The city of Yangzhou in eastern Jiangsu Province is one of the ancient centers of Chinese gastronomy and the heartland of what is known as Huaiyang Cuisine. Strangely, only one of its dishes is widely known in the West and that is Yangzhou fried rice, which is on the menu of almost every overseas Cantonese restaurant. A colorful mixture of fragrant rice with diced meat, seafood, and vegetables, it traditionally includes a little sea cucumber and crabmeat as well as fresh bamboo shoots. Many versions, even some of those cooked up in Yangzhou itself, make this dish as a simple fried rice, but the classic recipe, upon which mine is based, includes an injection of chicken stock that adds an extra deliciousness. I have omitted hard-to-find ingredients, such as sea cucumber.
I first wrote this recipe for a Chinese New Year's feature in a magazine. One friend told me afterward that it had been such a hit with her children that she had been making it almost once a week ever since, so I've included it here in her honor.
Don't worry if you don’t have every ingredient: The key is to have a tempting selection of colors and tastes amid the rice. There's no need to weigh them exactly; just aim to have a small pile (about 3 tablespoons when chopped) of each. Yangzhou fried rice can be served as part of a special Chinese meal, or as a whole meal in itself, perhaps with simply a salad or a lightly cooked green vegetable on the side.
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Fried rice: good. MSG, low-quality soy sauce, and other icky stuff: bad. That’s why I’ve taken to making my own fried “rice” at home, except I use healthier quinoa (a once-in-a-while food) in lieu of rice and coconut aminos in lieu of soy. The protein in quinoa transforms this from a side to a main; if you want to keep it vegan, simply omit the eggs. Though I’ve recommended my favorite combination of veggies, do your thing and make it your own. — Shari Koolik Leidich, author of Two Moms in the Raw: Simple, Clean, Irresistible Recipes for Your Family's Health.
Recipe Courtesy of Green GiantIt looks like rice, it tastes like rice, but it’s not! And no one will ever know, unless you tell them. This quick and easy Fried Rice recipe tastes like it just came from your favorite Chinese restaurant. Serve as a side or add cooked chicken, pork or shrimp for a fast and easy main dish.
Another example of José Andrés' famed Spanish recipes that can be found on the menu at China Poblano in Las Vegas. This innovative restaurant is a fusion of Mexican and Chinese cuisine, combining unexpected ingredients such as chayote and jicama with soy and ginger.
This quick and versatile recipe is a great, inexpensive way to use up leftover rice, as well as extra ingredients in your fridge. I used fish sauce as the main flavoring component here because it’s what I happened to have in the pantry, but feel free to experiment with different combinations — for example, you could try two parts kecap manis to one part sambal oelek for a sweet and spicy Indonesian-style fried rice, or just soy sauce and butter for a more traditional fried rice. For a healthier alternative, substitute some diced carrots and peas or blanched bean sprouts and tofu for the eggs.
Whatever you decide to do though, make sure to use day-old rice; freshly cooked rice has too much moisture and won’t fry well.
Total cost: $2.69
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Any time you have a large family gathering, the leftovers can seem to never end. One key to getting through all the extra food is to morph them into something totally different. Since we love Asian food, it is our go-to. I created this pork fried rice after watching some very close friends make their traditional fried rice at Hmong gatherings. This recipe is easy and uses ingredients you already have in your cabinets.
3 Tablespoons Butter
1 Cup White Rice
1 Cup Chicken Broth, no salt added
1 Cup Water
3 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Canola Oil
3/4 Cup Carrots, finely diced
1/2 Cup Onion, chopped
1 Large Garlic Clove, sliced
5 Button Mushrooms, quartered
2 Cups Cooked Ham, cubed
1 Cup Frozen Peas
5 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Teriyaki Sauce
1. In a large saucepan, melt 1 Tablespoon butter. Pour 1 cup uncooked white rice into the butter and sautee for 1 minutes. Add the chicken broth and water. Stir. Bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to low. When all liquid is gone, turn heat off and leave covered until needed for sautee.
***While the rice is cooking, prepare the rest of your ingredients.***
2. Melt 2 Tablespoons butter with 3 Tablespoons canola oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the carrots and onion. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes until the carrots are tender. Stir occassionally.
3. Add the sliced garlic and sautee for 2 minutes.
4. Add mushrooms and ham to the pan and stir to combine. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occassionally.
5. Add frozen peas, prepared rice, soy and teriyaki sauces. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.
6. While the rice heats and marinates the flavors in the pan, scramble the 2 eggs in another pan in 1 teaspoon canola oil.
7. Add the scrambled egg to the rice mixture. Stir and serve.
When Kathy told her friend Ginny about this cookbook and the kind of dishes we planned to include, she immediately offered up her fried rice recipe. A single mom and news editor who worked and traveled in Asia for more than 20 years, she knows a thing or two about getting a fast, fuss-free meal on the table.
She uses leftover meat or fish (salmon is a favorite) — but you can also start with raw and cook it in the pan before you add the rice. The thyme is an unusual addition that Ginny calls a delicious accidental discovery. What’s more, she felt compelled to clarify two things: It’s oyster sauce, not soy sauce, that belongs in fried rice (otherwise, it’s like a "salt lick"), and don’t just serve it for dinner; it makes a great weekend breakfast.
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A hearty rice dish that can use almost anything you find in your refrigerator. This recipe makes three servings, so enjoy with friends or save leftovers for lunches and dinners.
Click here to see Rice Made Sexy — 5 Great Dinner Recipes.
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