Home Fried Rice
A very good friend came to dine with us and I made her some fried rice. She asked me for the recipe. I was a bit taken back. For me (and a billion and half other Chinese) it is like second nature. It is like walking down an old decrepit western town and have the guy sitting by the saloon ask: “How do you do that? You just put one foot in front of the other and go forward?” Nevertheless. You are not going to ignore the sitting man. So here I am, writing a post about fried rice.
Name: Home Fried Rice
Difficulty: 3 out of 10 (you still need to know a few things)
Ingredients: Rice (duh! but I like brown rice and purple rice, I’ll tell you why later), rock salt, black pepper, avocado oil, carrots, garlic, celery, eggs, sausages, dried shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, soy sauce, onions. It looks like a long list but you don’t have to have everything. I’ve made it with just a handful of the ingredients and no Kitchen God ever beaten me with a wooden spoon before, so you are safe.
Step One: Eat some rice the day before, but cook an generous amount so you have plenty of leftovers. I use 2/3 brown rice and 1/3 purple rice. The reason I favour coloured rice over white rice is because Black Rice Matters, no, it is because they don’t stick together easily. (insert your own racially charged jokes here). My uncle, who is a phenomenal cook tells me to put a drop of vinegar and sesame oil in the rice as it cooks. This makes the rice softer and sweeter. Leave the rice in the fridge overnight.
Step Two: prepare your ingredients. Chop your carrots and celery into little cubes. Chop the onions into longer strips and garlic, mushroom, sausages into thinish slices. Dried shrimps need to be soaked in warm water and chopped up. Beat 2-3 eggs with a pinch of salt and set aside. I am not going to tell you how much of each ingredient you need because it does not matter. Just trust your instinct.
Step Three: Fry the rice. heat up a tablespoon of oil in a large deep frying pan. Brown the onion and garlic. Crisp the dried shrimp and shiitake mushrooms. Add in the rice from last night and stir until mixed. Cook for 5 mins so the rice dries a bit and the flavours penetrate each grain. push the rice to one side of the frying pan. In the open area, fry up the sausage and the vegetables until they are 70 % cooked. Mix them with the rice and push them aside (this is why you need a large pan). In the new open area, pour in the eggs and fry it to medium runny.
Step Four: Assemble the masterpiece. Stir fry everything and add soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and then cover the pan, cook with medium low heat for about 3.5 mins. This is to allow the flavours to intermingle with each other. The celery is kissing the rice and the shrimp is getting frisky with the eggs. Afterwards open the lid and let more steam escape, stir until the consistency is to your liking. Plate and serve while hot.
Stir Fried Rice is what chinese cooks do when they want to clear the fridge of leftovers. It takes almost no effort because everything is committed to muscle memory from watching their own mothers cook it since childhood. Everyone’s rice is a bit different and unique from the rest. WE are all different and we all came from unique bloodlines. We all possess unique origin stories. We belong to unique mythologies of creators. So go ahead, take this recipe, inject love into it, make it your own and pass it on. Be part of the food DNA of humanity.
REMEMBER: let the ingredients make love to each other in your pot and spark magic in your mouth so they can give birth to creativity and energy in your tummy.
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