|Chinese egg fried rice|
Some friends have already asked me a few times about rice recipes. Some Chinese rice recipes simply combine rice with other grains, like mung beans; but most of the times, rice is stir-fried (an example is the famous Yangzhou fried rice). And all these fried rice dishes originate from the most basic of them all — egg fried rice.
Talking about egg fried rice — you really just opened my appetite and memory, as I always loved it!!! And even now, it is still my ‘quick fix’ meal of choice. :))
When I was little, as I said, I never liked meaty food, my parents and grandparents had to be creative in order for me to take all the protein I needed as a child — so I started having lots of egg dishes. Egg fried rice was one of my favorites — to a degree, that for my breakfast, my grandma had to make egg fried rice for me every morning, before I went to school.
My grandma was a good ‘home’ cook, she never knew how to make anything fancy, but everything was super tasty after her unique touch — that is the taste only she could create. The egg fried rice she made for me was probably the best egg fried rice I have ever tried!!. But when I was little, like most kids, I did not like eating that much, and my grandma always prepared a full rice bowl of egg fried rice for me. So, this is the secret, I never told her, — after having just less than half of the bowl, I tried to use the spoon to push the rice to one side, make it look much less, then I would tell my grandma that I had eaten enough, just check. She would have a look at the bowl, then allow me to leave for school. If only I knew one day in the future I would miss it so much, I would have finished all of it, all of it!
I think egg fried rice is probably the most popular rice dish in China, almost everyone had it, and probably most Chinese people know more or less how to make it. However, in China, this simple egg fried rice is rarely served in restaurants; in contrast, here in England most restaurants and take-aways, you always have the choice of having either plain boiled rice or egg fried rice.
In China, at least in northeast China, egg fried rice is rarely served the same way as boiled rice. At home, it is normally when you have left-over rice, instead of just warming it up, you can make it into egg-fried rice. People have it alone or just simply with some pickles or salad/liangcai. In restaurants, people normally do not have to order staple food, just a big table of all kinds of dishes, then probably have a little bit boiled rice, or noodles, or dumplings, things like that to fill in the ‘gaps’ in stomach if there is any left. :) For many of my dishes, I don’t usually recommend egg fried rice to accompany proper dishes, because the good egg fried rice might prevent you from making the most of the taste in each dish, and vice versa.
A portion of very well made and tasty egg fried rice is supposed to have almost ‘golden’ colour – because of the eggs, and the scrambled eggs have been ‘shredded’ into small pieces and evenly mixed with white rice. The rice is not sticky, but rather ‘loose’, so that it is easier to mix the eggs in. It is better to use Chinese, Korean or Japanese ‘sticky’ rice, as they taste better. The risk however, is for this kind of rice to get sticky and sometimes it is easier to use Basmati rice instead. Since the freshly made boiled rice needs to be left for a while, I would not use other kinds of rice, for example, American long grain rice, it loses its taste after it is cooled down — at least to me.
Years ago, I used to live in a shared house in Manchester, a lovely Scottish girl was living there with her boyfriend. One night, they decided to make egg fried rice. After boiling the rice, they removed the rice from the sauce pan and rinse it in the cold water, then stir-fry it with egg. I have never seen this way of making it before, so I just stood there, did not know what to say —- this is not the way of making egg fried rice at all! The rice needs to be first ‘dried’ and only then stir-fried.
The simple egg fried rice is just with oil, eggs, boiled rice (cooled down already), salt, light soy sauce and MSG (the later two are both optional). Sometimes, it is also good to add in some spring onion. In fact, if you are vegan, the easiest way of making fried rice without eggs is to stir fry a little bit spring onion with rice.
Here is how I made it — one portion for one person
Egg, oil, salt, MSG/vegetable/chicken/mushroom essence, light soy sauce (optional), sesame oil (optional)
1) The rice needs to be cooled down after being boiled or steamed, if not left-overs. Use the spoon try to make the rice loose, as loose as possible.
2) Beat one egg in the bowl.
1) In a heated wok, add around 1 1/2 tablespoon of oil.
2) When oil is hot enough, add in whisked egg. While the egg is forming up, quickly stirring it, so it can be in small pieces.
3) Then add in the rice. Stir fry the rice and egg, make them even mix together.
|Frying the rice|
4) Add 1/3 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of MSG/vegetable/chicken/mushroom essence, a couple of drops of light soy sauce (optional, but if you do put soy sauce in, only a few drops, otherwise, its taste might ‘mask’ the taste of the original egg fried rice). Mix the seasonings well with the rice and egg. —
—- Done!! If you like, before serving in the rice bowl, you can also add couple of drops of sesame oil.
|Chinese egg fried rice|
Phew…. the easiest recipe, but I wrote so much — too chatty today. :))