Saturday, September 28, 2013

Yangzhou Fried Rice

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Ten years ago we spent a brief period of time in a loft apartment. It was quite small, but with only three of us and a great deal of planning, it became a manageable, if not luxurious, space. Bob and I had sold our family home and were biding time, waiting for secondary pensions to vest before moving on to Oregon. Our youngest daughter, home following a year in Asia, made her first forays into cooking in that tiny kitchen. Fried rice was her specialty. She and I had discovered Ming Tsai, who was a Food Network star at the time and his style of cooking was perfect for that tiny space. We became wok and cleaver women and began to study, really study, Asian cooking and techniques. Years later in Yangzhou, a city near Shanghai, China I came across a fried rice that would replace the one that we crafted in that loft. No one knows for sure how fried rice became associated with the city Marco Polo once called home. The rice, in different guises, is served throughout China, and Western eyes are drawn to the color of its myriad ingredients. The version I serve is meatless and made with two cups of diced vegetables. If you prefer meat in your rice, substitute one cup of vegetables with a protein you really like. In China, we were served a version that was, most often, made with dried, reconstituted shrimp and fatback or pork belly. It's interesting to note that fried rice was served in the emperor's court, though it was wrapped in egg crepes or lotus leaves. For most of us, however, it will remain a great way to use leftover rice and bits and bobs of previous meals. There are hundreds of ways to make this rice. Here's the one I use for a great meatless meal.

Yangzhou Fried Rice - Yangzhou Chao Fan...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite


4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided use

2 large eggs, beaten

1/2 cup finely minced yellow onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 cup frozen petite peas, thawed and drained

1/2 cup frozen petite corn, thawed and drained

1/2 cup frozen diced carrots, thawed and drained

1/2 cup frozen edamame, thawed and drained

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

4 cups cooked rice


1) Heat a wok over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil. When hot, pour in eggs and cook without stirring until lightly set, about 30 seconds. Break up eggs and transfer to a plate.

2) Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to wok set over high heat. Add onion and stir fry until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant. Add vegetables and stir fry until crisp tender, about 3 minutes.

3) Add sesame oil, soy sauce, salt and sugar to vegetables. Stir in rice and toss to combine. Add eggs and cook until rice is heated through. Serve hot. Yield: 4 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:

Warm Asian-Style Rice Salad - One Perfect Bite

Wild Rice, Celery and Walnut Salad - One Perfect Bite

Sticky Rice and Alms Giving in Luang Prabang - One Perfect Bite

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