Monday, August 15, 2016

Fried Rice

Another food court favorite for us is Fried Rice.  I have done it many times before but it was never as good as in a good restaurant. I have always blamed my stove but when I got thinking about technique I realized that it will be possible to replicate this dish even though my gas stove is nowhere near as hot as restaurant's burner. The secret in great texture of fried rice is water content and that was where I started to experiment. I am pleased to say that first experiment was fantastic and yes, it was the ratio of water and long grain rice in rice cooker that made all the difference. High heat is very important as well, of course.

Here is size and shape of my flame. The reason that I use large frying pan instead of wok is obvious here; there is no flame at center, just edges. Most important part of the wok, the small bowl at center, will also be coldest part. Not good at all.
Back to fried rice. Almost all fried rice recipes tell you to use overnight refrigerated rice and I wholeheartedly agree. Been there, done that. On this experiment I used 1 cup of rice and 1-1/4 cup water after washing and draining the rice 4 times. After rice was cooked, about 20 minutes in Panasonic rice cooker, I spread the rice on baking sheet and let cool for about 2 hours. In a plastic container it went, making sure that it is loose and not packed, and transferred to refrigerator overnight. Next day I used large stainless steel bowl to loosen and oil the rice before stir frying. I have also added about teaspoon of Madras Curry Powder for color and heat. If you want to have it mild use plain Turmeric instead.

Next, I had to decide what ingredient is cooked first and what will follow. I really want to keep things simple in my kitchen, The KISS Principal rules supreme there! So many recipes will tell you to cook every tiny piece of vegetables separately and than combine them at the end...not for me, way too much work and you can't taste the difference anyway. My vegies don't see a frying pan till the very end, they are all nuked, some together, some separately and some stay raw. It doesn't take more than 3 minutes total!
In this version for vegies I used broccoli, green onions, carrot, red pepper, green peas and roasted peanuts and eggs. Of course I could have used bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, baby corn, canned mushrooms (much better in stir-fry than fresh ones) and whole lot of other ingredients but I like to keep their number down to 4 - 5 so I was already over "enough". Only broccoli got cooked in microwave for half a minute before the final combine and ginger and garlic were cooked with rice.

As for sauce it is a bit simpler than chow mein noodles; all that is needed is Soy Sauce, Hoisin sauce and Sriracha (everything to taste, of course).
To get the rice to just right texture and dryness took just 5 minutes or so because the rice was already fairly dry. I did stir-fry the garlic and ginger first before adding the rice.

When the rice was done in went the vegies and pieces of 2 egg omelet that was cooked in separate small frying pan. For more substantial version I have added chicken thighs and shrimps. The sauce went in right after vegies were mixed in and heated. You just want taste and keep the rice dry so don't use too much.

I'll post my recipe for stir-fried chicken and shrimps in separate blog. They can be used in chow mein or fried rice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The best of the best and so much of it.
So delicious.
Jerry can cook and I can eat, believe me.