The wife knows I have been a bit bonkers about Fried Rice. I’ve been making it about once a week – in equal parts due to the following reasons:
- It makes a great one-dish meal that can be whipped up in 15 minutes on weeknights.
- Minimal washing up.
- The kids love it and lap up every grain (no screaming at them to finish their dinner!)
- My version has luncheon meat. Luncheon meat is heavenly.
The other reason why I’ve been making this once a week is because it absolutely eats away at me when I can’t do a dish to the point where I think it should be. I’m not perfectionist, but it does frustrate me when a dish turns out sub-par. Wifey even says I get emo over it. Of course! Cooking is art that requires lots of thought and concentration. One lapse and the whole dish can be ruined. Is it true that chefs who cook using the sous vide method are lazy? Perhaps it is merely a step towards the desire for precision in their craft.
So the real reason behind the once-a-week Fried Rice dinners is this: I keep trying to make it better.
And here’s what I discovered are some ways to attain Fried Rice Paradise:
Use Rice that has been left Overnight in the Fridge
The fridge is a very dry place and leaving the rice uncovered in the fridge overnight dehydrates it. This ensures that when you fry the rice, each grain is separated from the others. Fried rice that is done this way is incredibly satisfying. Lumpy, mushy fried rice is a no-no.
Separate the eggs
When you have every grain of rice coated nicely in egg, the aroma of the rice is absolutely amazing. However, if you add the egg directly to the rice when you fry, it’s likely that you can a nice eggy aroma without being able to taste whole pieces of the scrambled eggs. I like to do both – add 2 eggs directly to the wok to coat the rice grains and scrambling another few eggs on the side to add to the rice later.
The aroma in a good fried rice comes from a few different sources. The wok, the egg and the luncheon meat. I like to sear the luncheon meat in hot oil first till golden brown before adding the rice for frying. Browned luncheon meat is one of the best things in the world. Searing it in the hot oil before adding the rice also flavours the oil beautifully; and this flavour is imparted into the rice afterwards.
I’d be the first to say – I hate the frozen trinity of carrot cubes, corn kernels and peas. They taste disgusting and distracts attention from the smokey goodness of a good fried rice. It’s absolute sacrilege. It’s not necessary to add veges to your fried rice, but if you do, add a neutral flavoured one like diced long beans or… long beans. I can’t really think of any other vege that would give the fried rice some colour without compromising the overall flavours of the fried rice. If you know of any good combination, tell me!
And that’s it, one of my favourite dishes to cook recently. Till next time!