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tips for getting started with fried rice

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Ok so after three goes at making some basmati rice, I finally have 2 bowls of perfectly cooked rice in the fridge. I've never made fried rice before but I am excited at giving it a go for the first time.

So is there a good basic recipe that I can start out with? Do you fry the rice first, or the egg? do you remove the egg and add it at the end? I dont have a wok, so will a large cladded frying pan work well? Super excited :-) I may need to make some sweet n sour chicken to go with it.

Anyway thanks for any advice ppl :-)

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  1. Do the egg first and set aside. Use as high heat as possible and toss rice into the near aflame bit of oil. Toss and stir like crazy, add your other finely chopped and prepped stuff; and finally the soy sauce. Toss/stir. Top with finely chopped green onions.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

      Ditto on everything Sam said, and yes a large frying pan will work just fine. I do all of mine including the egg in sesame oil. Imparts a really nice flavour. I find you have to be generous with the soy sauce to get that Chinese restaurant brown look.

      1. re: 16crab

        Resist the urge to use _too much_ soy sauce. Your rice will wind up like a brown salt lick...although you could do what many of the low end takeout places do and use 'extra black' soy sauce (it has a massive amount of carmel color added).

        If I'm not mistaken, traditional fried rice contains very little soy sauce (sometimes none at all) and as such is not dark in color at all. The Chinese restaurant I used to frequent (before the owners retired) made the best fried rice I've ever had...and it was almost as white as regular steamed rice.

        1. re: The Professor

          I think the dark fried rice thing is from the old school Chinese American days...what else could you do to make day old rice look appetizing.
          Rather than soy sauce I'll use some oyster sauce for color and flavor.

          1. re: The Professor

            Use fish sauce rather then soy sauce. It makes for much better fried rice.

            1. re: KTinNYC

              I agree with the fish sauce......stinks to high heaven going in but sure tastes good in the end.

              I also use the dark soy because we prefer the flavor over the regular stuff.

          2. re: 16crab

            learn to make fried rice without soy sauce. there are many good chinese versions of fried rice that use salt but no soy sauce. there's nothing wrong with using it, but you don't need to depend on it for flavor.

            i do everything in reverse of sam. i cook the other stuff first, then add rice and make sure it is heated through. then i make a well and cook the egg, then stir it into the rice.

            i use japanese short grain rice which is sticky. i don't think i would ever use basmati rice. you need to use enough oil to make sure the rice doesn't stay in clumps. it doesn't need to be day-old rice, but it must be cool. some families use butter instead of oil when adding the rice.

            i don't put anything sweet at all in fried rice (except maybe carrots). i wouldn't put sweet and sour chicken in it. ham (or bacon), carrots cut very small, and green onions is enough for a basic fried rice.

            1. re: cornflower55

              cornflower, I'm with you; I cook all the savory stuff to make the pan tasty, then add the old rice. sometimes I do baked eggs in the end where I just crack 3-4 eggs in the pan, leave them intact but maybe swirl the pan a bit, then turn to high heat to blast for maybe 15-seconds (get that guo-ba crust) and then low-heat for maybe 5-7 minutes to cook the eggs (sunny-side up style, still runny yolks).

        2. The way I've seen it done in Chinese restaurants and the way I do is the last step is just cracking a couple eggs and stirring them in. If the fried rice is hot enough the eggs are going to get fully cooked.

          1 Reply
          1. What Sam has said, eggs first, then high heat with oil. I think I get a nicer fried rice when my rice goes into the pan really cold.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jeanmarieok

              "Do the egg first and set aside."
              is what Sam said.

            2. Don't be afraid of oil. If you don't have enough, the rice will absorb the soy sauce (personal experience) and not taste good. There are a lot of variations on the egg. I like to add it near the end and stir so rice is coated w/ egg. You can also do a thin crepe at the end and top it on the rice (my mom did that as a special treat and then topped it w/ a dollop of ketchup--pretty and much better than you'd expect). I've never used basmati rice for fried rice. And, I wouldn't specially make sweet and sour chicken, either. I use fried rice as a way to get rid of what's already in the refrigerator. Although... my MIL makes the best fried rice I've ever had and she uses spam, and even though I normally can't eat spam, it's so good.

              4 Replies
              1. re: chowser

                Fried rice has no boundaries or rules.
                Think Spam fried rice is good, bacon fried rice is right up there too.
                Dice up bacon and fry then add the rice when the bacon is done, the bacon fat does wonders when frying the rice.

                1. re: monku

                  Hmmm, I always thought bacon was as necessary as rice in fried rice.;-) It always starts w/ bacon for me.

              2. I started using the method in this recipe several years ago and it works a treat.
                I use whatever meat/seafood I have on hand and usually add mushrooms, green onions, etc., and usually some oyster sauce along with the soy sauce. The key is to undercook the rice initially and then add stock during the frying process.
                http://www.recipezaar.com/Chinese-Res...