DELICIOUS HOME MADE FRIED RICE
Asian fried rice is another delicious delicacy and variety of cooked rice in Chinese cuisine usually mixed with other ingredients. It is the most demanded street dish in restaurants, street vendors, and street hawkers of the eastern, south eastern and southern part of Asia continent.
The origin of fried rice can be traced to the history of rice domestication in southern Asia about 8000 to 13000 years ago. Fried rice is believed to have started as a way of avoiding and preventing wasting of food (still good and consumable) and good enough feed to domestic animals.
Southern Chinese prefer their rice polished and plain, as a base of consume flavorful seasoned meat and vegetables. The basic ingredients of Chinese fried rice are rice, meat, vegetables, soy sauce and garlic.
All ingredients are being prepared with a strong fire using Chinese wok, a cooking vessel, the rice is being turned and stirred using spatula to evenly cook the rice and distribute the seasonings. This method is called Stir-frying technique.
Stir- frying technique is a Chinese cooking technique in which ingredients are fried in a small amount of very hot oil while being stirred in a wok. The technique originated in China and in recent centuries has spread into other parts of Asia and the West.
Stir frying technique have been endorsed as both healthy and appealing for skillful usage of vegetables, meats, and fish which contain moderate amiunt of fat and sauces. It is not excessive and overly rich, calories are also kept at a reasonable level. Stir frying has been promoted as healthy and nutritious cooking technique.
Basic Fried Rice Recipe:
1 Cup of medium sized Polished Rice
2 Cups of water
1 Teaspoon salt (to taste)
Cooking oils :
1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon of sesame oil
1 Teaspoon of finely chopped preserved meat
2-3 Teaspoons of soy sauce
1 Teaspoon of seafoods (depend on your choice)
1 Onion of small size, finely chopped
1 Teaspoon of finely chopped garlic
1 Teaspoon of finely chopped ginger
1 Teaspoon of finely chopped green peas
1 Teaspoon of finely chopped carrot
1 Teaspoon of finely chopped green pepper (optional, for garnishing)
1 Teaspoon of finely chopped green onions (optional , for garnishing)
Basic Cooking Tools for Home-made Fried Rice:
Cup (for measurement)
Spoon (for measurement)
Colander or strainer
Tray or pan
When you feel all alone at home and hunger will not stop pinching your belly, you can walk into the kitchen have a quick meal of Asian fried rice.
The steps to take are the following:
As a way of maintaining complete well-being, it is very hygienic to wash rice before cooking. This will remove any dust and starch which might have contaminated the rice during processing, packing and in the course of being sold. Wash rice thoroughly and rinse in a strainer (left overs can as well be used).
In a small or medium sized pot, preferably the size of pot which can contain rice when boiled, add enough water. For this, you will need 2 cups of water to the pot. Place the pot on the stove or any source of cooking on high heat and boil.
Once the water boils, pour 1 cup of rice(type and measurement of your choice) and ½ teaspoon salt into the pot. Lower the heat to medium low to bring the pot back to a gentle simmer.
In addition to the salt, you can as well add flavor to your rice with butter.
Cover the pot and let it cook for at least 18 minutes. Reduce the source of heat down to low. Place the cover on the pot, and allow the rice to cook for another 18 minutes. At this point, continue to check on the rice till it is firm but tender. Your rice may be slightly sticky when it is done cooking, but it should not be tacky or gummy. Other type of rice might take a longer to cook, so check till it is cooked for approximately 30 minutes.
Retain the lid of the pot before the 18 or 30 minute mark, depending on the type of rice you are cooking. Allowing steam to escape can extend the required time to cook the rice. When the rice becomes cooked, drain water in the pot if there is any.
Turn off the heat and allow the rice stand. When you are sure that the rice is done, turn off the source of heat and covered in the pot for 2 to 3 minutes. This will allow the rice to steam for a few more minutes to ensure that it is well cooked.
Spread the rice on a tray or pan and set under a fan or air for about an hour. This makes rice to be slightly dry when you fry it, spread the cooked rice out on a tray or any large pan. Set the pan beneath a table fan or moderate atmosphere for 1 hour to help dry out the rice. In the absence of a table fan, cook the rice the morning or the night before you plan to make the fried rice. Refrigerate the cooked rice until it is time to make the dish, to help dry out the rice.
Fried rice is usually prepared in a wok, this remain the best option when frying the dish as an homemade meal. Place the pan on the stove or any other source of heat and to medium to preheat it for about five minutes. In case you do not have a wok, a frying pan can work for frying the rice too.
When pan is heated, pour 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or any other neutral oil. Turn the pan gently to ensure that the oil is evenly distributed and coats the bottom of the pan. Neutral oils do not have a strong taste on their own, so as not to add any extra flavor to your dish.
Cook the ginger, garlic, onion, peas, and carrots until tender and chewable. Add 1 small and chopped white onion, 1 cup frozen peas and carrot, 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger, and 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic to the pan. Reduce the heat to moderate, and fry the vegetables until they are soft and tender for approximately 10 minutes. You can add any type of vegetable to the fried rice of your choice.
When the vegetables are well cooked, use a spatula to push them to one side of the pan. Beat or whisk eggs into a container and pour into one half of the pan. Pour 2 eggs that have been lightly beaten into the pan. Scramble them with the spatula, and once they are well prepared, mix them into the vegetables.
Once the eggs are cooked and mixed with the vegetables, add in the 3 cups of cooked rice. Pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of soy sauce depending on your personal taste, on top of the rice. Next, mix in 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, and stir all of the ingredients together until they are well combined. Fish sauce or oyster sauce can be used in place of soy sauce. You can also add in some cooked chicken, beef or any other preserved meat which have been cut into strips or chopped. It is a good idea to taste the rice after you mix in the soy sauce and sesame oil to know which of the ingredient is needed. If necessary, add salt and freshly grounded pepper to taste.
Keep stirring the mixture in the pan as it cooks on moderate heat. Fry the rice until heat is fully distributed all through the ingredients which should take approximately 5 minutes. Once the rice begin to burn lower the heat. Put in few drops of oil to the pan if the rice mixture is sticking to it. Garnish the finished rice with chopped green onions (optional).
Adding too much soy sauce or any other sauce to the rice can make the rice soggy. Ensure that your ingredients are not crowded in the wok or pan that you use. Heat will not circulate evenly thereby preventing the rice from being well cooked.
According to The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Nutrition Information Center, approximately 228 calories in a 1 cup serving are contained in fried rice. The Healthy Weight Forum’s Chinese food calorie chart also shows 363 calories for the same amount serving of plain fried rice all because fried rice is a type of food and not just a single recipe, the calorie count differs as a result of the amounts and types of rice and oils used in the preparation of the dish.
Fats and oil:
A cup of served fried rice contains about 12g to 14g of total fat, which represents about one-fifth of our daily intake value. The kind of oil we use in cooking the fried rice will determine the specific amounts of saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats found in the fried rice. Cooking fried rice on your own makes it easy to know what kind of oil is being used. Fats are essentials of good health and provide us with vitamins A, D, E and K. It is reasonable and advisable not to consume saturated and trans fats, and to consume moderate amount monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
About half of the calories in a single dish of fried rice comes from carbohydrates which provides about 40g to 50g of carbs. Carbohydrates are used to make glucose which is the main source of fuel to our body. Fried rice made with brown rice contain more complex carbohydrates than white rice. Complex carbohydrates take a longer time in our body to break down than simple carbohydrates and make us feel full longer.
Plain fried rice made without any kind of meat contain about 7 g of protein per serving. Chicken fried rice, pork fried rice and beef fried rice all provide about 12g and shrimp fried rice provides about 11g of protein. The amount of protein you needed in our diet is determined by our age and level of daily activities. Approximately 45g to 55g of protein for adults and teens and less for younger children by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends.
Vitamins and mineral salts:
Fried rice provides some important vitamins and minerals, but is often high in sodium content. While sodium is necessary nutrient, it is easy to consume too much. Keep the sodium content of fried rice lower by not adding salt or soy sauce to your meal. Fried rice provides the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and trace amounts of copper and manganese. Commercial rice is usually fortified with B vitamins.
Generally, white rice is used to prepare fried rice meals. White rice contains about 1.5g of fiber per 1 cup serving, or a little more than 6 percent of your recommended daily intake. Use brown rice to make your own fried rice, and you can increase the fiber to 3.5g, or 14 percent of your recommended daily intake. Because fiber is filling, you may eat less fried rice in a serving when it is made with brown rice instead of white rice and save yourself some calories.