Monday, June 2, 2008

Authentic Chinese Fried Rice

When I lived in China, three more mature Chinese women taught me how to make fried rice. These women were not only great cooks, had amazing stories to share, but were an absolute riot. I spoke very little Chinese at the time of my lessons, so there was a lot of pointing and I think my hand my have been slapped a time or two. :) I did think I would pass along my vast knowledge of cooking fried rice.

Begin by getting all your veggies ready. I normally use whatever I have on hand, so tonight's version featured onion (a must in my opinion), defrosted frozen peas, carrot sticks that I had chopped up. I have even used cucumbers before so the sky really is the limit.

You can always create a vegetarian version, but as a Texas girl, I like to add a little chicken or pork. Tonight it was chicken. I also minced a couple of cloves of garlic in my handy dandy garlic press.

I personally use a wok preheated to about medium with a little extra virgin olive oil. Once the wok is hot, add the onion, chicken, and garlic.

Once the chicken is cooked almost completely, add cooked rice. Technically, I broke a major rule when I used brown rice, but I am watching my girlish figure and have begun using only brown rice and whole grains. I also find it really helpful to use rice that is cold. This is actually some leftover rice from the weekend. I actually normally make fried rice when I have leftover rice in the fridge.

Add your veggies and stir the mixture to make sure it doesn't stick. Cook until the veggies are to the desired tenderness. The peas were defrosted so they cooked a little faster than the carrots. I happen to like my carrots a little crunchy so I add them all at the same time. If you want something a little more well done than you would just add it first.

Once everything is just about ready, then break an egg over the mixture and cook the egg until done. You don't have to add the egg, but I personally like it. The egg also causes the fried rice to be a little more sticky which makes it easier to eat with chopsticks.

Of course you have to use chopsticks to eat the fried rice.

It's not easy to take a picture with your left hand as you use chopsticks with your right....I think I may have to add this maddening new talent to my resume!

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