cultivated since around 4,000 BC. Yangzhou rice, a colorful Shanghai dish, can be traced back to the Sui dynasty (589 – 618). Of course, there are regional variations – a northern dish is more likely to contain ham and vegetables such as leeks and green onions, while Cantonese fried rice often features shrimp or barbecued pork. But the beauty of fried rice is that it is very adaptable. Like chow Mein, it’s a great dish to make on those nights when you’re cleaning out the refrigerator and want to get rid of any leftover meat or vegetables.
Here is a basic recipe for fried rice that you can adapt depending on what vegetables you have on hand:
Fried Rice Recipe:
Serves 4 to 6
4 cups cold cooked rice
4 tablespoons oil
3 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
1 scallion, chopped fine
Break rice apart with wet hands
Heat oil on high flame in wok. Stir-fry rice rapidly, turning spatula constantly until the rice is thoroughly heated.
Make a well in center of rice. Pour in beaten eggs. Stir eggs until they are scrambled. Then stir-fry eggs into the rice until thoroughly blended. Add salt and pepper. Stir-fry 30 seconds. Add scallion.
May be prepared in advance. May be frozen. Reheat before serving.
(This recipe is reprinted from Madame Wong’s Long-Life Chinese Cookbook, courtesy of Sylvia Schulman)
In the upper right-hand corner, in the linkbox under “More of this Feature” you’ll find several recipes that illustrate different ways of making fried rice. The first recipe – Fried rice with ham – uses thick soy sauce to give the rice a darker color. This is the way fried rice is often served in American restaurants and take-out establishments. The second recipe – Sun Ya Fried Rice – is a Cantonese dish made with shrimp, roast pork, and chicken. The third is an authentic recipe for Yangzhou or Yangchow fried rice.
Finally, here are a few basic tips for cooking rice:
Always use long grain rice – short grain rice is used only for desserts and snacks in Chinese cooking.
Rinse the rice in water to get rid of excess starch.
Use 1 cup rice to 1 1/2 cups water. For example, when cooking 2 cups of rice you would use 3 cups of water.
Bring the rice to a boil at medium heat (about 4 on the dial).
When boiling, turn the heat down to medium low (about 3) and tilt the lid on the pot. This allows the steam to escape.
Let the water evaporate. When you can see craters (holes) in the rice, put the lid on tight.
Turn the heat to low, and simmer for another 15 minutes.
Fluff up the rice, and serve.
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