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Special Fried Rice ingredients????????

Hi, I'd like to prepare a special fried rice like those in restaurants, I have tried to prepare Chinese food before but i do not get that authentic aroma that you can recognize miles away.

All Chinese food has a special aroma only found in Asian cooking, i was wondering if it requires a special sauce or oil or ingredient that gives it the wonderful smell.

I'd like to make special fried rice just like the one sold in my local take away, its the most delicious special fried rice that I have tried in London.

From looking at the different bits and pieces on my plate i can find the following in my special chow mein and special fried rice

1. chicken breast
2. roasted duck
3. roasted pork
4. ham
5. egg

1. Scallions
2. Peas

Rice or Noodles

Update: how about dark or light soy sauce? also any particular brand? what about oyster sauce?

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  1. In addition to the meat of your choice and rice, add 2 scrambled eggs, chopped fresh ginger, scallions, garlic, snow pea pods, sesame oil and of course soy sauce. Cook in very hot peanut oil.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cstr

      Is there a particular ingredient/sauce that enhances the flavour? there seems to be an ingredient that i am missing and all chinese take aways seem to use it as it smells and tastes the same

    2. The elusive flavor you're trying to capture is wok hei, imparted by quickly cooking your ingredients in a screaming hot wok. If you don't have a wok, you can approximate the flavors by stir frying your proteins in peanut oil with garlic and scallions. Don't crowd the pan and don't cook for too long; you only need a bit of char on the exteriors since your meat is pre-cooked. Add in your cold rice and stir fry it with the peas and proteins. Season with soy sauce, which will add color and rehydrate the rice. Add pepper to taste. Done.

      4 Replies
      1. re: JungMann

        Thanks for the advice, what about the type of soy sauce? dark or light and any particular brand?

        1. re: LatinUnit

          Generally I'd say light soy, but the pictures you've attached look like they have been dosed with dark soy as well so I'd use both if you want to recreate what you get at the restaurant. As far as brands, Kimlan is a good brand to have on hand.

        2. re: JungMann

          Totally agree with the wok hei.
          You can approximate it at home, but its tough, especially if you're cooking with electric.
          Even with a home gas range, the ingredients tend to cool the pan before you get the wok hei, then you're making re-heated rice with stuff in it. (Chinese restaurant burners tend to be 100,000-150,000 BTUs where the average home burner is 10,000...).
          But give it a whirl as JungMann describes.

          Not the same as the wok hei effect (or even authentic take-away), but you can enhance the flavor and experiment with oyster-flavored sauce, or other bottle sauce (stir fry sauce, fried rice sauce, etc).

          1. re: porker

            Oh yeah, I like to scramble the egg and cook in microwave. Once done, cut in cubes to add to rice pan.

        3. I use a sprinkle of sugar to balance the saltiness as well.

          1. Peanut oils from Asian markets have a more distinct peanut flavor than typical Peanut oil IMO........

            2 Replies
              1. re: LatinUnit

                Look for unrefined oil, or maybe try the roasted...or both!

            1. I add fresh cut up bits of pineapple.

              1. Maybe a little sesame oil? I use that and not 100% chinese does give it a nice aroma. You only use a little for flavor, not really for cooking

                1 Reply
                1. I add Chinese 5 spice powder, and a few drops of sesame oil. The 5 spice powder really does the trick, though.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: wyogal

                    Yes! right now im heading to the supermarket to get some 5 spice podwer for my evening meal :)

                  2. Thanks all for the nice replies, also, it seems that the particular meat ingredients requires special cooking. For instance, the roast pork seems to have a red ring around the meat, like in the Soup on the picture i uploaded? how can I cook this or is there a particular method for cooking the roasted pork? also the duck is soooo nice, specially the skin very tasty.

                    After some research it seems that the roasted pork cut used in these plate is "Pork backstraps or Pork Shoulder" and then this is roasted in a grill with bbq sauce, now i im going to research the how to prepare the roasted duck

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: LatinUnit

                      The roast pork is called char siu. If you decide to make it, the seasonings are similar for Cantonese roast duck, but I have to say that is a lot of work just to make a pot of fried rice! I usually buy my char siu and duck from the Chinese barbecue shop rather than make it home, particularly if I just want a few servings of fried rice.


                      1. re: JungMann

                        wow thanks char siu looks delicious

                        1. re: LatinUnit

                          The char siu used in most restaurants is red primarily because of red food coloring. I make char siu at home without the red dye because it is totally unnecessary. It tastes identical without it.

                    2. MSG really makes my stir fries come alive.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                        Yei, but it seems unhealthy... NOT that i care lol, my mum uses it but rarely

                      2. My Mom's "secret" ingredients are a drizzle of toasted sesame oil and a couple of diced chinese sausages (lap cheong). Steam the sausages for 10-15 minutes, then dice when cool enough to handle.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: chococat

                          Yei my mum has some sesame oil too, i am going to come up with a super recipe from all the different ideas then i will share it with everyone

                        2. Sounds like you got some excellent advice, but I did want to add that the only way I have been able to match the texture of fried rice that I get at my favorite take-out place is to use day old or chilled rice. Otherwise, it all just seems a bit mushy.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: dordalina

                            indeed i have in my notes that the rice has to be a day old or another method i found online was to cook the long grain rice and put it in the fridge for 2 hours then unfreeze it

                          2. As dordalina says, day-old rice is best. Some people will argue otherwise, but that's always worked best for me. Also, dump it into a bowl and break it up a bit before frying if it's clumped itself into a brick.

                            Screaming hot wok with asian peanut oil is the way to go. Typically what I do is scramble the egg in wok, remove. Put ginger and scallions in, then peas, then meats/whatever to heat through, then remove. Reheat wok until smoking again, and add rice. Go easy on the soy... a little for flavor/color, but consider salt as well. Once heated through, add in egg, meats, peas, whatever else.

                            Fried rice is really a vehicle for leftovers. Once you get the hang of getting the wok as hot as you possibly can, you'll start to experiment with whatever's in your fridge, and it will all start to taste "authentic" with the right techniques.

                            N.B. Five spice powder is typically used with roasted meats in chinese cuisine. It's a very strong flavor and would probably overwhelm a stir fry of any sort.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: egit

                              5 spice powder won't overwhelm the flavor if you don't over do it. I've been using it for years with great success. I don't use much and it really tastes so much better with it.

                              1. re: egit

                                Thanks, on the internet i found some website advising to wet hands with a little oil and then break the clumps of rice.

                                Would you advise to heat the wok then pour in the oil or do both at the same time

                                1. re: LatinUnit

                                  Easy way to break up the clumps of (day old) rice: Put the rice in a plastic bag, massage the clumps through the plastic until your rice is separated.

                              2. As some other's have already stated, the keys are:

                                >Wok Hei (screaming hot wok),
                                > day old rice...s/b a bit dry
                                >perhaps more oil than you would like to know about
                                >MSG - some restaurants still use this
                                > bit of dark and light soy
                                > char siu - fatty pieces are better
                                >not sure about the five spice but there is some in the char siu so adding that wouldn't hurt much...but it's strong so watch it
                                > also add a bit of sugar
                                >some chefs also put in some iceburg lettuce at the very end for a fresh crunch

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: LUV_TO_EAT

                                  I don't use char sui, so I find the use of 5 spice powder perfect. Of course, use it sparingly. Not sure why people don't use it and question it's use. If one doesn't use a Chinese roasted meat (which uses it), then the flavor comes through by using the spices directly in the stir fry/fried rice, whatever. Just use a pinch.

                                  1. re: wyogal

                                    I use it sometimes ~~ Sometimes not ~~ A little dab will do ya! :)

                                    1. re: Uncle Bob

                                      Yep, just a bit. Without it, though, it's just not the same, bland.

                                  2. re: LUV_TO_EAT

                                    I use pineapple bits instead of sugar.

                                    1. re: LUV_TO_EAT

                                      Day old rice to be kept in the fridge or at room temperature?

                                          1. re: LatinUnit

                                            You can get bad food poisoning from improperly held cooked rice. Always the fridge.

                                        1. Soy sauce and just a touch of walnut oil are the magic flavors you're missing.

                                          1. Chinese sausage is always in my fried rice. Tonight I tried a mixture of hoisin sauce, sirracha and soy sauce to my fried rice and I like it better then my usual combination. My friends like to use oyster sauce instead though.

                                            1. All Chinese food has a special aroma only found in Asian cooking, i was wondering if it requires a special sauce or oil or ingredient that gives it the wonderful smell.

                                              I honestly have no idea what you are talking about.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                Don't worry, it has been explained in the answers you can find it

                                                1. re: LatinUnit

                                                  Walnut oil!!! I watched a Chinese chef on TV who explained that walnut oil was "the special ingredient" in fried rice.

                                              2. I've been fortunate enough to able to access Chinese Kitchens over the years.....I have never seen Walnut Oil used in a Commercial Kitchen, only Sesame Oil.

                                                1. i'm a massive fan of adding some lap cheung (Chinese preserved sausage, like a chinese salami. In fact i guess it is a chinese salami....) Goes really well and crisps up beautifuly

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Samuelinthekitchen

                                                    Lop Cheong


                                                    btw.....nobody like shrimp?

                                                    My favorite is Beef/Steak and Bacon.

                                                    1. re: fourunder

                                                      If we're talking about what goes into our own versions of fried rice, then I am definitely a fan of shrimp and lap cheong. In fact that was the typical fried rice I used to make though nowadays when I get the rare craving for fried rice, I've developed a hankering for the restaurant versions with char siu and baby shrimp.

                                                  2. Serious suggestion: Go to the take-out where you get the fried rice and ask if you can stand out of the way and watch how the fried rice is made. The chances are slime they'll let you I know but become a 'regular' and chat up the owner. In time you might get lucky. When I used to sell my fresh fish to a couple of Chinese restaurants in Victoria sometimes I'd have to wait in the back of the kitchen for a few minutes to get paid. I always tried to watch how they made fried rice etc but the line cooks were moving so fast I couldn't absorb watch my eyes were seeing. I'm still cook crapy Chinese food although my little electric rice cooker has been a real help.
                                                    I suspect that your take-out is the same as tens of thousands of others. They buy the cheapest cooking oils etc, they can find. Sometimes that 'special smell' is just cheap oil that's been used in the deep fryer since the opening of the restaurant. As some oil ends up on the food they just top up the deep fryer with new oil. Do this for a year and you'll for sure smell that 'special smell' all Chinese take-outs have. And I don't mean any of this in any way as negative. It's 'just business' and so be it. Same as a 'fancy' restaurant 'cutting' real butter with a'butter-like substance'.