Fried rice is a YouTube sensation now for right or wrong reasons depending on who you speak to. You have to laugh about it as his videos are not meant to be serious but a satire mocking someone’s cooking and food to get more fame on his social media. Ever since his video taking on Hersha Patel on the BBC food program went viral, his subscribers and views have risen exponentially over millions! You know who I am talking about, right?
Well..if you still don’t know who I am talking about you may want to catch up on his viral videos – first taking on a BBC food program and now a celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver. Calling himself on his YouTube channel “Uncle Roger”.
Yes, in Malaysia and Singapore, anyone older is addressed by the younger generations as “uncle” or “aunty” out of respect. Even myself when I am back in my hometown, Penang, anyone younger than me, whether someone I know or not, will call me “uncle” and I hated it because it makes me feel old!
Most of what Uncle Roger said on his 2 videos above is accurate in terms of how we, Asian, made our fried rice at home. Like, it needs to be cooked on a wok to get the “wok hay”, you don’t drain your half-cooked rice still with water on a colander under running cold tap water, you don’t add tap water on the fried rice halfway through your cooking and many more of his satire comments!
The only comment I disagree with Uncle Roger is using MSG on the fried rice. It is true that when we eat outside at a Chinese fast food “takeaway” or in a restaurant, most chefs add MSG into the fried rice to flavour the dish. But when you cook at home, you don’t have to add MSG to flavour the fried rice. Although some people still use MSG out of habit because it makes the dish tastes good. The last time I have ever used MSG if I can remember is when I was studying in the United States. Ever since I have learnt how to cook, I have never use MSG in any of my dishes, including fried rice. So, the next time you make your fried rice, remember you don’t have to add MSG to make your fried rice your own and still taste good. Let me show you how.
It is super easy and simple and only takes 10 minutes or less. The first technique to a good fried rice is never use fresh cooked rice if it is still moist. It needs to be very dry. That is why I always use leftover rice from my fridge. As for vegetables, just use frozen mixed vegetables. That’s easy, right? Fried rice is so versatile that you can add any leftover ingredients you have in the fridge. Since I didn’t have any leftovers in my fridge except the rice, I marinated a chicken thigh fillet and minces some garlic to flavour my fried rice.
How to make easy fried rice at home
- 1 chicken thigh fillet
- 1 cup cooked rice. Preferably overnight rice from the fridge. Otherwise, make sure cooked rice has cooled down and dry before using it
- 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh red chili (about 1 long red chili)
- 1 cup shredded lettuce (iceberg lettuce or coarse lettuce)
- 1/2 cup chopped spring onion
- 1/2 cup fried salted fish. Otherwise, substitute with 1-2 tablespoon light soy to taste
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon dark soy. This is optional only if you like your fried rice to have a darker colour
- sesame oil (to marinade chicken)
- corn starch (to marinade chicken)
- light soy (to marinade chicken)
- salt and white pepper (to marinade chicken)
- Cut the chicken thigh fillet into small bite pieces. Then marinade with 1 teaspoon light soy, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon corn starch, a bit of salt and white pepper. Set aside
- On a hot wok, add 1 cup cooking oil. Once the oil is hot, toss in minced garlic first and stir-fry for 30 seconds
- Add marinated chicken. Stir fry for 3-5 minutes
- Push the chicken to the side of the wok or pan to make a well in the centre. Add a bit more oil if necessary. Toss in the 2 eggs. Break the eggs and scramble for 1 minute. Then mix the chicken with the egg and stir fry for 1-2 minutes
- Add the cooked rice. Mix through and stir fry for 1 minute
- Add the frozen vegetables and continue to stir fry for 1 minute
- Next, add 1 tablespoon dark soy to colour the fried rice. This is optional. Leave the dark soy if you prefer your fried rice light in colour
- Then, add 1-2 tablespoons light soy if you are not using salted fish. Otherwise, add the salted fish. Continue to stir fry for a minute
- By now the chicken should have been cooked. If not, continue to stir fry for another 1-2 minutes to make sure chicken is cooked
- Turn off the heat. Then add chopped spring onions, red chili and half of the shredded lettuces. Mix through and then remove and plate. Garnish with the remaining shredded lettuces on top of fried rice