Rice is to the Asians what bread is to us, it is found on every table and with every meal. Fried rice is a dish served mainly with other foods that contain sauce. The rice is always cooked in advance and cooled then fried with various ingredients such as meat, seafood and vegetables. In making fried rice you may use canned water chestnuts, which gives crunchiness to the dish, peas, carrots, bean sprouts, Chinese mushrooms (Shitake) etc. But always add at least 2 different colored vegetables.
Ingredients: 6 to 8 servings
3 cups short grain rice, washed, dried and cooked in 3 cups boiling water (no salt added) the day before
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
½ teaspoon MSG (optional: see note below)
½ teaspoon sugar
200 g. cooked small size shrimps (available frozen, defrost in the refrigerator) (optional)
½ cup small cubed carrots, boiled in salted water till almost tender
½ cup green peas, fresh or frozen boiled in salted water till almost tender
1 cup sliced green onions, (green part only, use white part for decoration)
1½ tablespoons sesame oil
Salt sparingly and freshly ground white pepper
1 green onion, and carrot flowers for decoration
1. Using a fork, mix eggs with little salt and white pepper.
2. Heat pan and add vegetable oil and when oil is hot pour the eggs and cook for one second then add rice on top and leave for 2 seconds to cook.
3. Raise heat to high and stir rice and eggs till eggs are cooked and mixed with the rice and rice is hot and the particles are separated, about 5 minutes.
4. Add MSG if being used, sugar, soy sauce, and white pepper and cook a little more mixing all the time and separating rice particles.
5. Add and mix cooked shrimps, carrots, peas, green onions and sesame oil. Taste and add salt if needed.
6. Place on a plate and serve hot garnished with green onion curls and carrot flowers.
Green onion curls:
Use the green and white part of 2 fresh spring onions. Trim bulbs from onion where stems begin to turn green. Trim remaining stem to a length of about 10 cm. Use bulbs to prepare the flowers below. Using sharp scissors cut each section of the green stems lengthwise into very thin strips down to the beginning of the stem. Place decoration in a bowl with plenty of cold water and refrigerate 4-5 hours. To speed the process, add ice cubes to the water.
White onion flowers:
Slice off 10 cm. From the stem (white part) of a spring onion and remove the root end then cut from one side or two sides into many thin slivers using a sharp knife. Continue as above for the curls. The flowers may be colored by placing them in colored water using few drops of food coloring.
MSG or Monosodium Glutamate: A flavor enhancing chemical compound. It makes bland food more interesting.
Used mainly in Asian cooking and in canned soups. It is a white coarse powder with very little flavor of its own. Chemically it is the sodium salt of Glutamic Acid. However now it is being produced from wheat gluten of beet molasses through a fermentation process.