A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mealtime Musings: 6 Tips for A Nice Home-made Fried Rice

There are days when it's far easier just to pick up a box or two of fried rice from your local Chinese takeaway. I've done it on many a weary day... especially those special ones with salted fish or chicken or prawns. *mouth waters* But making your own doesn't have to be hassle and can be achieved in a short space of time. I've done it on many a Sunday or busy weekday.

I've been making fried rice since my late teens and have always had good results. In fact, if you'll indulge a bit of bragging... one of the greatest compliments I had ever received from my mother was a comment that I had become a fried rice expert to the point of surpassing her. People who had the privilege of experiencing her culinary delights know what high praise that was.
The reality is that it's a quick and easy dish --  and best of all every member of my immediate and extended  family likes it. It's also the one time I will actually eat peas (okay "eat" might be an exaggeration... I tend to swallow them). In the old days, I used prawns, lup cheong (chinese sausage) and barbecue pork but these days for convenience I use a decent tasting luncheon meat or any kind of ham, chopped up. Generally, I am partial to Spam and stock up during specials. I can usually do everything in about 30-40 minutes.

  1. The trick to making a good fried rice is the liberal inclusion of garlic. Fresh garlic... thank you very much. None of that jar stuff. I usually mince about 4-5 cloves.
  2. Use a non-stick pan/wok if possible. If you're using stainless steel, you'll have to be supervigilant, stirring the rice constantly to keep it from sticking to the bottom or sides of the pan.
  3. I stir fry each ingredient separately with garlic. Tthe luncheon meat first -- it oozes oil that can be used for the next ingredient, which is usually the frozen baby peas and /or carrots. I also fry the rice separately with some fresh garlic before adding the meat and veggies in.
  4. Overnight cooked rice (hard and cold) is the best. But if you cook it in the morning and allow it to cool for a few hours, it should be fine. Freshly cooked rice can become soggy and more likely to turn into some kind of charred rice cake. More than 2 days old and the rice becomes beady. You can try adding a bit of water at a time if you're desperate.
  5. Use soya sauce to taste. I prefer soy sauce to salt because it adds another dimension to the flavour and it also gives the rice a nice brownish tinge. Becareful how you use the soy because the luncheon meat is already quite salty.
  6. Adding egg to the mix is also a nice touch as it gives a different colour. I don't like adding eggs directly. My preference is to fry omelettes and then chop them up or slice them finely. In that way, I'm much more likely to see and taste the eggs.


  1. I freeze left over rice and then use if for fried rice - so quick and yummy!

  2. thanks for the tips - we're having this tonight!


Let me know what you think!