Monday, 16 January 2012

Fried Rice - The Quintessential Comfort Dish

I have always thought of fried rice as the quintessential comfort food. Think of it - a bowl of steaming white rice cooked to just the right consistency, filled with bits of meat and vegetable. No wonder fried rice is one of the world's most popular dishes!

For the home cook, the beauty of fried rice is that it is very adaptable. Like chow mein, it's perfect for those nights when you're cleaning out the refrigerator and want to get rid of any leftover meat or veggies.

The credit for the recipe goes to my wonderful mom, always my patient and sincere guide, not just in cooking, but everything! Chinese was always a favourite among our family when we were growing up and I think the reason for that ardent love for Chinese food came from my mom. She spent a good amount of her early years in Brunei, an independant sultanate on the northwest coast of the island of Borneo in the South China Sea. She would always make our mouths water with detailed and colourful descriptions of the food she used to eat there, (steaming bowls of wonton soup, spicy noodle soup laksa, skewered satay, chow mein wrapped up in lotus leaves and much much more...) especially at the awesome street food joints! She always described them as "Almost Heavenly"! And thus evolved this fervent passion for Chinese food at our home.

Weekends were always mama's specials, and she used to cook up a storm in the kitchen. Chinese food was definitely part of that special menu almost every week! Oh, how I miss those yummy delicacies!

So anyway, today I have for you my mum's version of Chinese fried rice, and I cooked it for no special reason, but just out of pure whimsy! But I must tell you, it took me quite a few attempts to get this dish "almost perfect"! I particularly like this dish, because the home-made version helps to keep oil usage at a bare minimum and thus making it quite healthy. This is also a great way to make your kiddies eat a balanced whole meal of veggies and meat.

And now that we have established the convenience of making fried rice for me let me also say I quite like this dish. Anyway, I will not keep you with anymore rambling. Let's get to the point alright! Here you go, my mum's version of yummy Chinese fried rice. Enjoy.


Basmati Rice - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Chicken (boneless; cooked with a pinch of pepper & salt; shredded) - 1 cup
Eggs (beaten) - 2
Carrot (finely chopped) - 1
French Beans (finely chopped) - 3 to 4
Shallots/Small/Pearl onion (finely sliced) - 6 to 7
Spring Onion (stem; finely chopped) - 7 to 8 stems (chop leaves keep leaves aside for later use)
Garlic (coarsely crushed) – 2 cloves
Green chillies - 1 or 2 (adjust as per spice tolerance)
Cracked pepper - ½ to 1 tsp (adjust as per spice tolerance)
Salt - to taste
Chilli Garlic sauce - 1 1/2 tsp
Soy sauce - 1/4 to 1/2 tsp
Green Chilli sauce - 1 tsp
Chicken stock - 4 tbsp (or half a cube of chicken stock cube)
Spring Onion leaves - for garnish
Ajinomoto - a pinch (optional)
Refined Oil


Parboil the rice with water and a pinch of salt. Drain and keep aside. (be careful not to overcook the rice)

Heat oil in a wok and add beaten egg into it. Fry till cooked well. Remove, cut into strips and keep aside. (or you can just scramble it and keep aside)

Into the same wok, heat some more oil, and saut'e green chillies till colour changes. (this is to create an aromatic infused chilli oil which helps enhance the flavour of the dish) Add crushed garlic, finely sliced shallots and chopped spring onions into it saut'e till onions turn transparent. Add the veggies with a pinch of salt and stir. Cover and cook for a minute. After a minute, adjust the flame to low and add the parboiled rice. Add enough salt and cracked pepper and fry on a high flame for a few minutes. (make sure you continuously stir throughout this process to avoid rice sticking to the wok) Now lower the flame and add all the sauces and saut'e till a high steam comes. (saut'e slowly to avoid breaking the rice) When the high steam appears, add the chicken stock and saut'e on a high flame for 2 minutes. Now add the shredded chicken and stir well for a minute. Add the fried/scrambled egg and combine well. Throw in the ajinomoto (optional) and stir well till it is melted into the rice. Finally, add the chopped spring onion leaves and toss well. Switch off flame.

Serve hot with gobi manchurian (for vegetarians), chilli beef or a yummy chicken dish preferably Chinese, for the hardcore non-vegetarians.


1. You can add other veggies and meat into the dish too.

2. Be careful while adding salt because the soy sauce and ajinomoto (if you are using it) has salt in it too.

Source: Mama

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