Who says you have not the talent of a cook? Anyone can cook fried rice, but can you take it to the next level? Start with the easiest Yangzhou classic, then try to master the rest, and you’ll find you’re suddenly less desperate to impress a girlfriend or a potential in-law.
1. Yangzhou Classic
Yangzhou Classic is the most basic fried rice recipe.
Use 1 bowl of rice for one lucky single or 2 bowls of rice for a pair of lovebirds.
Sauteé the diced carrots first, then throw in your green beans and then crack a whole egg in with the rice. You can add diced sausages last if you need the protein. Voilà, happiness for all.
2. Curry Fried Rice
Whaaaaa? Double the ingredients for Yangzhou’s classic and make it Indian-flavored. Just add on two fat, golden cubes of curry before you put in the rice for a final scramble.
Instant curry cubes are easily found in the condiment section in Carrefour and your local grocery. Buy imported if you are one for authenticity, but the Chinese products taste pretty amazing too.
3. Xinjiang Mutton Rice (a challenge, and not fried)
Xinjiang calls “shouzhuafan” 手抓饭 its regional dish, like much of Central Asia. It translates literally as “hand-grab rice.”
This recipe calls for soft and steamy rice, by keeping it in a rice cooker. Cut cubes of mutton, and boil it with some staple Chinese spices—aniseed, nutmeg, and Chinese red peppers. Oiliness is the character of this dish, complimenting mutton’s natural flavor, so pour in 2 tbsp of vegetable oil to cook your onions, potatoes, carrots as well as the mutton. Then, add salt and cumin to taste.
Put everything into the rice cooker, wait 10 minutes, then enjoy a very grabbable one-course dinner.
Bonus: The universal recipe for fried rice
Step 1: Get a bowl of steamed rice, a bowl of varied diced veggies, and 1 egg. (Tip: Refrigerate cooked rice before use, if you like a tougher bite.)
Step 2: Heat pan. Pour some oil in. (Tip: Beat diced carrots in with the egg, if you have a kid who hates vegetables.)
Step 3: Throw all the diced veggies in. Sprinkle some salt and pepper. When the veggies are cooked, transfer them from the pan into a bowl for the moment.
Step 4: Fry the 1 egg. When it’s 80% done, pour the rice on top and scramble away.
Step 5: Throw the diced veggies back in, where they will do all the heavy flavoring.
Step 6: Do a final scramble, and enjoy it!
—If you managed to do all the above recipes, well look at you, Dr. Stir Fried Rice MD Ph.D., saving stomachs and tongues everywhere. Why don’t you let us know your favorite ways to cook up stir-fried rice?