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Fried Rice

In China, fried rice is eaten as a 'filler' at the end of a dinner party. It is not eaten with other dishes in place of steamed rice, although many Westerners do enjoy it because it does go with almost any Chinese dish. Long grain rice is the most popular for cooking in southern China. It needs to be washed before it is cooked. Do not confuse it with the 'easy-cook' and pre-cooked varieties which are now widely available as these are unsuitable for Chinese cooking. They lack the starchy flavour, texture and clean white colour which is so essential to Chinese cuisine.

Image of Fried Rice

115g/4ozfresh peas or frozen peas, thawed
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp groundnut (peanut) oil
Long grain rice measured to the 400ml/14fl oz mark on a measuring jug, cooked and left to go cold
55g/2oz cooked ham, finely diced
2 tsp salt
tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp finely chopped spring onions, white part only
115g/4ozfresh beansprouts
2 tbsp finely chopped spring onions, to garnish


Serves: 4


1.If using fresh peas, blanch in a pan of boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain. Mix together the eggs and sesame oil and set aside.

2.Heat a wok or large frying pan until very hot, add the oil and when slightly smoking, add the cooked, cooled rice and stir fry for 3 minutes. Add the ham, peas, salt and pepper and stir fry for 5 minutes over a high heat.

3.Add the egg mixture and stir fry for 1 minute, then add the spring onions and beansprouts and stir fry for 2 minutes or until the eggs have set. Transfer to a warm plate, garnish with the spring onions and serve hot or cool as a rice salad.

TIP:- Fried rice is common in Chinese restaurants, but it is frequently incorrectly cooked. If you follow these simple guidelines, you will be rewarded with perfect fried rice as it should be. The cooked long grain rice should be thoroughly cool, preferably cold, before you start preparing Fried rice. Once cooled, much of the moisture in the rice evaporates, allowing the oil to coat the dry grains and prevent them from sticking. Store the cooked rice in the fridge until you are ready to use it. Never put any soy sauce into Fried rice. This not only colours the rice unnaturally but makes it too salty. Any moisture will also make the rice gummy. Fried rice should always be quite dry and the grains quite separate. Always be sure the oil is hot enough to avoid saturating the boiled or steamed plain rice. Saturated rice is greasy and heavy. The finished rice should have a wonderful smoky taste and flavour.

*Cool quickly, then freeze. Can be frozen for up to 1 month. To serve, defrost in the fridge.*

Nutrition notes per serving:- 429 calories, Protein 14g, Carbohydrate 72g, Fat 11g, Saturated fat 2g, Fibre 2g, Added sugar none, Salt 3.01g.

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