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 takeout.
Fried rice is no doubt one of the most popular dishes in Chinese takeout. 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 then realize you don’t have any cooked rice to hand?
Don’t worry! Today I’m showing you how to use raw rice to make Chinese soy sauce rice pilaf which looks and tastes like authentic fried rice. It’s based on the classic Chinese soy sauce fried rice (酱油炒饭) available on the blog.
What is rice pilaf
Different from how you cook Chinese fried rice, rice pilaf (pilau) involves frying raw rice in oil before adding broth or water to steam it.
The benefits of this method include:
- You don’t need to have leftover cooked rice at hand.
- The rice comes out with a springy texture .
- The flavor of the seasonings penetrates well into the grains.
Use dark soy sauce to color
This recipe uses dark soy sauce which gives this dish an appetizing brownish shine, and a rich, slightly sweet taste too. If you wish to replace it with light soy sauce (or use a combination of both), you might need to slightly reduce the amount of salt needed, as light soy sauce tastes saltier in general.
Load it with vegetables
To make it a healthy, substantial and complete meal, I add various vegetables (with different colours and texture) and honey garlic shrimp to the dish. As you might have noticed, peas are a very popular ingredient in Chinese fried rice. Fresh green soybeans (edamame) are an excellent substitute (commonly available in the frozen vegetable section in supermarkets).
Fry shrimp separately
In this recipe, honey garlic shrimp needs to be fried separately (like how I cook Kung Pao Shrimp). They taste best when briefly cooked.
- Before you start cooking the rice, marinate the shrimp.
- After the rice has been cooked, fry the shrimp while the rice is resting.
- Mix the rice with the fried shrimp before serving.
By the way, honey garlic shrimp make a great stir-fry dish on its own (or cooked with some vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus, etc.).
Other rice dishes to try
Looking for more rice recipes? check out these popular ones:
Soy sauce rice pilaf (酱油炒饭)
For the prawns
- 7 oz shrimp
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ teaspoon dark soy sauce - see note 1
- ½ teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon Shaoxing rice wine
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon cooking oil
For the rice
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 cup raw rice, rinsed - see note 2
- 1 stalk scallions, chopped
- 9 oz fresh soybeans, or peas
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- ½ bell pepper, diced
- 10 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and diced - see note 3
- 1¾ cup hot water
- 2 teaspoon dark soy sauce - see note 1
- ¼ teaspoon salt - or to taste
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
Marinate the prawns
- In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the shrimp (except for the oil). Set aside.
Cook the rice
- In a wok/skillet, heat up 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat.
- Stir in scallions and leave to sizzle for 10 seconds or so. Put in rice. Fry until every grain is covered by oil.
- Add all the vegetables. Continue frying for a while. When everything appears to be very dry, pour in hot water and dark soy sauce.
- Bring the water to a boil then cover with a lid. Turn the heat down to low. Leave to simmer for 12-15 minutes.
- Remove the wok/skillet from the heat. Let it rest for a further 5 minutes.
Fry the shrimp
- While the rice is resting, heat up 1 teaspoon of oil in a skillet. Place in marinated shrimp. Cook both sides until they curl up tight (It should take very short time).
- Sprinkle salt and sesame oil over the rice. Stir in the fried shrimp. Serve immediately.
NUTRITION DISCLOSURE: Nutritional information on this website is provided as a courtesy to readers. It should be considered estimates. Please use your own brand nutritional values or your preferred nutrition calculator to double check against our estimates.
Zoe Campbell says
This was delicious. I used a bit less liquid because I used fresh shitake and frozen peas and it turned out perfectly. Such a good alternative to fried rice. Thank you!
I m so happy i found this recipe, i was eating this in a restaurant where they never give me the recipe so all the time i paid 15 euro for one portion and being so expensive i was thinking how could i make this at home and been searching months for something and now finally i have it. Super happy! Kisses from Romania!
Wei @ Red House Spice says
Very happy to hear that! Enjoy your home cooked version!
Are you using dry washed and soaked rice for the dish. There are lots of reasons to rinse and dry the rice.
Wei @ Red House Spice says
As I mentioned in the recipe box, I usually rinse the rice then drain it well before cooking. If you wish, you can soak it too. This will reduce the cooking time a little bit. But make sure you add less water accordingly during the cooking process.
Nagi @ RecipeTin Eats says
This looks terrific Wei! You’ve inspired me to revisit my original post. 🙂 I loved reading the back story too. Sharing!
Wei @ Red House Spice says
Thank you so much Nagi! Have a lovely day!