Chinese fried rice is a very popular chinese recipe around the world. In Mauritius, it is known as “diriz frit“, or “riz frit“. There are many variations of chinese fried rice, some with chicken or shrimp or eggs or a combination of the previous. The “secret” behind the perfect Chinese fried rice is to use chilled rice, and not hot rice. My father’s chinese fried rice is the best ever, he always gets it grainy and not all mashed up. If I remember correctly, my brother, Yony, was the first to learn his fried rice “secrets”. The rice would always be well separated, not mushy or soggy at all and on top, his vegetables were always perfectly cut (back then, he would always meticulously cut everything to almost the same size). I think I was the last one to learn my dad’s fried rice recipe because I am the youngest, so I always had the elder siblings to cook for me during the holidays or weekends, ain’t I lucky?
Ok, the secrets are:
- Use chilled rice. Left-over rice is perfect, but hot just-made rice is a big NO-NO. Chilled rice will be dehydrated, which is a big advantage for making the grainy fried rice. Use your chopsticks or hands to carefully separate the rice grains.
- Fry the ingredients separately.
- Don’t over-flip the food. I always like to toss the food around in the wok. It’s real fun, but my dad would tell me “Stop tossing around like that!”. Why? Because it would break the rice grains, which we don’t want! He would spread the rice around the wok and make a small well in the centre. Toss some rice grains into that well, and if they do “POK!POK!”, then your rice is done. Well, the pok-pok sound means your rice is kind of popping.
Some people also like to put so much soy sauce or dark soy sauce in their fried rice, so that it turns kind of brown. It depends on your taste, but the traditional chinese fried rice is not brown but white. I made a chicken shrimp fried rice this time, I hope you enjoy it!
Chicken-shrimp chinese fried rice recipe
3-4 cups of left-over chilled rice
10-15 shrimps, shelled and deveined
1 piece of chicken breast, cut in small cubes
2-3 stalks of green onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated
light soy sauce
- Marinate the chicken and shrimps with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Leave for 10 mins, prepare other ingredients in the meantime.
- Heat oil in a wok. When hot, add the shrimps. Don’t toss immediately. After 30s, toss the meat and cook for another 30s or until well-cooked. Keep.
- In the same wok, add more oil if needed and fry the chicken in a similar way. Keep.
- In the same wok, add the rice. Spread the rice around the wok and leave a small well in the middle.
- After 1 minute, use your spatula to toss a few rice grains into the well. If they pop, your rice is ready. Otherwise, wait for another 1 minute and try again.
- Toss the rice around with 1-2 quick stirs. Add the carrot, chicken, shrimp and 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce. Toss to mix everything. Leave for another 1-2 minutes.
- Sprinkle over the chopped green onions, pinch of pepper and toss around one last time. Taste and if needed, add 1 more tablespoon of light soy sauce et voila! You got yourself Chinese fried rice!