Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Fried Rice

The secrets behind making a good fried rice are
good quality soy sauce,
hot wok/pan and
cold rice.
Equipped with the above you can't go wrong. It is one of my favorite recipes. It is quick, easy and very flexible. There is no fixed ingredients except soy sauce and you can make it with any veggie, meat, seafood and adjust it according to your taste buds - spicy, bland or some where in between. I do it as a quick lunch when I am in need of some self-pampering and when there is left over rice. So today it was a combination of both, self-pampering plus left over rice. You can use any vegetable you like. The ones I used today happened to be in my fridge. Don’t let the long explanation put you off, with the vegetables prepared it take 5 minutes to cook.
This is how I made it today.

  1. Celery – 2 stalks thinly sliced (how else can I get celery into my battalion’s food cycle)
  2. Pepper – 1 cut into strips
  3. Carrots – 1 medium size cut into strips
  4. Chilli – 4 chopped
  5. Spring onion – 2 plus 1 more for garnishing
  6. Pepper – 1 Tbsp freshly ground
  7. Soy sauce – 2Tbsp (I use 1Tbsp for each person)
  8. Ginger – ½ inch cut into strips or chopped
  9. Garlic – 1 chopped finely
  10. Rice – 2 cups cooked and cold. Any kind of rice is suitable, I have used Basmati, Ponni and Thai Jasmine rice with equal success.
  11. Eggs – 2 optional
  12. Prawns – 4 optional

Heat the wok till its nice and hot. Pour about 2 Tbsps of oil and when the oil is hot add the ginger and garlic. Fry for half a minute (don’t let it brown) and then add the veggies and stir fry. If using prawns add in the prawns and cook till it turns orange. Add the soy sauce (I am quite liberal with soy sauce) and cook it till the liquid is reduced. Add the cold rice and some salt (the soy sauce is salty and hence reduce the salt level). Stir it with the veggies and prawns.

Now about adding eggs. There are two stages at which you can add eggs. You can add them along with the veggies and scramble them. This way you can see bits of scrambled egg in your fried rice. The other method is to beat the eggs in a bowl and add them to the rice. This way the rice will be coated with the egg and when you stir fry the rice, the rice will be covered with tiny white and yellow speckles which look nice. Ever since we found that one of my squad has more cholesterol than is normally required, I tend to cut down the egg. If I do it just for me I add the egg to the rice.

Once the rice is fried, remove from fire and garnish it with spring onions and black pepper. The whole stir frying process takes about five minutes. If you have some left over rice and if you want a hearty meal under 10 mins then this is the recipe. You can use frozen veggies instead of preparing the vegetables yourself. To describe the dish in one sentence – What more could you want from life.

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