A typical Saturday in our house. In to town for ballet and coffee in the morning, home for a chicken roll for lunch and then out to watch Cork Daddy play rugby in the arvo. “Chicken on a bread roll” as the girls have coined it, is one of THE best meals you can eat.
But what do you do with the leftover chook?
Well you make fried rice, of course.
And if we’re lucky enough to have a babysitter for Saturday night – it’s ‘oh so good’ coming home from a night out to leftover fried rice in the fridge!
Fried rice is hands down one of my favourite dishes on the planet. It’s so versatile and the perfect thing to cook if we find ourselves at home on the weekend. It’s great for the kiddies too and if I was to think of the one thing that I’ve made more than anything over the years – it would have to be this.
My best mate Soph told me today that I need to try putting in Lup Chong, a Chinese style sausage, the next time I make it. That’s the thing I love about cooking. Sharing recipe tips and ideas with friends and family. And because I’m not very good at following a recipe (OK, I am shocking at following a recipe) no meal ever tastes exactly the same twice.
Soph and I used to go to great depths to try and ‘perfect’ the fried rice. I remember a trip to Eastwood shopping centre to track down some barbecued pork to add; I’ve bought steamed rice from a Chinese restaurant to see if it would taste better and served it up with store bought (and home made) prawn chips.
So have a play around with it. It’s a great dish to master as it’s economical in the fact that you can seriously add any leftover bits and bobs from the fridge.
Cork Daddy and I ARE actually expecting our babysitter to walk in the door any minute and we’re off in to town for a few drinks.
Thank goodness there is fried rice in the fridge to come home to tonight.
lo’s fried rice (this makes a large amount of fried rice – enough for 2 ravenous adults, 2 hungry kiddies + plenty of leftovers for the next day or if any unexpected guests pop in)
Cooked (and cooled) jasmine rice – (1 1/2 coffee mugs full of raw rice. See Lo’s tips below for cooking instructions).
1 brown onion, finely chopped
6 rashers of bacon, finely chopped
1 -2 cups of leftover bbq chicken
1 carrot, very finely chopped
3 eggs, whisked together with a fork in a bowl with a dash of water
3/4 cup of frozen peas
3 shallots, finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of frozen, cooked, baby prawns (the girls LOVE these and pick them out straight away)
Soy sauce, to taste. I use a good couple of tablespoons
Salt, white pepper, for seasoning the rice
Vegetable oil, for frying
- In a wok or large fry pan, heat some vegetable oil over a medium heat and add the whisked egg with a dash of water to make a thin omelette. (I turn the pan around in circles so that the egg coats a larger area of the fry pan or wok). Set aside.
- In the same wok or fry pan, heat a little bit more vegetable oil over a higher heat and saute the onion, bacon and garlic until well on their way to being cooked.
- Add the carrot, peas and shallots (or substituted vegetables). Add a dash of water to help the veggies along.
- After about 5 minutes or thereabouts, stirring, add the cooked chicken, prawns and soy sauce. Cook, stirring, until the prawns are cooked. This should only take a couple of minutes.
- Scrape the contents of the wok on to a large plate or tray where you are reserving the cooked omelette.
- In the same wok or fry pan, heat some more vegetable oil as you are now going to “fry” the rice. Add the cold rice and stir around, coating it in the oil and season with salt and pepper. (You may want to fry half the rice, and then reserve it with the rest of the cooked ingredients before frying the rest of the rice as it may not fit in your fry pan all together).
- Now it is time to add all of the ingredients back in to the wok and mix around. Add more soy sauce if you think it needs it.
Serve with extra soy sauce and/or chilli sauce.
Variations: Substitute any of the ingredients above or add any extras that you may have on hand, such as; fresh chilli, grated ginger, barbecued pork, bean sprouts, tinned corn/baby corn or red capsicum.
- Good fried rice depends on the rice itself. If it is overcooked and gluggy, it’s not going to work. My tip is to either use day old rice, or otherwise, spread the rice out in a single layer on a baking sheet and either pop it in the fridge or freezer to get cold quickly once cooked.
- For an even quicker/easier meal on a busy weeknight or lazy weekend, use microwaveable already cooked rice.
- To cook the perfect steamed rice that works every time – put 1 coffee mug full of jasmine rice in a heavy based saucepan and pour 1 1/2 cups of water from the same coffee mug in on top. With the lid on, bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn it back to a low simmer and let it cook for 8 minutes without lifting the lid or touching. It works every time.
- Have everything chopped and ready to go before you turn the wok on. You want it to cook over a high, quick heat, so it’s good to be organised.
I threw my rice cooker out years ago and always cook rice on the stove top now. I don’t know why I was always scared to boil rice. It is SO easy. Follow my steps on cooking the perfect rice in Lo’s tips above.
It is important to “fry” the rice. Coating the grains in the vegetable oil helps the rice grains stay separated and results in a less “gluggier” fried rice.
You simply cannot eat fried rice without using chopsticks! That’s one thing I’ve been meaning to buy for my girls. Kids chopsticks. I remember seeing them somewhere AGES ago and haven’t found them since. They are for teaching kiddies how to use them and are connected at one end. Add it to the shopping list.
Thank gosh there is enough for leftovers!
If you make this fried rice, send me a pic here as I would love to pop it up on the blog! xx