What I also like about this fried rice is you can pretty much use whatever you have on hand. You can switch up the veggies. I almost always use onion, spring onion, capsicum and carrot. I also add zucchini, snow peas, cabbage and baby corn if I have any of them on hand. The same is the case with the protein. Almost always I use a little bacon for flavour and some egg. Then I either use prawns, shredded chicken and sometimes even ham depending on what I have available at the time. So like you see, this fried rice is one of those meals you can put together almost any day of the week, even when your grocery run is due the next day. Apart from cooking the rice, it comes together in one pan – I now use my wok and love it.
This is the quickest way I find to get this on the plate. Soak my rice and when the rice is soaking and cooking, I prep my protien and veggies. When everything is ready, the final dish takes about 10 minutes tops to put together. Its one of my favourite quick and easy weeknight meal options. I tend to add a lot of vegetables and I like it that way, you could drop the quantity of vegetables to suit your liking. This is just a guide to making this fried rice and the quantities are suggestions. Go with what you think you’ll enjoy and adjust to your liking.
Chicken Fried Rice
Serves 3 (as mains)
1 cup basmati rice
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 birdseye chilly (optional – we enjoy hot food but you can leave it out if you dont)
3 spring onions
1 red pepper
6-8 green beans
A handful of finely sliced cabbage (about a cups worth)
3 rashers of bacon (I used streaky bacon)
A cup of shredded chicken (you could used poached, roast, or rotisserie chicken)
A couple of tablespoons of oil (vegetable, olive or sunflower or any other cooking oil of your choice)
1 tsp sesame oil
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Approx. 1 tbsp soy sauce (I use salt reduced soy)
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
Rinse the rice a couple of times and drain. Soak in fresh water at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes.
Bring a pot of water to the boil (just like you would for pasta). Add a spoon of salt to the water and carefully add the rice. Cook the rice till almost done (al dente). Don’t cook the rice through as it will turn mushy once you add it to the wok.
Drain the cook rice and using a fork lightly loosen the grains and leave to cool.
In the meanwhile, clean and chop all your vegetables. I like to chop mine in like sized pieces. You could julienne everything or slice it on the diagonal into little chunks. (I will try and get a picture of the chopped up veggies when I make this next, I was in a hurry this time and forgot.)
Dice the bacon rashers and keep aside.
Keep all your ingredients handy. The trick to cooking a delicious fried rice is to cook it on a high heat and cook it quickly.
Heat your wok or pan. Add a little cooking oil to the pan. Crack 2 eggs in a bowl, add a little salt and lightly whisk. Now either make a plain omlette and cut into chunks or a plain scramble. Take the egg off the pan and keep aside.
Next step is to fry off the bacon. Add a little oil if needed and tip the cut bacon into the work and let it cook a little and add some flavor to the pan. Dont cook till crisp. You just want the ends to start changing to a light brown. Now add the garlic and chilly and saute till it gets fragrant.
Add the sesame oil and then tip in the diced pepper and the rest of the veggies and stir fry on high heat till they cook off a little. You still want them to have a little bite.
Add the chopped spring onions.
Add a light sprinkle of salt and some freshly cracked black pepper.
Add the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar and stir to let it coat the veggies. Please adjust the sauce to suit your liking.
Tip in the chicken and egg and stir well to incorporate.
At this stage add the rice to the wok and gently mix everything but mix thoroughly. I use a spatula and a pair of chopsticks to do this.
Once the rice has warmed through, serve hot and top with finely sliced spring onion greens to garnish and if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, some finely sliced fresh chilly.
Enjoy piping hot.
**Leftovers warm up really well the next day too.
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green chilly, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3-4 garlic peels, finely chopped
1 tbsp veg. oil
1 tbsp. ghee or clarified butter
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
3/4 cup rice
1/4 cup split lentils (I use whatever I have on hand usually moong or masoor dal. This time I used a combination of both)
1-2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves and tender stems, chopped
Salt, to taste
Wash the rice and the lentils together and let them soak for 10-15 minutes. You can start prepping the rest of the ingredients in the meanwhile.
Heat the oil in a pressure cooker and add the cumin seeds and let them sputter, taking care not to burn them.
Add the chilly and the onion and saute till the onions are soft and pinkish brown.
Tip in the turmeric powder and stir till well mixed.
Drain the rice and lentils that have been soaking and add them to the cooker. Stir gently to mix everything.
Add salt to taste and 4 cups of water.
Stir gently. Cover the pressure cooker and add the stopper.
Cook on high flame. After the first whistle, cook on low flame for 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let the pressure drop on its own.
Once the cooker can be opened, add the chopped coriander and stir to mix.
Prepare the tempering. In another small frying pan, place the ghee and the chopped garlic. Let it saute gently on low fire till it turns fragrant. Don’t burn the garlic as you’ll lose all the flavor. Add this ghee and the garlic to the cooked rice and stir to incorporate.
Serve pipping hot.
2 bay leaves
1-2″ cinnamon sticks
2 pods green cardamom
6 black peppercorns
1/2 large or 1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp oil
1 cup long grained rice
2 cups water
1/4- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
A handful of green peas
Salt, to taste
If you’re using frozen peas, keep them out to thaw for a while.
Wash the rice and leave it to soak in some water for about 15-20 minutes while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
Heat the oil mildly in a vessel and add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and peppercorns and let them warm up and infuse the oil with their aromas and flavors, taking care not to burn the spices.
Add the chopped onion and saute till the onions and soft and translucent and start taking on a little colour.
Add the turmeric powder and stir well.
Drain the water that the rice was soaking in and tip the rice into the vessel.
Stir gently making sure you don’t break the grains down while stirring.
Once the rice is well coated with the spices in the pan, add the water, salt to taste and the green peas.
Cover and let it cook on a low flame, till all the water has been absorbed.
Fluff up the rice using a fork and not a spoon so that you don’t mash the grains.
Serve hot with your favourite curry.
Please remember that if you’d like to change the quantity of rice used, the rice to water ratio should always be 1:2. That is 1 measure of rice to 2 measures of water to cook it in.
Tricolored Vegetable Pulao
1 cup rice
2 bay leaves
4 pepper corns
2 pods of cardamom, whole
Salt, to taste
1 tbsp vegetable oil (You can use ghee/clarified butter if you prefer)
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/4 cup green peas (You can adjust this quantity to suit your liking, I used a little more)
1/4 cup corn kernels (You can adjust this quantity to suit your liking, I used a little more)
1 onion, chopped
Wash the rice and soak it in some water while you prepare the other ingredients for the pulao, about 15 minutes.
Heat some oil in a vessel and add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and pepper corns. Let it infuse the oil with its flavors.
Once you can smell the aromas from the spices, add the onions and saute till they are soft and translucent.
Add the vegetables and stir fry them for a couple of minutes. Add salt to taste.
Drain the rice and add it to the veggies. Stir gently.
Add 2 cups of water. (I use a 1:2 rice to water ratio while making a pulao.)
Stir gently to mix everything. Cover and cook till all the liquid is absorbed.
Turn off the fire and fluff the rice up using a fork.
Prawn Chilly Fry with Coriander Speckled Rice
For the Rice –
1 cup basmati rice
1-2 bay leaves
2 cardamom pods
1-2 tbsp. Ghee or clarified butter
Salt, to taste
A bunch of fresh coriander leaves, chopped (This will be used while assembling the meal.)
Heat the ghee in a vessel and add the whole spices.
When the ghee had released the aroma of the spices, add the washed rice. Stir gently just until the rice is coated with the ghee.
Add 2 cups of water, salt to taste and stir a little. Make sure you don’t stir it too much as the grains of rice will breakdown.
Cover and bring to a boil on medium heat. On low heat cook till all the water has been absorbed. Make sure you don’t stir the rice during the cooking process.
Once all the water has been absorbed, use a fork and loosen the grains of rice and make sure that all the water has evaporated. Keep covered.
For the Prawn Chilly Fry –
250 gms. fresh prawns, shelled and de-veined
1 large onion, chopped
4-5 curry leaves
1 large tomato, chopped
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 green chillies, cut into 1/2″ pieces (Please adjust this to taste. We like our food spicy.)
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
3/4 tsp. red chilly powder
Salt, to taste
A dash of lime juice
2-3 tbsp. fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Marinade the prawns with a little salt and a dash of lime juice and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan.
Add the curry leaves and when they release their flavor, add the onions and green chilly. Saute till the onions are light golden brown.
Add the turmeric powder and chilly powder. Stir well.
Once its mixed well, add the tomato and stir well.
When the ingredients in the pan have been sauteed well and you see the oil starting to separate, add the prawns and cook on medium heat. Still well and cook uncovered till the prawns are done.
Sprinkle the chopped coriander leaves and stir till combined.
To Assemble –
Layer about half the rice on the serving platter on in individual plates.
Spoon the prawn chilly fry over it.
Add another layer of the remaining rice.
Sprinkle generously with the chopped coriander leaves. Don’t be shy while topping the rice with coriander leaves. Its a generous sprinkling of the coriander leaves that brings the elements of this dish together and makes it one finger-licking meal.
This recipe is linked to –
Fun with Food Friday
Decidedly Healthy or Horridly Decadent