Fried Rice Made simple
When I was studying at FIT New York, the student activity office offered many cooking classes to the faculty and students. I took a couple of classes and asked the gentleman in charge why there were no Chinese classes. He said, “I can not find a Chinese chef.” That was how my first cooking class happened. I explained and cooked fried rice and wonton egg drop soup. Everyone loved it. What I learned from teaching was that the simplest techniques were the largest a-ha surprise to people.
In American/Chinese food, fried rice is a major category. But in my years growing up in China, fried rice was simply a way to reheat the leftover rice by adding scallions and eggs.
I adopted this American fried rice concept very quickly. Why not? One fried rice dish includes protein, vegetables and carbs. Still, I like to use fewer ingredients. The key technique is to prepare each element separately for the best taste and texture.
Rice: 1-2 cups cooked rice, warm
Eggs: 2 large, beaten
Meat: 1 piece organic chicken breast, diced
Seasoning for chicken:
1 scallion chopped (could sub with half onion or shallot)
2 cloves garlic, minced, 1 tbsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp cornstarch to keep the meat moist
3 tbsp grapeseed oil for stir-frying eggs and 4 tbsp for cooking the meat.
Vegetable: 1 small bundle of organic asparagus, cut to ¼” size
1. Heat the oil to a high temperature, and stir-fry the eggs. Then remove it from the wok.
2. Chicken cubes, marinate with soy sauce and corn starch for 5-10 minutes.
Ginger, garlic and scallion combination, I call it Chinese Sofrito. Heat up 4 tbsp of oil, add all three at once and stir until smell the aroma, add in chicken cubes, and salt, and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from the wok.
The key is to flavor the oil with the Sofrito before adding the meat.
3. Shrimp (as an option) 4 oz.
Marinate with 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
Use 2-3 tbsp heated oil, and saute for about 1 minute.
4. Add asparagus to the hot wok, stir a few times, then quickly add back cooked chicken, and eggs, then add the rice. Mix well and serve.
The flavor of all elements compliments each other.