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Fried Rice

k
ksmburns Apr 5, 2013 12:48 PM

I love fried rice, but I cannot find a recipe that is anywhere close to what I can get in the restaurant. Does anyone have a recipe for this that I can't mess up? I have made it many times, but it is sticky, or too much soy sauce.... I need help!!

  1. i
    InspectorJon Apr 5, 2013 01:58 PM

    Nasi Goreng
    Indonesian Fried Rice

    Ingredients:

    ¾ lb Long Grain Rice
    2 Tbs. Vegetable Oil
    3 Eggs
    1 Onion
    2 Green Chillies
    1 Garlic Clove
    1 Leek (green onion)
    1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
    1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
    ¼ cup chopped almonds
    ½ lb Chopped chicken meat
    ½ lb Shelled Prawns
    1 cup chopped cabbage
    1 handful bean sprouts
    2 Tbs. Kecap Manis
    1 Tbs. Shrimp paste

    Preparation:

    This dish is best made from cold leftover rice, but you can cook a fresh batch and leave it to cool for at least 4 hours.
    Beat the eggs and make into a omelette, slice into strips and set aside.
    Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the chopped onion, leek, garlic and chillies. Fry until the onion is soft. Add the Coriander and Cumin. Slice Chicken into strips and add with the prawns and almonds to the onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally until they are well mixed and chicken is cooked through. Add the rice and cook until rice is hot. Add, egg strips kecap manis and shrimp paste and stir until combined. Decorate with some of the leftover leek and serve hot. Enjoy.

    Option:
    Substitute small cooked shrimp for prawns and add at same time as eggs and sauces.
    Substitute 2 Tbs regular soy sauce and 1 Tbs dark molasses or dark brown sugar for Kecep Manis. Substitute Thai fish sauce for shrimp paste.

    This is a very flexible dish and you can add or subtract various chopped vegetables or meat depending on what you have available.

    1. f
      FattyDumplin Apr 5, 2013 02:01 PM

      i like to keep it simple...

      garlic, sesame oil, chinese sausage, egg (prepared the way described by inpsector john). incredibly fragrant and so simple.

      1. EarlyBird Apr 5, 2013 02:08 PM

        Inspector Jon's suggesting of using cold leftover rice is important. In fact, I'll make it a day ahead of time and leave it in the fridge uncovered to dry out a bit. That's one important step to keep it from becoming too sticky.

        1. f
          foodieX2 Apr 5, 2013 02:32 PM

          Leftover rice is key.

          My son swears mine is a good as the take out place.

          Sauté chopped onion in peanut oil, added diced carrot and continue cooking until almost soft. You can also add any longer cooking veggies you want. Once cooked add grated or minced fresh ginger and garlic, stir fry until fragrant. Add rice, frozen peas and a couple good shakes of tamari soy sauce or Braggs (or any stir fry sauce you like) and toss well until the mixture is heated thru. Taste and correct seasonings. Right before serving push mixture aside in pan and add a whisked egg or two and cook until just lightly scrambled. Toss again so the eggs are incorporated in the dish.

          You can add dried hot chilies for some heat. If you want chicken/pork/beef you can add to the pan before the veggies and cook them until almost done. Shrimp hold off until after the veggies.

          1 Reply
          1. re: foodieX2
            w
            wyogal Apr 5, 2013 03:26 PM

            That's pretty much what I do as well, except I also add 5 spice powder.

          2. Charles Yu Apr 5, 2013 02:41 PM

            This is my favorite fried rice. The version offered by Hong Kong's Michelin 1* Yung Kee was most memorable. This version comes pretty close considering the Yung Kee's version was executed using professional woks usung intense heat burners!! BTW, secret is to leave the rice overnight to cool down and dry up a bit!
            http://mamachinesecooking.com/recipes...

            Enjoy!!

            1. GretchenS Apr 5, 2013 02:41 PM

              I love this Ellie Krieger recipe for Five Treasure Fried Rice I first saw in Fine Cooking: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/fi...

              1. k
                ksmburns Apr 5, 2013 03:34 PM

                Thank you all so much for the recipes and hints!! Looks like one of the secrests is making the rice a day ahead of time. I will get to the kitchen, and make some rice so that I can try some different recipes tomorrow!

                3 Replies
                1. re: ksmburns
                  melpy Apr 9, 2013 08:25 AM

                  I feel like fried rice is sort of the leftover solution. I usually only make it when I already have leftover rice from a takeout place. Never use fresh. In a pinch pick up a carton on the way home from the local Chinese joint if possible for the next day.

                  1. re: ksmburns
                    s
                    smfan Apr 9, 2013 05:37 PM

                    You can cook the rice the same day as long as you use less water. Just enough water that the rice is cooked.

                    1. re: smfan
                      k
                      KailuaGirl Apr 23, 2013 10:20 AM

                      If you have fresh rice you can let it cool in the fridge for a few hours.

                  2. s
                    sandylc Apr 5, 2013 04:51 PM

                    I don't quite have it right, either, but I have learned that the rice must be thoroughly rinsed, steamed after cooking, and not overcooked.

                    1. s
                      Sportyster Apr 7, 2013 08:39 AM

                      I've worked in a Chinese restaurant. The trick to their fried rice is that after the initial cooking, prior to frying, they leave the rice sit out to dry. The place I worked at didn't refrigerate their rice at all, not sure how that would work with government food regulations today but when I make fried rice at home. I cook my rice in the morning and allow the rice to dry on a cookie sheet for a few hours then refrigerate it until I need it. You can freeze it in this state as well then it's ready for fried rice or a quick steam. Many Chinese restaurants are highly dependent on MSG as flavoring as well, unless it's advertised as MSG free, that might be what you are missing in your fried rice. I myself do not use MSG and try hard not to eat at places that use it.

                      1. k
                        ksmburns Apr 8, 2013 08:07 PM

                        I have cooked the rice, and spread it out on a cookie sheet. I has been ther about 3 hours, but is still very sticky. Can I leave it on thre counter overnight? Or will that dry it out to much?

                        41 Replies
                        1. re: ksmburns
                          y
                          youareabunny Apr 8, 2013 11:03 PM

                          Did you rinse it? Sounds like you may have cooked with too much water and/or for too long.

                          When you fry the rice you let it set in the pan a while. This will help crisp and dry it a bit

                          1. re: youareabunny
                            k
                            ksmburns Apr 9, 2013 06:02 AM

                            OK, I cooked the rice yesterday, and layed it on a sheet pan to dry some and to cool. I then put it in the fridge in a bowl with no lid to dry out some more. I did NOT rinse the rice, I guess I missed that step ....I will know tonight when I make it if I messed up this batch. As far as spices and sauces that I have for making it tonight, I have soy sauce, oyster sauce, fresh garlic, green onions, and I can get some fresh ginger. Is there anything else I should pick up? I live in a town of 400 and our store is small, so my choices are limited. Everything else I picked up over the weekend at a larger store.

                            1. re: ksmburns
                              y
                              youareabunny Apr 9, 2013 06:23 AM

                              Fried rice is never the same each time and some people do make it sticky. Maybe a rinse would be good and if that doesn't help, you may be cooking with too much water.

                              Those sauces sound good but I'm not familiar with ginger and oyster sauce in fried rice, personally. The only real seasoning is soy. It's kind of a leftover recipe to use up veggies and meats.

                              The oyster sauce may be too thick to use in the fried rice but is great for stir fries.

                              Be gentle with your rice when you cook it so the grains stay in tact. Let it sit sometimes in the pan. And maybe you want to try 2 batches, because of over crowding and to experiment with your spices. Usually a swirl around the pan of soy is enough.

                              Some onion, peas, diced carrot, green bean, when the heat is off throw in some sprouts.

                              Good luck and report back :)

                              1. re: youareabunny
                                k
                                ksmburns Apr 9, 2013 08:37 AM

                                Thats a good idea to make it in two batches, then I can try two different ways without ruining it all.

                              2. re: ksmburns
                                s
                                Sportyster Apr 9, 2013 07:38 AM

                                Is your rice still sticky today?

                                I put ginger in my fried rice, not a lot so as not to over power it and I use soy sauce, no oyster sauce. Using both would make your rice a little thick as was suggested. Scrambled egg goes into my rice as well and when it's finished, I toss it with a little sesame oil.

                                If this batch doesn't turn out, just keep working on it until you get it right. You'll probably never recreate "restaurant" fried rice completely but find your own version that you're happy with.

                                1. re: Sportyster
                                  k
                                  ksmburns Apr 9, 2013 08:39 AM

                                  The rice was a tad sticky this morning. I dont know if it really is, or if i am just looking for it to be sticky at this point. I have just failed so many times making fried rice that I am not sure if I have any confidence left when it comes to this.

                                2. re: ksmburns
                                  w
                                  wyogal Apr 9, 2013 08:12 AM

                                  Do they have the tube of ginger in the produce section? It's become quite common here.

                                  1. re: wyogal
                                    s
                                    Sportyster Apr 9, 2013 08:20 AM

                                    I'm sure they do but real ginger is cheap and easy enough to use. I bought a jar of ground ginger once and it was stringy and had an off taste to it. I freeze my ginger then it's easier to grate when I need it

                                    1. re: Sportyster
                                      w
                                      wyogal Apr 9, 2013 08:26 AM

                                      Yes, I know. I just like using the tube of ginger, it is not dried, it is fresh, grated ginger.
                                      I have also frozen it, grated it, used it fresh.
                                      Sometimes when I can't find the fresh stuff (like lemongrass, for instance), I use the stuff in the tube. Our stores don't always have the fresh, but are carrying the tubes.

                                      1. re: wyogal
                                        s
                                        sandylc Apr 9, 2013 09:47 AM

                                        I keep sliced, peeled ginger covered in dry sherry in a glass jar in the fridge. It keeps forever.

                                        1. re: sandylc
                                          k
                                          ksmburns Apr 9, 2013 11:11 AM

                                          Thats a great idea..Thanks!

                                    2. re: wyogal
                                      k
                                      ksmburns Apr 9, 2013 08:40 AM

                                      I believe they have fresh ginger here at the store, I know that I have purchased it in the past.

                                      1. re: ksmburns
                                        i
                                        InspectorJon Apr 23, 2013 09:15 AM

                                        I buy fresh ginger and store it in the freezer. It last a long time. Grate it while it is still frozen and put back in the freezer what you don't use. A microplane grater works nice for this.

                                3. re: ksmburns
                                  C. Hamster Apr 9, 2013 08:36 AM

                                  Never leave cooked rice unrefrigerated for more than an hour or two.

                                  Unsafely held rice can be the cause of serious food poisoning.

                                  Been there and it wasnt pretty.

                                  Bacillus: http://textbookofbacteriology.net/the...

                                  1. re: C. Hamster
                                    k
                                    ksmburns Apr 9, 2013 08:42 AM

                                    I did put it in the refrigerator, I was a little leary of leaving it out all night. I have had food poisoning in the past, and its not fun!

                                    1. re: C. Hamster
                                      ipsedixit Apr 9, 2013 02:38 PM

                                      Never leave cooked rice unrefrigerated for more than an hour or two.

                                      ____________________________

                                      That's just not true.

                                      We used to leave cooked rice out on the counter overnight at our restaurant, daily. It was last thing I was tasked to do so that we had enough rice to make fried rice for the next day.

                                      And nowadays, I leave cooked rice in the rice cooker overnight routinely. This way, I can have a hot fried egg over cold rice in the morning without too much trouble. Been doing it now for, like, since that rock over there was formed out of molten lava from the earth's core.

                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                        s
                                        Sportyster Apr 9, 2013 03:35 PM

                                        I agree, while it probably isn't recommended by food safety standards, if it's dry it won't do much harm. If it's cooled down fast like on a cookie sheet in a single layer it will be fine. If it's in a big container and it hasn't cooled down completely, warm in the center then yes, it will breed bacteria. I've never had a problem with leaving rice out over night and as I originally posted, I worked at a Chinese restaurant and they left their rice out over night.

                                        1. re: Sportyster
                                          C. Hamster Apr 9, 2013 04:14 PM

                                          That's why bacillus poisoning is very closely associated with Chinese restaurants.

                                        2. re: ipsedixit
                                          C. Hamster Apr 9, 2013 04:11 PM

                                          Well actually it is true.

                                          Just because you haven't gotten sick doesn't make it not true.

                                          Rice held improperly can give you a nasty food poisoning from bacillus.

                                          Check out my link or Google it.

                                          One day of explosive bloody diarrhea is one too many for me.

                                          Keep rice OUT OF 40-140

                                          1. re: C. Hamster
                                            s
                                            sandylc Apr 9, 2013 04:51 PM

                                            Do you mean keep rice OUT OF the 40-140 range?

                                            And you are right. Just because a person gets away without becoming sick thus far doesn't mean that the risk isn't there. I did the salmonella thing when I was 18 and ended up at 80 pounds. I was the only one who got sick.

                                            1. re: sandylc
                                              C. Hamster Apr 9, 2013 05:00 PM

                                              Yes good grief I need to pay more attention!

                                              Thanks!

                                          2. re: ipsedixit
                                            y
                                            youareabunny Apr 9, 2013 11:20 PM

                                            My close friend's niece had a brain tumor removed 3 years ago (around 8 years old at time). Along with ditching Teflon and plastic wrap, doctors instructed that once rice was cooked she had to eat it within 15 minutes. Past that, or any leftovers, were to be thrown out or consumed by someone else.

                                            Of course this is a special case, but there is something about rice... Bacteria counts at exponential growth in a short time frame. Similarly, any mayonnaise type of product can only be consumed by her after first opening the bottle. She loves ranch and always has a new bottle.

                                        3. re: ksmburns
                                          s
                                          sandylc Apr 9, 2013 09:44 AM

                                          Here is a link to Barbara Tropp's perfect, individual, not overcooked rice:

                                          http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/kgk...

                                          1. re: ksmburns
                                            raytamsgv Apr 9, 2013 11:15 AM

                                            What type of rice are you using? Are you cooking rice from scratch, or are you using parboiled rice?

                                            Long grain rices tend not to stick. Short grain rices are usually very sticky. Medium gran rices are in between. Long grain rices are the best for fried rice.

                                            If you want to dry it out, you might want to place your rice uncovered in your refrigerator overnight. But even so, short and medium grain rices will still be stickier than long grain rices.

                                            1. re: raytamsgv
                                              k
                                              ksmburns Apr 9, 2013 11:27 AM

                                              I dont know off hand what brand it is, but I purchased it in the aisle where the Asian food is at the store. It was pretty expensive for rice, I will have to look when I get home and see what grain it is. It is uncovered in the fridge now at home, I will have to see what its like when I get home. I was not aware that different grains made some stickier.

                                              1. re: ksmburns
                                                w
                                                wyogal Apr 9, 2013 11:30 AM

                                                Did the package say to rinse it before cooking it? There are brands, and there are types, several brands have different types. SandyLC gave a good link for cooking the rice. Yes, I know you are beyond that point with this batch, but it could be helpful for future reference.

                                                1. re: ksmburns
                                                  raytamsgv Apr 9, 2013 12:07 PM

                                                  Search for pictures of short, medium, and long grain rice. You may be able to discern them visually even though you don't have much experience in the matter.

                                                  On another note, different types of rice are used for different purposes. For example, the stickiness of short grain rice makes them ideal for sushi. Most of my Cantonese relatives and friends prefer long grain rice.

                                                  1. re: ksmburns
                                                    y
                                                    youareabunny Apr 9, 2013 12:14 PM

                                                    Asian rices are short or medium and are stickier. I'm hoping your rice isn't in fact sticky rice :) that's usually reserved for desserts and I believe some dim sum applications.

                                                    Short and medium grain are rounder. Long grain are thin and long (duh) and not sticky. Asians generally cook with short or medium grain but for simplicity I think most Chinese places use long grain for fried rice.

                                                    Whereas a sushi place would use short-med grain for the stickiness.

                                                    1. re: youareabunny
                                                      k
                                                      ksmburns Apr 9, 2013 03:49 PM

                                                      The brand is "Botan" and it does not say anywhere on the bag what type of grain it is.. It came in a white paper bag, not plastic. Any ideas? The rice is still sticky, but I am going to try to make it anyway.

                                                      1. re: ksmburns
                                                        w
                                                        wyogal Apr 9, 2013 04:07 PM

                                                        That is a "sticky" rice.
                                                        Here is a page with some pictures of the grains: http://missvickie.com/howto/grains/foolproofrice.html
                                                        Here's another (scroll down for pic
                                                        )http://chow.ireallylikefood.com/70790...

                                                        1. re: wyogal
                                                          k
                                                          ksmburns Apr 9, 2013 04:40 PM

                                                          And sticky it is!!! I just made it, and I kept hoping it would dry out as I fried it, but it is a big lump!! Tastes good though. I looked at the store on the way home from work, and they only carry che short grain here. I guess there are not many people here that cook fried rice.

                                                          1. re: ksmburns
                                                            w
                                                            wyogal Apr 9, 2013 04:43 PM

                                                            Where is "here?" General location, the States? I don't need to know the specific locale. Just curious. All of our grocery stores have several varieties, and we are in the middle of nowhere.

                                                            1. re: wyogal
                                                              k
                                                              ksmburns Apr 9, 2013 05:08 PM

                                                              I'm sorry, I live in Kansas, in the States, but it is a small town of only around 400 people. The store here has the basics, and thats it.

                                                              1. re: ksmburns
                                                                w
                                                                wyogal Apr 9, 2013 05:09 PM

                                                                and only one kind of rice, Botan? No just regular long or medium grain store-brand rice?

                                                                1. re: wyogal
                                                                  k
                                                                  ksmburns Apr 9, 2013 05:16 PM

                                                                  No, the Botan I purchased when I went to another store. I know they had more brands there, I just saw this one in the Asian Foods aisle, and it had Chinese writing on it, so I assumed it would be good. The store here in town only has short grain, but it is a small store. I will just have to look when I am able to leave town and get another brand, now that I know what to look for.

                                                                  1. re: ksmburns
                                                                    w
                                                                    wyogal Apr 9, 2013 05:19 PM

                                                                    Again, look at types, not brands. Did you see the pictures/links I posted?
                                                                    Edit: although I prefer Lundberg brand, for all types of rice.

                                                                2. re: ksmburns
                                                                  s
                                                                  sandylc Apr 9, 2013 05:18 PM

                                                                  That's what the interwebs are for, yes?

                                                              2. re: ksmburns
                                                                raytamsgv Apr 9, 2013 05:02 PM

                                                                Jasmine rice is a long grain rice. A Texas company also grows long grain rice:
                                                                http://www.amrice.com/3-1.cfm?bID=17

                                                                You may be able to find these in your area.

                                                                1. re: raytamsgv
                                                                  k
                                                                  ksmburns Apr 9, 2013 05:10 PM

                                                                  Texas is usually where I buy all of my ingredients, it is where I grew up, and I visit my mother there often, so I stock up on what I can. I will have to see what I can find online in the meantime. Maybe call around to other towns, and see what they carry.

                                                                2. re: ksmburns
                                                                  s
                                                                  Sportyster Apr 9, 2013 05:23 PM

                                                                  Good ole Uncle Ben's is a long grain rice, I use that at home with great results.

                                                            2. re: youareabunny
                                                              raytamsgv Apr 9, 2013 04:59 PM

                                                              Actually, Asian rices can be long grain--jasmine and basmati are two that come to mind. Most Chinese restaurants that I know of serve long grain rice and not just for fried rice. Korean and Japanese restaurants usually serve medium or short grain rice.

                                                      2. c
                                                        chasamark Apr 9, 2013 07:58 AM

                                                        A recipe for fried rice !! I can hear my Chinese roommate schrieking and laughing now --- I was taught by his mother and excellent cook that fried rice was a way to use up what ever left overs there were by combining with left over rice. The typical scenario was to saute some sliced onions, a clove or two of chopped garlic and maybe some slivered ginger before turning the left over rice in the oil... turn a few times to separate the grains and add the left over stir fry left overs... allow to heat through. off heat and cover for a few minutes... always wonderful.

                                                        1. ipsedixit Apr 9, 2013 08:22 AM

                                                          This is a well-sussed out topic here and if you do a search you'll find a litany of advice.

                                                          But, at the end of the day, you'll need at least a combo of three of the following, if not all of them.

                                                          1. Day old, cold rice
                                                          2. Hot pan or wok
                                                          3. Minimal oil (after you heat your pan/wok)
                                                          4. Mise en place with all your ingredients at the ready.
                                                          5. Work quickly (read: stir fry judiciously, don't overcook)

                                                          Everything else is negotiable.

                                                          Heck, do all those things right and you can make fried rice that'll make your knees buckle with nothing else but some salt and white pepper.

                                                          Or, what I call "naked fried rice" -- it's like the Chinese fast food equivalent of the omelet. We used to use that as a test for line cooks looking for a job at our restaurant back in the day.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: ipsedixit
                                                            k
                                                            ksmburns Apr 9, 2013 08:36 AM

                                                            Everyone has great advice for me. I will make it tonight, and hope it turns out. I am a great home cook( atleast thats what everyone says ) but I fail miserably at chinese food. ( and chocolate chip cookies...they are always very flat, and will only be soft if I undercook them a tad!)Thank you everyone!

                                                          2. DonShirer Apr 9, 2013 05:25 PM

                                                            Just yesterday I made my first fried rice using a NYTimes magazine recipe:

                                                            http://www.nytimes.com/recipes/12177/...

                                                            It turned out fine, and if my fumble fingers can do it, anyone can.

                                                            1. k
                                                              ksmburns Apr 19, 2013 05:13 PM

                                                              I finally purchased some long grain rit got done cooking it. It is sitting on the stove drying out a little. I sure hope that this batch turns out better than the last one. The last one tasted good, but was so sticky it was like one big lump. Thank you everyone for the advice.

                                                              7 Replies
                                                              1. re: ksmburns
                                                                raytamsgv Apr 22, 2013 10:07 AM

                                                                How do you determine how much water to add for cooking?

                                                                1. re: raytamsgv
                                                                  s
                                                                  Sportyster Apr 22, 2013 02:54 PM

                                                                  Typically it's 2 parts water to 1 part rice. So if you're only making a small batch, 2 cups of water and 1 cup of rice

                                                                  1. re: Sportyster
                                                                    k
                                                                    ksmburns Apr 23, 2013 05:54 AM

                                                                    Does that not make it to sticky for fried rice? I was told to use 1 3/4 cup water to 1 cup rice if I was making this.

                                                                    1. re: ksmburns
                                                                      s
                                                                      Sportyster Apr 23, 2013 07:35 AM

                                                                      You could use the measurements you were given, I assume adding less water would mean that the rice wouldn't be fully cooked but will finish cooking when you fry it. I typically use the 2 to 1 ratio and have had good results with using the drying method.

                                                                      1. re: ksmburns
                                                                        i
                                                                        InspectorJon Apr 23, 2013 08:56 AM

                                                                        For long grain white rice 2/1 water to rice ratio usually works well. You could use a little less to make sure it separates well. All rice is not the same and may require more or less water depending on the variety and even the humidity level where the rice is stored. I like to use brown jasmine rice which cooks well with 1 3/4 to 1 ratio when it is a newer crop. As the grain ages and dries more and gets to be closer to a year old it takes a bit more water. Stickyness has more to do with the variety of rice you use than the amount of water you use. More water produces a softer rice grain, not necessarily stickyness. Medium grain rice will be stickier than long grain and short grain will be even stickier. This is a generality but stickyness is determined by the type of rice more than the amount of water.

                                                                        There are two different kinds of starch in rice, Amylose and Amylopectin. The more amylose the less the rice grains will stick together. These tend to be long grain rices. The more amylopectin the stickier the rice. These tend to be short grain rices. If you really search for it I believe you can find sticky long grain rice. Put the terms Amylose and Amylopectin in Google. If you buy American long grain rice and cook it according to instructions on the package you should not end up with sticky rice. There are probably better Asian rices available but the labels are harder to read and you might have to do some experimenting.

                                                                        1. re: ksmburns
                                                                          w
                                                                          wyogal Apr 23, 2013 09:25 AM

                                                                          I find that the stickiness has to do with the type of rice that is used. If one uses "sticky rice," it will come out sticky.

                                                                          1. re: ksmburns
                                                                            c
                                                                            calumin Apr 23, 2013 09:59 AM

                                                                            You don't need to cook rice in a special way if you're using it for fried rice. Japanese short grain rice (which sticks together) is also fine for fried rice. But you have to cool it down completely before using it in fried rice. Otherwise it will be too soft and will clump together.

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