Friday, February 5, 2010

My Secrets to Cooking Good Fried Rice

Nowadays, we almost always have fried rice on Friday nights to use up all the leftover rice from the week. Cooking this humble one-pot meal is not hard, but there are a few techniques I follow to make sure they turn out light and fluffy each time. I thought I'd share.

Secret #1: Rice. Day-old rice makes the best fried rice (storing in the refrigerator overnight). This will turn the grains firm and get rid of the excess moisture. They will also be much easier to separate. I use jasmine rice for fried rice. Leftover rice from Chinese take-out restaurants also makes great fried rice.

Secret #2: Cook the ingredients separately and salt+pepper as you go. Fried rice has many different ingredients, and in my kitchen it’s usually just a mixture of whatever vegetables (I love using peas and carrots), meats, or seafood I find in the fridge. Whatever the ingredients, though, you want to make sure that you can taste each individual one. To do this, you have to cook meat or seafood first, remove from pan when almost cooked through and then toss it back in towards the end of the stir fry to finish cooking.

Secret #3: High heat. The high heat ensures that whatever ingredients that you put into the pan gets fried quickly and that each grain of rice gets hot to the core. I always crank up the heat at the very end to add that burnt taste.

Secret #4: Oyster sauce. I just recently discovered this. In the past, I normally used soy sauce, but the end result always turned out too salty, too dark, and un-appetizing. Salt+pepper as you go to flavor the fried rice, but use oyster sauce to give the dish that golden color.

What are your secrets in cooking fried rice?

2 comments:

  1. Yum, I can never get enough of this stuff. I wonder why whenever Tong makes this stuff, it's always in small batches. Maybe if I make a big pot of rice and let it sit for a while, a big pot of shrimp fried rice will show up as well.

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  2. Hrm I may have to try oyster sauce next time.

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