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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Best Authentic Fried Rice

Mary Jane's Authentic Chicken
Fried Rice Before the Green Onions are Added

The reason I say "authentic"' fried rice is because even though I'm an American and was born in the US, my family lived in the Orient for 3 years when I was a child. We lived in the Philippine Islands where we ate Chinese Fried Rice along with other dishes at a Chinese restaurant every Sunday after church. A sweet little old lady insisted on paying for our family to eat there at her expense. "Auntie" was so special and thoughtful to do that for us. We learned to love Chinese food there but we also got to visit Hong Kong and Japan. The Filipinos had their style of fried rice too, so we got to experience different types and flavors. 
It's reslly difficult, though, in my opinion to find what I call  that "authentic" Chinese taste. I've had 100's of different versions of fried rice over the years, whether it be at a restaurant or recipes I've found in cookbooks or on the web. I was never satisfied with the taste until I decided sesame oil was the ingredient that made Chinese food taste authentic to me. Some people don't use as much in their recipes as I do, but I use a lot of it, even more than what I wrote down for this recipe. So add more if you want! You won't always see water chestnuts in fried rice, but I love it for the crunch. The onions and garlic are always in authentic fried rice too. Another note is that if you want your rice to separate and not stick together, then you need to cook it the day before and put it in the refrigerator so it will be cold. Something else that will help your rice not stick together is to rinse your dry rice with cold water 2-3 times before you cook it. Getting the starch out will help it not be sticky when done. 

Mary Jane's Authentic
Chinese Fried Rice
Another secret is to use a good rice and my favorite to use with any dish is Basmati, which is the long grain rice used in Indian cooking. It costs more but believe me when I say it is totally worth it! And lastly, I want to say I use this Chicken Fried Rice as a main dish. Please don't put a totally different Chinese dish on top of this. It should stand alone! All the other Chinese dishes such as Cashew Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Moo Goo Hai Pan and other dishes need to be put over steamed rice or what many people call white rice. There are just too many flavors in fried rice that will compete with these other Chinese dishes. They have their own unique flavor. The steamed rice allows you to taste the flavors of the dish you put on top of it. I'm real touchy about this subject! I think most oriental people would agree!

*Whatever you do, do not leave out the sesame oil. I buy it in the large red can!*

Ingredients - feeds 6 

Canola oil
1 cup onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
4-5 cups cooked cold Basmati rice (cooked the day before)
2-3 cups Kroger brand frozen Grilled Chicken Strips, thawed  (green bag) or any other chopped meat
4 eggs, scrambled
1 can sliced water chestnuts, sliced into strips
1 cup corn
1½-2 cups frozen peas and carrots, pre-thawed in the microwave for 2 mins
2 Tb Toasted Sesame oil (I add more when everything is put together before serving)
4 tsp Lite soy sauce (mostly for color. Too much will make it salty)
1 tsp Accent (unless you are gluten intolerant)
Salt and pepper to taste
For Top:
1-2 Tb toasted sesame seeds
6-8 green onions (raw), chopped (for top after the rice is cooked)

Oyster sauce (most Chinese use this in their fried rice), dash of garlic powder, onion powder, ½-1 tsp fresh grated ginger, fish sauce
Note: sometimes I use chopped pork, ham or shrimp, but my favorite is chicken. 

Mary Jane's Authentic Fried Rice


Make sure your onions, garlic, water chestnuts and chicken are cut up into separate bowls before you start anything. Believe me, prepping ahead of time will make this easier. 

Cut frozen chicken up into small pieces. Then cook it in oil on medium high heat in a frying pan or wok. Remove chicken to another bowl and set aside. In same pan, add about 1 tsp oil and fry onions and garlic for a few minutes til tender. Remove this and add to chicken or into another dish. Try to keep each cooked item warm by putting a plate or lid over them. Next, quickly fry the sliced water chestnuts in same pan then remove to another dish or add to chicken. Then fry the peas, carrots and corn to get them warm for a few minutes. Remove from pan.  Put a little more oil in the same pan and scramble the eggs, stirring constantly. Remove from pan. 

 If you have a wok that would be best te use, but it's not absolutely essential. Hopefully you have the kind of wok that won't make the food stick. Melt about 1 tablespoon butter in the wok (med hi heat). Butter helps to brown the rice. Add half the rice and stir fry till it is separated and heated. This would be a good time to add half the soy sauce and half the sesame oil. After that is heated, move rice to another dish and do the same with the other half of rice. We are doing this because we do not want to crowd the rice. Having too much rice in the pan will cause it not to separate and heat the right way. Add the other half of the soy sauce and more sesame oil.

Put other half of heated rice in the wok and add all the other ingredients. Now add salt and pepper to taste. Stir all ingredients. Add toasted sesame seeds and str. Just before serving, toss in the chopped green onions. Serve immediately. You can either purchase sweet and sour sauce or use my recipe, which  I will try to add later! Enjoy!

UPDATE: (2/6/2019)
Since I fix a lot of Chinese and Thai foods, I received a larger wok for Christmas. I've needed it for years but still have to "season" it before I use it. 

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