Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
abcdefg

Fried rice to use up what’s left -- 炒饭

Recommended Posts

abcdefg

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.)

 

841947709_pix11.thumb.jpg.54ab915e20b0cb82dfe875ea13d41498.jpg     2045023852_pix12.thumb.jpg.4bd26f9d98e539c25fee7b54cfa475a3.jpg

 

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.

 

1135691840_pix1-940px.thumb.jpg.5be1c9c7d6b2a6ce261f0a8895cecf47.jpg     1493235130_pix2-940px.thumb.jpg.0f7e38369260ee6c1222571257a28591.jpg

 

 

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.)

 

219186755_pix3-940px.thumb.jpg.27afcaba3081de72e9745d92da2281e2.jpg     1569232957_pix4-940px.thumb.jpg.247db06a1fbeadd4a93b00b1ecef48d4.jpg

 

 

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.

 

455948009_pix5-940px.thumb.jpg.f7facd0b9d392d9e211670ee0f36065a.jpg     1777554516_pix6-940px.thumb.jpg.293102c24617baa192f6d66f5e647642.jpg

 

 

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.

 

1675285219_pix7-940px.thumb.jpg.ad840f607ca450f5c98f34a9ff68bd66.jpg     1839991646_pix8-940px.thumb.jpg.b23a3e2e3adabe9aa6998fc94190a8d0.jpg

 

 

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.

 

484259511_pix9-940px.thumb.jpg.f1aac16e8cd6de4269e2e1fd694d9390.jpg     1216619610_pix10-940px.thumb.jpg.b6cabd1c89e5f3b6634e6911869e34eb.jpg

 

 

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.

 

1820758688_pix11-950px.thumb.jpg.423700c10d9adec4177e5891d6dd7953.jpg     753327132_pix12-950px.thumb.jpg.d156821bd681fb5ddb9dfb1240dbea29.jpg

 

 

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.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

ChTTay
On 1/10/2020 at 6:44 PM, abcdefg said:

Don’t use too much “stuff” when making fried rice. Lots of Gringos screw up fried rice by including everything except the kitchen sink.

If I realise I’ve got too much stuff (maybe by mistake I chopped and diced too much) then I’ll stir fry that “stuff” and remove half or more entirely. What’s left in the pan I’ll cook using your method above so that it won’t affect the cooking of the rice. Then once the fried rice is done I’ll add all that “stuff” that I made too much of back into the mix. Keep all of it on the heat and mix thoroughly. 
 

It’s one way to make sure you don’t waste that extra stuff while also not ruining your fried rice by making it all mushy! 
 

Another good write up . Thanks 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shelley

So is the way to make egg fried rice - fry (in fact really scramble) the egg first and then add it to the rice? 

 

if so this is a big revelation, no wonder mine is sticky and mushy. I always fried the rice for a bit then added two/three beaten eggs and stirred like crazy.

 

You have fried the egg separately and added it after you fried the rice (with or without the extras), thanks again for opening my eyes to the simple but useful ways to the simple things.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abcdefg
10 hours ago, ChTTay said:

If I realise I’ve got too much stuff (maybe by mistake I chopped and diced too much) then I’ll stir fry that “stuff” and remove half or more entirely. What’s left in the pan I’ll cook using your method above so that it won’t affect the cooking of the rice. Then once the fried rice is done I’ll add all that “stuff” that I made too much of back into the mix. Keep all of it on the heat and mix thoroughly. 

 

That is an excellent tip @ChTTay. Thank you for sharing it! I do something similar, using those "extras" as a topping on the finished fried rice. Next time I'll try it your way. 

 

6 hours ago, Shelley said:

So is the way to make egg fried rice - fry (in fact really scramble) the egg first and then add it to the rice? 

 

Yes, that's the trick to having it come out similar to what you are served in an authentic Chinese restaurants. Some professional chefs even separate the eggs and cook the whites and yolks independently.  Here's link to a "real-deal" video showing that technique. Chaofan link. (I believe this same video of his is available on Youtube as well.) 

 

I remember that you have an excellent wok, @Shelley -- I'll bet it would be perfect for turning out a world-class fried rice. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ChTTay
1 hour ago, abcdefg said:

Yes, that's the trick to having it come out similar to what you are served in an authentic Chinese restaurant

Personally I prefer pushing the rice to the side, crack an egg in the wok within that space you’ve made, wait about 10-30 seconds, then put the rice Directly on top of the egg. From there stir vigorously. This way you get some Of the egg coating the rice and some in pieces.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abcdefg

What a talented young cook! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shelley

Yes and he looks so calm and happy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...