We started trying to make fried rice when we first got married. Love to go to Chinese restaurants and there was one in Colorado Springs called The Grand Cafe, which was kind of a dive, but they had good cheap food. We thought, “Fried rice how hard can it be?” Well it is only recently that we make it where it tastes authentic.
We first tried frying the rice in a frying pan. That was a disaster. The rice would always stick to the pan. (This was before Teflon pans were invented.) We thought that the rice just needed soy sauce. But it never tasted right, but we lived with it.
Then my friend Sue give me a beautiful 18″ cold rolled steel wok for her birthday. Sue came over one afternoon to help me with dinner and to share some recipes. Then she noticed my wok was bigger than her wok, and she got mad at me. What was I suppose to do? Sue bought it for me. It took us over thirty years to get the wok perfectly seasoned – nothing stuck to it. However, during one of our many trips, James (our son and professional Chef) hosted one of his famous dinner parties at our home. We returned to a shiny and gleaming wok. A couple of James’ friends, trying to do the right thing had scrubbed the snot out of it. Hope I live long enough to get it back to it’s former, well seasoned state.
Then we obtained The Chinese Cookbook, by Craig Claiborne & Virginia Lee. We discovered three secrets:
- Use cold cooked day-old rice. This helps keep it from sticking
- Add Chinese sausages to get an authentic sweet-smoky flavor
- Use Oyster Sauce instead of soy sauce. (That was the flavor we were missing)
We still experiment and deviate somewhat from that original recipe. We don’t use cold cooked day-old rice because we usually never plan that far ahead and our beautiful wok is on it’s way to well-seasoned and nothing much sticks to it.
Here is the recipe as it has evolved so far. We just made some fried rice last night and we thought it was the best batch ever.
|Author: Laura Kirkley
1 tablespoon, soy sauce
2 teaspoons, chili garlic paste
1 teaspoon, sugar
1/2 teaspoon, sesame oil
6 ounces, shrimp, raw – shelled and deveined
3 tablespoons, peanut oil
2 each, Lop Chong (Chinese sausage) – sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 medium, onion – peeled and diced large
3 cups, cold cooked white rice (see white rice recipe)
3 cups, bean sprouts
6 each, scallions – chopped
4 tablespoons, oyster sauce
2 tablespoons, soy sauce
- Combine all ingredients for shrimp marinade. Toss shrimp mixture and let stand at least 20 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil to wok over high heat. Break eggs into bottom of wok and scramble, chopping into small chunks as you go. Remove and set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil to wok.
- Add Lop Chong and cook until crisp.
- Remove Lop Chong from oil and discard.
- Add onions and chow until lightly browned.
- Drain and add shrimp to remaining oil and cook until pink, 30 seconds to one minute.
- Add rice. Chow until rice is mostly separated into individual grains.
- Add bean sprouts and chow until rice is completely separated.
- Add soy sauce and oyster sauce and blend with rice.
- Add scallions and eggs. Toss to combine.
- Serve immediately.
Ham may be substituted for shrimp. However make sure the ham is not too salty. Leave out the Lop Chong, cube ham small and add at the end. Also we say to discard the Lop Chong, but we like to nosh on it while we are cooking. Tastes like a fruity bacon.