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 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.
Use uncooked rice to make fried rice
To be honest, I don’t cook fried rice very often, 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.
- The rice has a more springy texture which I prefer.
- The flavour of the seasoning penetrates deeper into the grains.
Use dark soy sauce to colour
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.
Add fresh soybeans to the dish
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 soybeans are an excellent substitute (commonly available in the frozen vegetable section in supermarkets).
If you haven’t tasted fresh soybeans yet, this recipe will give you an opportunity to discover their rather unique flavour. Being a big fan of fresh soybeans, I will definitely write more recipes using them as the main ingredient.
Fry the prawns seperately
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.
- Before you start cooking the rice, marinate the prawns.
- After the rice has been cooked, fry the prawns while the rice is resting.
By the way, honey garlic prawns make a great stir-fry dish on their own (or cooked with some vegetable, asparagus for example).
Chinese soy sauce rice pilaf (酱油炒饭)
For the prawns
For the rice
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 200 g rice, rinsed - 1 cup (see note 2)
- 1 stalk scallions, chopped
- 250 g fresh soybeans, or green peas - 9oz
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- ½ bell pepper, diced
- 10 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and diced - see note 3
- 400 ml hot water - 1¾ cups
- 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 prawns (except for the oil). Set aside.
Cook the rice
- In a wok (or a deep frying pan), 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.
- Then move the wok from the heat. Let it rest for a further 5 minutes.
Fry the prawns
- While the rice is resting, heat up 1 teaspoon of oil in a frying pan. Place in marinated prawns. 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 prawns. 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.