Fried rice has to be, in my humble opinion, one of the most useful recipes to have in your repertoire, especially when it comes to mid week dinners. The reason I say this is because, once you have mastered the basics, you can put just about anything you have in the fridge into fried rice.
There is also so much room to experiment and try new things in what is, at its core, a very forgiving dish.
I have tried to break this recipe down into key stages so that the fundamentals (such as how to cook rice perfect for frying) are established. Take it from me – once you get this recipe down pat, there will never be another day where you don’t have cold rice in the fridge just waiting to be fried!
Some tips to keep in mind before you start:
- Cut up everything and place into bowls (i.e. garlic and onion into one bowl, vegetables into another etc…) before you start stir frying;
- Clean up your work space (as much as possible without creating stress) before you start cooking;
- Mix all the sauce ingredients into the one bowl or cup so that you can just pour the whole thing into the stir fry at once.
Remember – stir frying goes QUICK and you have to be as prepared as possible before you start, to avoid burning the entire meal!
- 2 1/2 cups Jasmine rice;
- 2 cloves garlic, diced;
- Half white onion, diced;
- 1 1/2 cups Chicken (You can use any protein you like);
- Total 1 1/2 cups Vegetables (carrots and Chinese broccoli are nice to use but you can use anything);
- 1 x egg per person (i.e. 2 eggs for 2 people);
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil;
- 1 teaspoon Fish sauce;
- 1 tablespoon Soy sauce; and
- Ground white pepper.
Wash the rice
- Use jasmine rice.
- Wash the rice 3 – 4 times, agitating the grains to rinse off all the excess starch. You will need to do this until the water runs clear.
- Use equal parts water to rice (i.e. 1 cup rice for 1 cup water. For this recipe, 2 1/2 cups rice needs 2 1/2 cups water).
- If using a rice cooker, let it sit on ‘warm’ for an extra 15 minutes after the rice has finished cooking.
- If you get the chance to, it’s good to let the rice entirely cool before using it so it’s easier to fry. If the rice is too wet it’ll all stick together and become a big gluey mess.
- Cut up chicken into small, bite size pieces.
- In a small bowl, add 1 table spoon of soy sauce to chicken and stir to cover it all.
- Leave for 15-30 minutes while you prepare everything else.
- Cook your protein first so it doesn’t get too dry / overcooked while everything else cooks. This way, you can control how ‘well done’ your protein is.
- It should take about 5 minutes for chicken thighs to cook property on a medium-high heat.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside (add it back at the end).
- Heat a tablespoon vegetable oil in a pan, add diced garlic and onions.
- Sauté on a medium heat until smallest pieces of garlic start to turn golden.
- Crack 1x egg per person into the pan with the aromatics.
- Let the eggs set for 30 seconds until the egg starts to become white (letting the eggs set and slightly cook avoids the eggs becoming annihilated and becoming a horrible eggy mess).
- Then, break the yolks and scramble to 75% complete.
Add veggies and rice
- Carrots should be cubed/diced.
- Roughly chop Chinese broccoli leaves (the stems aren’t great to use).
- Add the veggies to the pan and cook for 30 seconds – 1 minute.
- Add the cold rice.
- Combine so the rice & veggies are covered by the flavoured oil and egg.
- Combine these ingredients into one cup/bowl before you begin cooking.
- Add 1x tablespoons of soy sauce.
- Add 1x teapoon of fish sauce.
- Add some white pepper.
- Cook until all the rice is covered.
Fried rice keeps really well when frozen.
To make this recipe more interesting, sauté 2 – 3 tablespoons of red or green curry paste in 1 cup of coconut milk before cooking your protein and vegetables.