What's the secret for Chinese fried rice?

  • I see a lot of recipes for fried rice, but never seem to be able to give the gorgeous lightly browned color (and therefore flavor) to my rice.

    This is before adding soy sauce or anything else. Is this a question of heat, or quantity of oil? How do they do it in the restaurant (e.g. young chow fried rice)?

  • talon8

    talon8 Correct answer

    10 years ago

    There are really only a few secrets to good fried rice:

    1. Day Old White Rice (Make it the day before, let it cool, place it in the fridge)
      • This I'd say is absolutely, the main thing.
      • The texture will NOT be right if you use freshly cooked rice. There will be too much moisture.
    2. HEAT!
      • Your Wok needs to be hot. You want everything to cook quickly.
    3. Cook stuff separately.
      • This is a follow-up from 2. You want it all to cook very quickly, a crowded pan will hinder that.
      • Cook Meat to 80%, take it out, cook the other stuff, add the meat back in.
    4. Don't touch it.
      • Unless you have a blazing professional burner, your food needs time against the wok. Put it in, leave it for a bit, mix it some more.
    5. Fish Sauce & Chinese Sausage
      • They add great flavour.

    If it all seems complicated, it really isn't. Use day old rice & give it lots of heat.

    Here are a couple of recipes that give further detail and have great explanations:

    Thanks so much for the answer / links! A couple of things that I wasn't doing were NOT keep the rice moving (I don't have a gas burner) and using fish sauce.

    My wife (then fiance) once made a stir fry and mistook fish sauce for soy sauce. The experience was so traumatic I haven't been able to stand the smell of fish sauce ever since.

    Haha, well @Sobachatina that would do it. I wouldn't say that's an absolute, absolute essential ingredient (though I do love the flavour). IF you can get that "unami" flavour from something else like the chinese sausage or some other protein, you could still get a tasty fried rice.

    the secret ingredient is oyster sauce. http://goo.gl/Oj1GM

    +1 but also adding: most fried rice you get from real Chinese restaurant are not from day-old rice. They use fresh rice. Also using oyster sauce or soy sauce to fried rice is more common in westernized asian dishes. The "secret" ingredient in Chinese restaurant has always been Chicken broth or Chicken stock powder.

    You can play quite a bit with the soy sauce type and quantities. Different sauces will impact different flavours to the rice. Some you may like, others you might not.

    I live in France and what we get here is called "Cantonese rice." The rice is usually not browned and small pieces of ham and green peas and green onion are added, along with small pieces of omelette. While good, to me this is a far cry from the fried rice at Chinese restaurants back home in the States. This set of answers has put me on the right track! Thanks to you all.

    @Sobachatina Similar story...I kept fish sauce in the door of my fridge. The bottle of my fish sauce bore an unfortunate resemblance to a half drank bottle of Dr Pepper. I got thirsty...

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM