ATLANTA – Written by Mel
I love fried rice! However, takeout can become quite pricey. So I started fixing my own chicken fried rice at home.
The key to making good fried rice lies in the choice of rice. I usually use Basmati rice or Jasmine rice. You can prepare it on the stove but if you are a person who cooks rice on a regular basis, then it would be best to invest in a rice cooker. I must say, this is one of the best tools I have in my kitchen because I never, ever burn the rice and it is never sticky. Whatever the package says in terms of ratio of water to rice, stick to that rule; otherwise, the rice may end up overcooked or under cooked. After the rice is done, let it cool. When I say let it cool, I really do mean “let it cool” to the point of being cold. Better still, cook the rice, the day before you want to prepare the fried rice and let it sit in a container in the fridge. The colder the better.
As the rice is transforming, you can work on the other ingredients. If you are not a vegetable fan, then just prepare the chicken, onions and eggs to include with the fried rice. Otherwise, include whatever stir-fry vegetables that you like. You can pick these fresh from the market or you can even get a package of stir-fry vegetables out of the freezer section at the market. I usually use thawed, frozen chopped chicken but you can also use left over breast meat from any previous dishes that you may have cooked. Next, scramble the egg and put it to the side (some people cook this into the mix; you can it this way or prepare it an put it to the side). Dice up some onions and also put these to the side. By now you should have chilled rice, scrambled eggs, chopped chicken and chopped onions (also stir-fry vegetables if you like) ready to go into a Wok or a cast iron pan. I like to use a Wok because it is big and deep and allows for more movement of the rice but the cast iron pan works just as good.
Before you add all of your ingredients, start with adding an oil of your choice. I use vegetable, canola or olive oil but if you prefer another type of oil, use that. Try to get the oil as hot as possible but don’t scorch it. The frying process will be quick this is why the oil needs to be hot as possible. I would start with adding the onions and after they brown add the rice. At this point, you should add some soy sauce to start to brown the rice. Move quickly stirring the rice and onions to avoid them sticking to the pan. Start to add the other ingredients one by one and keep tossing the rice around. Add more soy sauce if you like a darker rice; otherwise, just wait until its all done and add more. Once its nice and hot, place it on a plate or in a bowl and enjoy!
Remember this dish can be made with other meats if you like and if you don’t like to use white rice, you can substitute brown rice.
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