This is a big one isn’t it? We’ve all got some great recipe that we use or someone we know has. Just like spag bol, fried rice is one of those Aussie classics that everyone is the expert on. Yes, I do realise that neither spaghetti bolognaise or fried rice is Australian…I have a tendency toward irony, you’ll catch on.
But I’m the one with the blog, so you’ll be forced to look at my recipe. Well not just my recipe, but one that I kind of nicked from someone else as well.
I spent a lot of time perfecting my version. For many nights over the years we have dined on dry and tasteless fried rice before I realised what I was doing wrong.
I used to fry the egg and make a little omelette first. Then I would take it out, cut it up and then put it back into the rice, but that was where I went wrong. You leave the egg in, and mix the rice in with it, just before it sets. It gives the rice a lovely texture and moistness.
So we’ll start with the recipe inspired by another. It contains an ingredient I had never heard of before and I was rather anxious about actually using it at all. It’s called Black Olive and Mustard Green paste.
Calm down. Take a deep breath. I’ll talk you through it.
First of all, here’s a pic of said paste. You can find it at your local Asian grocer.
It looks weird, smells weird and doesn’t taste very nice. However, once you fry it up and mix it in your rice, it adds a lovely flavour and dimension to the ‘I don’t feel like cooking – we’re having fried rice’ dinner.
Chinese Olive Fried Rice recipe
• 4 tblspn Peanut oil
• 3 tblspn Chinese Olive paste, with mixed mustard greens. Chopped.
• 3 eggs, lightly beaten
• 500g cooked rice
• 4 green onions finely chopped
• 1 tsp sesame oil
• frozen peas and corn
• salt and pepper for seasoning
Heat 2 tblspn oil in wok.
Add paste and stir fry for about 30 seconds.
Remove from wok, or you can keep it in and cook it into the egg.
Heat rest of oil in wok.
Pour in eggs and fry till almost set.
Add rice and paste and stir fry.
When mixed through, toss in green onion, peas and corn, sesame oil and season to taste.
Some notes on this recipe: I use peanut oil for all of my Asian meals. It gives it an authentic taste. However, canola or vegetable can also be used. Olive oil not so good, it has a very low smoking point which isn’t very desirable in wok cooking.
I usually make mine vegetarian and serve it up with some BBQ pork from BBQ One down the road. I know we aren’t all so lucky to have Chinese BBQ Pork products so readily available, so just use your imagination. Places that sell it usually have it hanging up in the window along with ducks and chickens.
They chop it up and put it in a take away box for you. Usually costs around $10 for a decent sized piece. And worth every cent!
I have read, and I don’t doubt that Chinese people use cold cooked rice, or left overs from the night before, but I don’t have that sort of thing lying around so I prefer to use freshly cooked, or at least warm. I find it less sticky to mix up in the wok. Cold rice clumps together and makes the whole process overly taxing on my cooking arm.
Fried Rice Recipe
No need for lists and methods here. It works on the same premise as above. But, instead of frying off the olive paste, fry off some minced/chopped ginger and garlic in some peanut oil. Let’s say a heaped teaspoon of both – because let’s face it – we are all using the jarred variety (despite our better intentions).
Add the lightly beaten eggs, and stir it all around to blend in the garlic and ginger. Let it set a little.
Add rice and mix well.
Now here’s where you can add what ever you like. Frozen peas and corn, or fried off bacon bits, or spanish onion or diced BBQ pork, prawns, chicken. What ever takes your fancy.
Sprinkle some light soy and sesame on for taste…and away you go!
This is still fried rice really, just an Indonesian version. I have tried to make my own, and experimented with many nasi goreng mixes, but I have found the one pictured below, Conimex Nasi Goreng mix to be THE BEST one.
It’s really easy to use. You can make it as varied or as simple as you like.
All you really need is water to mix the sachet contents, some onion and green onion and some eggs. You can however mix it with peas and corn, or pork or bacon, etc just like with Chinese fried rice.
It’s supposed to be a meal to use up left overs, so anything goes.
The main difference Nasi Goreng and fried rice (for me) is that I serve it with two fried eggs on top.
The fried egg on top provides a nice taste and texture. My favourite part is when I discover little gold mines of creamy yolk in my mouthful.