Thursday, October 14, 2004


Recipe: Easy Fried Rice

Fried rice was probably invented as a result of using leftover plain rice to make a quick one-dish meal. However, it has become very popular, simply because it's delicious and wholesome! You have carbs (rice), protein (meat or seafood), and fiber (vegtables) all on one plate. Every rice-eating Asian country has their own version. One perennial favorite Chinese version is Yang-chow Fried Rice. The Japanese have their Western/Chinese-influenced Omu Rice Omelette. The Koreans use their trademark spicy kimchi to make Kimchi Bokkeumbap (Kimchi Fried Rice). The Thai are famous for their Pineapple Fried Rice. Nasi Goreng is the spicy and tasty version of fried rice in Malaysia and Indonesia. The Indians have their pilaf, a wonderfully aromatic concoction of rice, spices, nuts and raisins. In Singapore, we're very lucky to have access to all the above due to the variety of cuisines that restaurants here offer.

I love creating fried rice cos of the endless possible combinations of ingredients I can use. But Easy Fried Rice is one of the quickest versions, with minimal preparation and cleaning up. The ingredients are readily available and can even be be bought months in advance. This isn't my favorite recipe for fried rice, but it's my recipe for times like when I really need a quick meal or when I don't have fresh ingredients to cook other dishes. I guess this is also a good recipe for college students or people living on their own.

Here's the recipe for Easy Fried Rice. For 4 people, you need:

6 rice bowls of cold cooked rice*
4 eggs
chopped spring onion (optional)
2 rice bowls of mixed frozen vegetables (carrot, corn, peas)
170 gms of luncheon meat or Spam
chopped garlic (optional)
1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1. Place the frozen veggies in a pot. Add a pinch of salt, and fill the pot with just enough water to cover the veggies. Once they start boiling, turn off the fire. Drain the veggies.

2. Crack the eggs into a bowl. Add the chopped spring onions and soy sauce, and beat all the ingredients up till they are evenly mixed.

2. Heat one teaspoon of oil in a wok.

3. Saute the garlic lightly till fragrant. Add the chopped luncheon meat and fry till it's lightly browned. Remove from the wok.

4. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil, and pour in the egg mixture. Let the eggs cook till about 70% set (some of the egg mixture should still be runny), and lightly scramble them up.

5. Add the rice and toss vigorously with the eggs, using your spatula to flatten and break up the rice clumps along the way.

6. Add the meat and veggies. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and 2 teaspoons of soy sauce all over. Toss to mix evenly.

7. Taste a spoonful of the fried rice. If it's too bland, add some more soy sauce and mix again. Serve hot.

*It's best to use rice that has been refrigerated overnight. The rice grains won't stick to one another. It's really tough frying clumpy rice!

** I prefer to use jasmine Thai rice, the long-grained type, as it is less sticky and more fragrant.

*** The garlic and spring onions are optional if you don't have fresh ingredients, but they really add a lovely aroma to the dish.



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