What does one even need to say about fried rice. It’s quick, easy and wonderfully tasty if done the right way. There are so many variations of this dish and one can use just about any vegetable or meat to make it. And the best part of it is that it can be made with leftover rice. I’ve kept mine simple with very few ingredients and vegetables so that it can go with all the other stir fries that usually accompany a Chinese meal. You can use any rice in this dish. This time I used a short-grain rice.
My first introduction to superior Chinese cooking was chef Kylie Kwong’s Cooking with Heart and Soul TV series and I fell in love with her simple recipes. Then my wonderful uncle went to Australia and presented me with one of her cookbooks. Her ginger fried rice was one of the first dishes I tried and it was simply delicious. Since then I’ve been making different variations of the dish but keeping in mind the simplicity of ingredients. Sometimes as they say, less is more.
Ingredients (serves 5)
250 gms rice (cooked)
100 gms bacon
2 large onions diced into 1/2 cm cubes
1/2 inch ginger peeled and diced finely
1/2 cup of cabbage diced finely (optional)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
6 eggs beaten with 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp vinegar
4 tbsp oil
4 spring onions, or scallions (dark green part only) chopped finely
- Heat the oil in a wok or a very large non-stick pan. Add the bacon and fry on medium-high heat till it becomes slightly crisp. Add the onions and ginger and fry till the onions soften, about a minute. Add the sugar and stir for another 30 seconds. Add the cabbage and fry for another minute.
- Push all the ingredients in the pan to one side, lower the heat to medium and add the beaten eggs to the part of the pan that’s empty. Let the egg form for 5 seconds and then run your spatula through the eggs to get soft ribbons of egg. Keep doing this till most of the egg has been cooked. When some of it is still a little raw, add the rice and mix all the ingredients in the pan together. The slight raw egg will coat the rice giving it a nice moist flavour.
- Add the soya sauce and the vinegar to the rice and mix well. Add the salt if you feel it’s lacking.
- Lastly, throw in the spring onions, mix well and serve.
Important notes: Do not overcook the rice. If you do, you’ll get a glaggy mess rather than wonderfully fluffy fried rice.
Make sure your pan is large enough to hold the entire quantity. you don’t want to end up with a pan that can only accommodate half the rice you’ve kept aside. Your entire proportion will go out of whack.
Keep a bit of the fat on the bacon. It will also release oil when frying giving the rice a nice bacony flavour.