For the last 5 years I have tried numerous ways of cooking fried rice. It seemed every time I followed one recipe, trick or version, a new one would appear and I'd go "ahhhh maybe that will make it taste more authentic!"
After trial and trail I have succumbed to the notion that cooking your own may never taste like your favourite takeaway.....and there's a reason for this. You crave certain foods, not because they're tasty, but because they are actually a bit bad and they bring back memories for you. Food nostalgia. It's a real thing, look it up. For me, Chicken Fried Rice from The Regent in Low Fell, Gateshead if my one true love. Whenever I go home, I have to buy it with either Chinese curry sauce or their version of gravy sauce; I mix it all together and then eat it straight up. It's dirty, it's comforting, it reminds me of being a little kid, when I wouldn't eat anything other than fried rice from a Chinese takeaway. If I really think about it, it's not amazing, but I love it. It's the same reason you would eat a McDonald's burger, even after you've tried a top-notch, Wagyu beef gourmet burger; or, you crave a Taco Bell even though you've visited Mexico....you want your childhood nostalgia in meal-form.
Nevertheless, she persisted! After years of trying, I have finally come up with a fried rice recipe that made me go "ahhhh that's it!" and I actually forgot all about my childhood love. It's the first time I've tasted my own fried rice and actually been happy with it. When my fiancé tried it he said:
"Wow! This is amazing! When you said we were having fried rice I thought it was gonna be boring like a takeaway but this is unreal. Woah, there's so much flavour!"
and that right there is proof enough that one person's food nostalgia is completely different to another's!
Egg Fried Rice
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Special equipment needed:
100g Long Grain Rice
200ml Chicken Stock
3 Garlic Cloves, crushed (keep one separate!)
1 tsp lazy Ginger (or a small chunk of fresh ginger)
4 tbsp Sesame Oil
1 tbsp Chilli Chow Oil
3 tbsp Soy Sauce
½ Onion, finely diced
3 Spring Onions, sliced
50g thawed frozen Peas
2 tsp MSG or 1 tsp Salt
1 tsp White Ground Pepper
2 Eggs + 1 Egg Yolk, whisked
Add extra spring onions and sliced chillies to garnish
Thoroughly wash your rice, then cook in the chicken stock with the ginger and 1 crushed garlic clove. Let this simmer until the water is all absorbed, remove from the heat then set to one side to cool completely. Ideally do this the day before and keep in the fridge, otherwise make sure the rice is cold
Heat your wok. Add vegetable oil to coat the wok thoroughly, making sure it is smoking hot. Tip out any excess oil
Add the onion and garlic, stir frying until coloured
Tip in the egg and stir around to break it up, frying until cooked
Add the sesame oil, rice and soy sauce and stir fry for 2-3 minutes
Now add the seasoning, peas and spring onions and stir fry for 1 more minute
Finish by stirring through the chilli chow oil, tasting and adding any extra soy sauce or chilli if you like
and remember, anyone can cook!