Cooking a fried rice is a labour of love. The cooking time itself is short, but the preparation seems to go on forever. This one took over an hour, but I don’t mind, I was in the mood. You can fry most stuff up with rice and do a little or a lot, but this was a special one so had lots of different elements. It was a sunny day today and I had intend to go for a walk to Wardley Lake with my camera, but we took our chucking up cat Storm
to the vet this morning as she has started eating cat litter in the middle of the night and then chucking THAT up,sigh, and then we went to ASDA food shopping, and I had to see a client this evening so had to do my cooking this afternoon. I was determined to take photo’s though, so thought I’d do some food photography with the Fuji. I also thought I would process them uniformly and applied a VSCO cam fuji kodak gold preset to each shot, I’m not overly a fan of presets that make your digital shots look like film, because of course they don’t look like film. I’ve got old photo’s on Kodak film and they look nothing like my digitals with a preset. Maybe they just look how we would like film shots to look 🙂 anyway I quite liked the effect of this particular preset.
So onto the cooking bit. OK, when you do a fried rice you need to gather your chosen ingredients that are going in with the rice, chop them all up and put them in separate plates/dishes. Then fry them in a little olive oil, in a wok, one set at a time, and in the right order. You need a large bowl with a colander in it, as each time you fry a set you then tip it into the colander and any excess oil/water drains through to the bottom of the bowl. While you’re doing this you should already have your rice cooking, or you can use rice you already have cooked. I use jasmine or basmati rice and add a good teaspoon of Turmeric or Saffron to the water to colour the rice. I like a lot of different colours in my fried rice.
So here we go..
- always start with frying the chopped onions and garlic together. I used a red onion just for the colour. Get your oil hot and flash fry at high heat for a minute to get tasty charred edges to the onions. Yum. 🙂 Then into the colander and wipe your wok out with a paper towel. Trust me, it’s better to start each time with a fresh dollop of oil. You don’t need a lot of oil, just enough to coat the bottom of the wok, this is a healthy recipe :).
- I like peas in my fried rice so thats the next thing to go in the wok. Once you’ve given them a quick stir fry, add a 1/4 glass of water, turn the heat down so they are bubbling not boiling,put a lid on and go to the loo/ take a pic of the cat/
read a book/go on internet for 2 minutes,~ then tip into the colander and wipe out the wok, OK, I’m not going to put ‘ tip into the colander, wipe out wok’ every time now, tip & wipe will suffice.
- Add any other veg you like, I did this next 3 all at the same time, (no I don’t know why peas are separate, trust me and just do them on their own). Make sure your oil is hot before chucking them in. When you’ve done a minute flash fry, add a little water and also this time a couple of good lugs of light soy sauce. Put a lid on and get a drink/take a picture of the cat/check your FB,Twitter,Instagram for 3 minutes. Tip & wipe.
I know, not the easiest name to deal with, but I like the exotic oriental stuff for my fried rice, and shiitake mushrooms are from Japan. They are more chewy than the usual mushrooms with a delicate nutty flavour. It is considered a medicinal mushroom in some forms of traditional medicine. Maybe I’ll give some to the cat.
I like baby sweetcorn, it’s sweet. And a little crunchy.
This was the first time I used Mangetouts, and just fancied something different, plus I liked the name. Very tasty, quite sweet and crunchy, I left them whole.
- I like to add some bamboo shoots as Phil loves them, I don’t, and water chestnuts as I love them,Phil don’t.:) I always use canned ones as I wouldn’t know where to buy fresh.
Same cooking method as for the veg combination.
- On to the meat. If you’re veggie you can leave this bit out and still have a lush fried rice. You can use most types of meat & shellfish, but lamb and beef don’t really work as well as chicken, prawns or pork. Today I used pre-cooked char siu pork ( pork with a coating of chinese 5 spice) and chicken coated in chilli & spices, and king prawns soaked in chilli and coriander. You can use just one or a combination of any cooked meat.
Get your oil hot, chuck it all in and stir fry, reduce the heat if it starts sticking to the bottom of the pan. Don’t add water this time but do add a couple of splashes of dark soy sauce. Tip & Wipe.
- By this time you’ll be getting hot, so get a cool drink to keep you going 🙂 I recommend
- Now we put it all together. Heat some oil in the wok but on a medium heat. Put the rice in and get it all stir fried, then tip the contents of the colander in on top and start turning it into the rice, when you do this don’t ‘stir’ as such, it’s more like the action you do to fold flour into cake mix.
Add a good sprinkling of Chinese 5 spice, a tiny dash of sea salt (optional) and a good sprinkle of ground black peppercorns. Leave on a low low heat turning every so often while you
- Make an omelette.
Chinese fried rice always comes with chopped up omelette so get a little frying pan, and make an omelette in your usual fashion, when ready, cut into strips and add to the fried rice. Chinese people eat from bowls with chopsticks, if you can’t manage chopsticks a dessert spoon is better than a fork. But still use bowls so the rice stays hot, on a plate your last few mouthfuls would be cold. Some chinese crackers and a glass of wine to go with and some oyster sauce splashed on top finishes it off nicely. Try it, it’s delish!
I have not included how much of anything you need to have, it always depends on how many you are cooking for. I use a ratio of 3/5 goodies to 2/5 rice, thereabouts. But these are the other bits you need..
I once lodged for several months with a lovely lady called Jo
and she taught me some of the ways of cooking chinese, 25 yrs on and I still do dinner parties with her recipes, lucky to have had the experience 🙂