Saturday, November 5, 2016

Mixed Fried Rice

Stir-fried vegetable, egg, chicken, shrimps and rice.    
My Version

I am totally clueless if I am asked about the origin of Fried Rice. All I know is that I loveee it ;) and it is a very common Asian stir-fry usually made with left over steamed rice and anything and everything lurking in the back of your fridge, in a large hot wok. Of course, every region has its own variations in the preparation, but, basically it's an extremely simple dish which needs no exact ingredients or even measures and just about anything can go into a fried rice.
Usually cold, leftover cooked or steamed rice is used in making fried rice. That is, rice left in the fridge overnight. But, I often make fried rice with freshly cooked rice. If you get it right, then it won't turn mushy. Otherwise there are chances that you could end up with a really sticky and mushy rice. Let's hope that won't happen when you follow me.. ;)
You will need medium to long grained rice to make fried rice. Do not use short rice or sushi rice. I usually use medium grain Thai jasmine rice or basmati rice.

A large wok is ideal for making fried rice, but, you could also make it in a big pan or skillet if you do not have a wok. If you are cooking a large quantity, then it's ideal to cook each ingredient individually and finally bring them all together before the final mixing. I prefer a non-stick wok, to minimize the use of oil.

Ingredients :

Thai jasmine rice or Basmati rice

2 cups

Oil (Olive, sesame seed or peanut oil)

As required

Shallots (Spring onion)

2 small stems


3-4 nos.


1 long stem

Green chili (Optional)

As required

Fresh eggs

3-4 nos.

Chicken (Optional) (finely diced)

1 cup

Shrimp (Optional) (Shelled and cleaned)

1/2 cup

Mixed vegetables (Fresh or Frozen)
I have used Carrot, Beans and Cabbage

As preferred or
1/2 cup each

Black pepper

As required

White pepper

As required

Soya sauce

As required


To taste

Preparation Method :

Rinse and Strain the rice.
Boil 5 cups of water and then add the rice to it and cook until rice is almost 80% cooked.

Strain the rice and quickly rinse with cold water and leave the rice to completely strain and dry. The rice should completely cool, so make the rice in advance. If you use rice that's still hot, you could end up with a sticky and mushy fried rice. Never take chances! Make sure you fluff the rice to break down clumps, if any.

Make sure all your vegetables, chicken and other ingredients are ready, 'coz fried rice is basically a game of stir fry and mixing.

Preheat the wok on high heat. Swirl in some oil. Make sure your oil is really hot. Into it add the eggs. Once the sides start bubbling, gently scramble the eggs. Season with some salt and pepper.

Make sure you do not overcook the eggs. It will become too dry. Remove it as soon as it's almost done and a little soggy.

Swirl in some more oil. Then add the chicken and season it with some salt and pepper and drizzle some soy sauce over it. We need regular soy sauce. Not the thick nor the thin one.

Once the chicken is half cooked, add the shrimps. If you do not want shrimps, you could skip it and continue cooking the chicken. Do not cook it too much. An almost 95% is apt. Allow it to retain a little moisture or it will turn rubbery and dry. Remove from the wok.

Again, Swirl the wok with some oil. Add the chopped chili and crushed garlic. Chili is optional, only if you prefer spicy fried rice.

Then quickly add the celery. Celery is usually not a common ingredient used in fried rice. But, I have noticed that it gives the fried rice a very special flavour. Try it.. :) That reminds me to mention about  Mono sodium glutamate (MSG), usually know by its brand name, Ajinomoto.  It is a sodium salt of  naturally occurring glutamic acid said to be a taste/ flavour enhancer and is used by many restaurants, especially the Indian-Chinese restaurants. There have been numerous debates and arguments about the health effects of this MSG. Well, I am in for no arguments! ;) Therefore I am avoiding any controversial ingredients from my cooking :) Let's try celery instead and see if it substitutes taste enhancers.. :D

Then, add the vegetables. You could also use frozen veggies. Make sure you quickly rinse it under tap water and strain off the water completely before adding.

Quickly season with salt. Salt helps retain the colour of the vegetables and helps give the fried rice a beautiful colour. :)

Season with crushed pepper and drizzle on some soya sauce. Make sure your flame is on high and you and stirring and tossing the veggies to evenly cook them. I like my veggies crunchy and fresh, so I prefer not cooking them for too long.

Once the veggies are almost as how u want them, add the already scrambled eggs, stir fried chicken and prawns. You could also choose to skip this process for a vegetable fried rice.

The Next important ingredient that adds that last touch of flavour to the fried rice is white pepper. White pepper is basically skinned black pepper. But, the flavour is very different from normal black pepper powder. Give a quick stir and bring down the heat now.

Then gently add the cooked rice. You can see how each grain is separate. There aren't any lumps and the rice is firm to work on. That's exactly how we want it. Pour in some soy sauce on the rice.

Then, stir everything swiftly but gently in the wok slowly raising the heat. Stir well enough so that the rice mixes well with the other ingredients and continue doing it for 3-4 minutes on high heat. Taste a bit at this stage to see if you require any more seasoning. Your rice would be a bit under-cooked now, you needn't worry.  That's exactly how you need it to be. Just turn off the flame and cover with a tight lid and leave the rice to cook for 5-10 minutes. The rice and the other ingredients will cook well through in that heat and the rice will absorb all the flavours into it.

Open the lid just before serving and fluff up the rice. Sprinkle on some chopped spring onion. You could use the green part and the white part as well. Give the rice one quick final toss and it's ready to serve.

Garnish with some more chopped spring onion.

Serves 5-6 people. Who are moderate eaters of course ;)
Enjoy :)