To me, one of the best things about getting take-out Chinese is the fried rice. It’s never the centerpiece of the orders I get (though my partner often just gets a container for himself), but I always like to have some.
For years I’ve wanted to make my own fried rice, and I’ve always read about how easy it is and seen friends make it. So, finally, I decided, why not? Why not just make some fried rice?
It’s tricky. See, I wanted to get something that was a relatively close match to one of our local Chinese restaurants. But, every recipe you find online aims for a different set of flavors or a different overall flavor profile.
Surprisingly enough, I managed it. It took a few attempts to narrow the flavors down, and it’s still not quite there, but it’s close enough. Frankly, the difference might just be that I use fresh ingredients instead of frozen or from a can veggies and stuff.
#1 tip: use day-old rice. I made my rice the night before and left it in the fridge in a container to age a bit. It gets a little firmer and a little “crispier” without drying out or having to cook it into firmness.
You can also, if you want, add a bit of MSG. You can buy it as a “flavor enhancer” at stores under the brand name Accent. And no, it’s not super terrible for you like the fearmongers from the 70s would have you believe. It’s basically just like a “saltless salt”, and it does, indeed, enhance flavors. Give it a try with a pinch or so, you might be surprised.
Restaurant-Style Chinese Fried Rice
- 1 Wok
- 1 Rubber Spatula
- 3 Tbsp Butter Divided.
- 5½ Cups Jasmine Rice Cooked a day in advance for best results.
- 2 Cloves Garlic Minced.
- ½ Lb Beef Chopped small.
- ⅓ Lb Small Shrimp
- 1 Cup Carrot Chopped small.
- ½ Cup Onion Diced.
- 2 Eggs Whisked and beaten.
- 4 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 Tsp Teriyaki Sauce
- 1 Tsp Sesame Oil
- ½ Tsp MSG Optional.
- Melt 1 Tbsp of butter in your wok or skillet and add the egg. Stir just like you're making scrambled eggs, which you basically are.
- Move the eggs to a bowl, add in another tablespoon of butter. Once melted, toss in the carrots, onions, and garlic. Saute until the carrots are starting to get soft, about 6-7 minutes depending on how small you've chopped them.
- Remove the veggies and melt the remaining butter. Toss in the beef and cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until done. Remove and set aside with the veggies and eggs.
- Add in the shrimp and cook until done. I used raw shrimp, so it took about 4 minutes. Pre-cooked shrimp can be heated up a shorter period.
- In a bowl, mix together the soy, teriyaki, sesame oil, and optional MSG.
- Return the eggs, beef, shrimp, and veggies to the wok.
- Add the rice, carefully breaking it up, and add the sauce.
- Stir everything together until it's hot and incorporated. Enjoy!