abcdefg Posted January 10, 2020 at 10:44 AM Report Share Posted January 10, 2020 at 10:44 AM The best fried rice 炒饭 is made with yesterday’s leftovers 隔夜剩菜。Even restaurant classics, such as Yangzhou fried rice 扬州炒饭, started out that way. Yesterday we made ercai 儿菜 and Guangzhou sausage 广味香肠 on rice in the rice cooker 电饭煲 and had some left after the meal. Here’s the original dish: link Today I put the remnants to good use. (Please click the photos to enlarge them.) If you aren’t making fried rice 炒饭 as a method of ice box cleanup, shame on you. 不要浪费 is the national anthem of China (“no waste.”) All citizens have it tattooed across their chests when they reach school age, at approximately six. Let me show you how to do better in the coming new year, the Year of the Rat 鼠年。The method we will use today can be easily adapted to other ingredients that you happen to have on hand. Split and thinly slice the white part of a medium spring onion. I hit it with the side of my kitchen knife 菜刀 and cut on a bias so that the onion will “feather.” Carrot in this dish is mainly a color ingredient so don’t overdo it. Cut a half of a medium carrot into matchsticks 切丝。Yesterday’s sausage has already been cooked since it was in with the rice for about 20 minutes. No worries about it being underdone. Cut the slices into coarse slivers 肉丝。Do the same with the leftover ercai 儿菜。(It has already been steamed; it’s not raw.) Important side note: Don’t use too much “stuff” when making fried rice. Lots of Gringos screw up fried rice by including everything except the kitchen sink. Makes it come out confusing and mushy. One main meat and one main vegetable are usually enough. Best to use things that will cook fast, not items that require long heat. Turn out last night’s rice 隔夜饭 onto a plate or a shallow bowl. (By the way, leftover rice works much better than fresh-made rice because it’s less moist and sticky.) Break it up well with the edge of a spoon and your fingers. Do your best to eliminate clumps. It will be too late if you try to just do it in the pan over heat; the fried rice will fail. I’ve set out the last little bit of last night’s spicy dipping sauce 蘸水 to add as a condiment. (It consists of dark sesame oil, aged vinegar, light soy sauce and homemade chili sauce.) Break two fresh eggs into a bowl and stir them in only one direction with your chopsticks until the whites and the yellows are mostly blended. (You don’t want to homogenize them.) Here’s a picture of the whole works assembled. Add a tablespoon of cool oil (room temperature) into a hot wok 热锅冷油。This is supposed to encourage the oil to bond to the metal at a molecular level, filling open pores, improving the non-stick qualities of the cured steel. I used rapeseed oil 菜籽油 today for its its flavor. Stir in the eggs gently, immediately moving the wok off the fire. (I use two burners on my stove: one turned on high and one turned off.) You don’t want the eggs to get tough from excessive movement and heat. After 20 or 30 seconds of restrained stirring, turn them out into a bowl 备用。Wipe out the wok with a paper kitchen towel and add another tablespoon or so of oil. The items that take longest to cook always go in first. In this case that’s the carrots and sausage. Give them about a minute head start over high heat, then add the leftover ercai and the feathered spring onions. Introduce new ingredients to the middle of the pan, pushing other items up the sides. Now it’s time for the rice. Move the other ingredients aside and add it to the middle of the wok. Still using high heat, go through it well with the edge of your spatula 锅铲 trying to eliminate the lumps. Then do the same thing with the flat part. Make the rice fine. Perfect fried rice, seldom actually achieved, is almost entirely single grains. Sprinkle in a teaspoon or so of cooking salt. Don’t just dump a spoonful of it into the wok. It won’t disperse thoroughly. Sprinkle it in with your hand from 8 or 10 inches up in the air. Drizzle in yesterday’s dipping sauce. Stir thoroughly 均匀 and finally add the egg. Blend it in, shaking the pan 摇一摇 back and forth with one hand as you stir and flip with the other 翻炒。 Ready to serve 装盘。Dig in 动筷子。It’s enough for two. (Insider’s tip: People over here eat fried rice with a big spoon. Forget about those ivory chopsticks that you bought outside the Great Wall in 1984. You have made your tummy happy and maximized your ingredient investment in a way that would make an economist proud. Milton Friedman will smile down from Heaven. An additional 3 Yuan and 15 or 20 minutes of time have given you a delicious small meal, perfect for lunch. Fried rice needs to be part of your culinary arsenal. Life would be less fulfilling without it, especially China Life. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.