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Basic Chinese Fried Rice Recipe: How to Make It at Home

Fried rice is a popular dish that is a staple of Chinese takeout menus all over the world, but did you know that it's actually quite easy to make at home? With just a few simple ingredients and some basic cooking techniques, you can whip up a delicious batch of homemade fried rice that's sure to impress your family and friends.

A wok sizzles with rice, eggs, vegetables, and soy sauce. Steam rises as a spatula tosses the ingredients

Essential Ingredients To make basic Chinese fried rice, you'll need a few key ingredients: rice, eggs, vegetables, and soy sauce. You can use any type of rice you like, but long-grain white rice is the most common choice. For vegetables, you can use any combination of carrots, peas, onions, and mushrooms, or whatever you have on hand. If you want to add some protein to your fried rice, you can use chicken, beef, shrimp, or tofu.

Cooking Techniques The key to making great fried rice is to use cold, cooked rice. If you try to use freshly cooked rice, it will be too sticky and won't fry up properly. To get the best results, cook your rice the day before and store it in the fridge overnight. When you're ready to make your fried rice, heat up a wok or large frying pan over high heat and add some oil. Then, add your vegetables and protein and stir-fry until cooked through. Push everything to the side of the pan and add your beaten eggs, scrambling them until cooked. Finally, add your cold rice and soy sauce and stir-fry until everything is heated through and well combined.

Key Takeaways

  • Basic Chinese fried rice is easy to make at home with just a few simple ingredients and some basic cooking techniques.
  • The key to making great fried rice is to use cold, cooked rice and to stir-fry everything over high heat.
  • You can customise your fried rice with your favourite vegetables, protein, and seasonings, and even add seafood like shrimp or crab for an extra special touch.

Essential Ingredients

A wok sizzles with rice, eggs, and vegetables. A hand adds soy sauce. Steam rises as the ingredients are stirred together

When it comes to making Chinese fried rice, the right ingredients can make all the difference. Here are some essential ingredients that you will need to make a delicious basic Chinese fried rice.

Choosing the Right Rice

The type of rice you use is crucial when making Chinese fried rice. You should use long-grain rice, such as jasmine or basmati rice, as it has a firmer texture and doesn't clump together. It's also important to use cooked rice that has been chilled in the refrigerator for at least a few hours or overnight, as this helps to prevent the rice from becoming mushy when you cook it.

Proteins and Vegetables

Proteins and vegetables are an important part of Chinese fried rice. You can use any protein you like, such as chicken, beef, pork, or seafood. If you choose to use seafood, shrimp or prawns are a great option as they cook quickly and have a mild flavour that pairs well with the other ingredients. You can also add vegetables such as peas, carrots, and green onions or scallions to your fried rice to add colour and flavour.

Seasonings and Sauces

The seasonings and sauces used in Chinese fried rice are what give it its distinct flavour. Soy sauce is a must-have ingredient, as it adds saltiness and umami to the dish. You can also use sesame oil, which adds a nutty flavour, and oyster sauce, which adds sweetness and depth of flavour. Garlic and ginger are also commonly used in Chinese cooking and can be added to the fried rice for extra flavour.

Overall, making Chinese fried rice is a simple process that requires a few essential ingredients. By choosing the right rice, proteins and vegetables, and seasonings and sauces, you can create a delicious and satisfying dish that is perfect for any occasion.

Cooking Techniques

A wok sizzles over high heat, as the chef swiftly tosses rice, vegetables, and protein with soy sauce and aromatics

Preparation of Ingredients

Before you start cooking your basic Chinese fried rice, it is important to prepare all of your ingredients in advance. This includes washing and chopping any vegetables, cooking any meat or seafood, and measuring out your rice and seasonings.

For seafood lovers, you can use shrimp or prawns as a great addition to your fried rice. Make sure to clean and devein them before cooking. Alternatively, you can use crab meat or diced squid for a delicious seafood flavour.

Stir-Frying in a Wok

The best way to cook Chinese fried rice is by using a wok over high heat. If you don't have a wok, a large skillet will do. Heat your wok or skillet over high heat until it is smoking hot.

Add your oil and swirl it around the wok to coat the sides. Add your aromatics, such as garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for a few seconds until fragrant.

Next, add your vegetables and stir-fry for a few minutes until they are tender but still crisp. Push the vegetables to the side of the wok and add your beaten eggs. Scramble them until they are cooked, then mix them in with the vegetables.

Achieving Wok Hei

Wok hei is the smoky, charred flavour that is achieved when stir-frying in a wok over high heat. To achieve this, it is important to not overcrowd your wok and to stir-fry quickly and constantly.

Add your cooked rice to the wok and stir-fry for a few minutes until it is heated through and slightly crispy. Add your seasonings, such as soy sauce and sesame oil, and stir-fry for another minute or two.

Serve your basic Chinese fried rice hot and enjoy!

Recipe Instructions

A wok sizzles as rice and vegetables are stir-fried with soy sauce and sesame oil. A sprinkle of green onions adds a finishing touch

Step-by-Step Guide

Making Chinese fried rice is easy and simple. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make basic Chinese fried rice.

  1. Cook the rice: Rinse 1 cup of rice and cook it according to the package instructions. Once cooked, let it cool and fluff it with a fork.
  2. Prepare the ingredients: Finely chop 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, and 1 carrot. Crack 2 eggs into a bowl and beat them lightly.
  3. Cook the vegetables: Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the chopped carrot and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Add the eggs: Push the cooked vegetables to one side of the pan and add the beaten eggs to the other side. Scramble the eggs until cooked, then mix them with the vegetables.
  5. Add the rice: Add the cooked rice to the pan and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until the rice is heated through and slightly crispy.
  6. Season the fried rice: Add 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil to the pan and stir-fry for another 1-2 minutes until the rice is evenly coated. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve: Transfer the fried rice to a serving dish and garnish with chopped spring onions. Serve hot.

Cooking Time and Temperature

The prep time for this recipe is approximately 10 minutes, and the cook time is approximately 15 minutes. The total time required to make this dish is around 25 minutes.

The temperature required for cooking this dish is medium-high heat.

Serving Suggestions

Chinese fried rice can be served as a main dish or as a side dish. It can be served with a variety of dishes, such as stir-fried vegetables, sweet and sour chicken, or beef and broccoli.

If you want to add seafood to your fried rice, you can use prawns or shrimp. To use prawns or shrimp, cook them in a pan until they turn pink, then stir them into the fried rice during step 5. Alternatively, you can use diced cooked crab meat or lobster meat.

Nutritional Information

A plate of basic Chinese fried rice sits on a wooden table, surrounded by chopsticks and a small bowl of soy sauce. The rice is garnished with diced vegetables and scrambled egg

If you're looking for a delicious and filling meal that won't derail your healthy eating plan, Chinese fried rice may be just what you need. This dish can be made with a variety of ingredients, including vegetables, meats, and seafood, making it a versatile and nutritious option.

One cup of Chinese fried rice contains approximately 299 calories, 11.11g of total fat, and 740mg of sodium. It also contains 37.52g of carbohydrates, 1.2g of dietary fibre, and 93mg of cholesterol. The fat content in fried rice can vary depending on the ingredients used, so be mindful of the types and amounts of oils used in the recipe.

To make your fried rice healthier, consider using brown rice instead of white rice. Brown rice is a whole grain that contains more fibre, vitamins, and minerals than white rice. You can also add more vegetables to your fried rice to increase the nutrient content and decrease the calorie count.

If you're a seafood lover, consider adding shrimp or crab meat to your fried rice. These seafood options are low in calories and high in protein, making them a healthy addition to any meal. You can also use fish sauce to add flavour to your fried rice, as it is a low-calorie alternative to other sauces.

Chinese fried rice can be a healthy and satisfying meal option when made with the right ingredients and portion sizes. Be mindful of the nutritional content of your ingredients and enjoy this classic dish in moderation.

Variations and Customisations

A wok sizzles with steaming rice, mixed with colorful vegetables and savory sauces. A chef's hand adds a final sprinkle of green onions

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

If you're a vegetarian or vegan, you can still enjoy a delicious plate of Chinese fried rice. Simply omit the meat and eggs from the recipe and add some extra veggies instead. Some great options include sliced mushrooms, diced bell peppers, and shredded carrots. You can also add some protein with tofu or tempeh. For a vegan option, use vegetable oil instead of butter.

Different Cuisines Adaptations

Chinese fried rice is a versatile dish that can be adapted to different cuisines. For example, Thai fried rice often includes ingredients like fish sauce, basil, and chillies, while Indian fried rice may include spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric. You can also add some pineapple to your fried rice for a tropical twist.

Creative Leftovers Incorporation

Fried rice is a great way to use up leftover rice and other ingredients in your fridge. You can add anything from leftover roast chicken to bacon to quinoa. If you have some seafood on hand, try adding some shrimp or crab meat to your fried rice. Just make sure to cook the seafood thoroughly before adding it to the dish.

Remember that fried rice is a forgiving dish, so don't be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and flavours. Use the table below as a guide for some possible variations and customisations.

Variation Ingredients
Chicken Fried Rice Cooked chicken, peas, carrots, onions, garlic, soy sauce
Shrimp Fried Rice Cooked shrimp, peas, carrots, onions, garlic, soy sauce
Pork Fried Rice Cooked pork, peas, carrots, onions, garlic, soy sauce
Kimchi Fried Rice Kimchi, rice, veggies, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, chili paste
Thai Fried Rice Fish sauce, basil, chillies, lime juice, veggies
Tofu Fried Rice Tofu, veggies, garlic, ginger, soy sauce
Pineapple Fried Rice Pineapple, cashews, raisins, curry powder, veggies
Bacon Fried Rice Cooked bacon, eggs, peas, carrots, onions, garlic, soy sauce
Quinoa Fried Rice Cooked quinoa, veggies, garlic, ginger, soy sauce

Frequently Asked Questions

A wok sizzles with rice, eggs, and vegetables. Steam rises as a chef tosses the ingredients with a spatula

How do you make traditional Chinese fried rice?

To make traditional Chinese fried rice, start by cooking some cold, leftover rice in a wok or frying pan until it's heated through. Then, add some beaten eggs to the pan and scramble them until they're cooked. After that, add your desired protein, such as prawns or chicken, along with some vegetables like peas, carrots, and onions. Season the mixture with soy sauce, oyster sauce, and any other desired seasonings, and stir-fry everything together until it's heated through.

What ingredients do you need for a simple fried rice recipe?

For a simple fried rice recipe, you'll need cooked rice, eggs, vegetables like peas, carrots, and onions, and your desired protein, such as chicken or prawns. You'll also need soy sauce, oyster sauce, and any other desired seasonings. Additionally, you'll need some oil for frying.

What's the secret to getting that authentic Chinese fried rice flavour?

The secret to getting that authentic Chinese fried rice flavour is to use cold, leftover rice that has been refrigerated for at least a few hours. This helps to prevent the rice from becoming mushy when it's fried. Additionally, using a wok or frying pan and high heat helps to create that signature smoky flavour.

Can you share a basic recipe for egg fried rice?

Sure, here's a basic recipe for egg fried rice:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan over high heat.
  2. Add the beaten eggs and scramble them until they're cooked.
  3. Add the peas, carrots, and onion to the pan and stir-fry for a minute or two.
  4. Add the cooked rice and soy sauce to the pan and stir-fry everything together until it's heated through.

How is Chinese fried rice different from other types of fried rice?

Chinese fried rice is typically made with cold, leftover rice that has been refrigerated for at least a few hours. The rice is then stir-fried with eggs, vegetables, and protein, and seasoned with soy sauce and other seasonings. Other types of fried rice may use different ingredients or seasonings, such as curry powder or sesame oil.

What are some variations of vegetable fried rice in Chinese cuisine?

Some variations of vegetable fried rice in Chinese cuisine include adding different vegetables like bok choy, mushrooms, or bamboo shoots. You can also add different seasonings like garlic or ginger to add more flavour. Additionally, you can add seafood like prawns or scallops to make a seafood fried rice.