Want to make “fried rice” but no cooked rice available? This Chinese soy sauce rice pilaf comes to the rescue. Easy to prepare and better than takeaway.
Fried rice is no doubt one of the most popular dishes in Chinese takeaways. Typically containing staple, vegetable and protein (egg, meat or seafood), it’s a complete meal on its own. Preparing fried rice is a great way to give cooked rice a new life. But what if you suddenly fancy making some Chinese fried rice then realize you don’t have any cooked rice to hand? Don’t worry, you can use uncooked rice instead! Today I’m going to show you how to use raw rice to make Chinese soy sauce rice pilaf which looks and tastes like authentic fried rice.
To be honest, I seldom cook fried rice, simply because I rarely have leftover rice available. A few years ago, I learned how to cook rice pilaf from Tzu-i Chuang, a well-known Taiwanese food writer. The general method is to fry raw rice in oil then add broth or water to steam it through. I’ve been making Chinese-style pilaf since then. Guess what? All of my dinner guests just assumed what I served them was authentic Chinese fried rice. What’s more, I think it’s even better in some sense. 1. The rice has a more springy texture which I prefer. 2. The flavour of the seasoning penetrates deeper into the grains.
Today’s recipe is based on a classic Chinese dish, soy sauce fried rice (酱油炒饭). The use of dark soy sauce gives this dish an appetizing brownish shine, and a rich, slightly sweet taste too. If you wish to replace it with light soy sauce, you might need to slightly reduce the amount of salt needed, as light soy sauce tastes saltier in general (Read my post in Fundamentals for more information: Soy sauce: light or dark).
In order to make a healthy, substantial and complete meal, I add various vegetables (different in colours and texture) and honey garlic prawns to my Chinese soy sauce pilaf. As you might have noticed, green peas are a very popular ingredient in Chinese fried rice. Actually, fresh green soy beans are an excellent substitute (commonly available as frozen vegetable in supermarkets). If you haven’t tasted fresh soy beans yet, this recipe will give you an opportunity to discover their rather unique flavour. Being a big fan of fresh soy beans, I will definitely write more recipes using them as main ingredient.
In this recipe, honey garlic prawns need to be fried separately (like I do for “Purple sprouting broccoli and prawn stir-fry”). They taste best when briefly cooked. By the way, honey garlic prawns make a great stir-fry dish on their own (or cooked with some vegetable, asparagus for example).
Try my Chinese soy sauce rice pilaf! It’s likely to be better than any fried rice you can get from a takeaway!