One of my favourite dishes which I've learnt to cook at home is this egg fried rice which tastes just like the local Chinese takeaway. It's always nice to have a takeaway of course, no cooking involved and less washing up! But we can't afford to have takeaway all of the time.
Essentially egg fried rice is not very complicated, all it is made up from is broken omelette and rice fried together. I think the main reason I used to fail to make fried rice at home was for two reasons: I never used to heat the wok up enough before starting; I added too much rice in one go. The rice needs to be pre-cooked (boiled), cooled and drained. It's best to make sure that the rice is fully drained before adding to the wok otherwise it won't fry correctly.
What makes fried rice taste different when it's from the takeaway?
In addition to the basic ingredients I add some light soy sauce, salt, pepper, sugar, sesame oil & some chopped up spring onions if you wish. The sesame oil I think is the key to making fried rice taste like the takeaway. There's not much added to the wok, but the overall scent it gives the dish is quite something.
Ingredients for the egg fried rice recipe (serves around 1 or 2)
- half a cup of rice, boiled as per instructions rinsed, cooled and drained
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 or 3 chopped spring onions (optional)
- 2 splashes of light soy sauce
- a decent pinch of salt & sugar, a few grinds of black pepper
- 2 or 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- a dash of sesame oil
Preparation before you fry the rice
The rice needs to be boiled as per instructions on the packet. In a colander drain the rice and wash it through under the cold tap. This does two things: washes the starch away; cools the rice rapidly. Leave the rice in the colander to drain completely. The rice can't be very wet when it goes into the wok otherwise it'll stick together in a lump. I then keep it in the fridge until I need it later that day.
How to make egg fried rice
- Put the oil in the wok and heat on full until it's very hot (smoking a little).
- Add the beaten egg to the wok moving it around quickly to form to bits of omelette (careful you doesn't splash oil when you tip the egg in).
- After a 10 - 20 seconds add the cooked rice, once again moving around all of the time otherwise the rice will burn. Add the soy sauce, spring onions, salt, pepper and sugar.
- Fry the rice until it's hot, moving regularly, and the grains of rice have separated. Frying time will depend on how much heat you've got in the wok. Sometimes it takes me as much as 10 minutes of frying and stirring.
- Towards the end of frying the egg rice add the dash of sesame oil stirring it in.
- Serve the fried rice straight away or keep in a warm oven (80C) if you are making other dishes to go with it.
Easily convert this recipe to 'Special Fried Rice'
All you need are some cooked meats, prawns and peas. The usual contents in a special fried rice from the takeaway would be beef, chicken, pork & prawns along with some peas. You can easily use up leftovers from previous meals, sometimes I throw in all sorts just to use them up. I believe that 'fried rice' originates from using up leftovers and making a wholesome meal from pretty much nothing.
- Written by Stuart Edge
- Category: Vegetarian Dishes
- Published: 12 January 2014