Simple Ingredients Lead to Colorful and Tasty Results! Some form of fried rice can be found nearly anywhere people eat rice. From Nasi Goreng (lit. fried rice) in Indonesia, to Thai Khao Pad to Cuban Arroz Frito to Filipino Sinangag to Hawaiian style fried rice (often with Spam) to Cha Han Japanese fried rice to the many varieties of Chinese Rice
Fried rice works best with day-old rice that has dried and hardened a bit. If you are really pressed for time, cook the rice with a bit less water than usual and the rice will be a bit firmer. It is a good idea to refrigerate rice after it is cooked as cooked rice is a great medium for bacterial growth. Uncooked rice--if kept dry--lasts practically forever. Long grain white rice is preferred, but Jasmine rice also works. Japanese and Basmati rice are less than suitable.
The Chinese sausage, know as Lap Cheong or La Chang is usually made with pork. It is possible to find Chinese sausages that are a mixture of pork and chicken, but they are not as flavorful. Chinese sausages can be found in almost any Asian grocery store. It keeps well in the refrigerator or freezer.
The following recipe is somewhat minimalist with regard to ingredients. Fried rice is often made with left-overs so the options are plentiful. Other than the peas, frozen vegetables should be avoided. Possible additions are: shrimp, shredded or diced pork or chicken, carrots, bean sprouts, snow peas, green beans or whatever else you have on hand. For best results, each ingredient should be cooked separately so that the flavors do not blend. Some recipes call for chopping or dicing the Chinese sausages, but we prefer slicing.
Many thanks to Lu Ping for sharing this recipe with me so many years ago. It has become a family favorite; easy to make and delicious.
As always, it is a good idea to measure, slice ingredients and keep them in separate bowls before you begin cooking.
- 4 Lap Cheong sausages sliced diagonally (1/8 to 1/4 inch slices)
- 4 Eggs
- 8 cups of day-old rice
- 2 cups of frozen peas
- 4 sliced scallions, use both white and green parts (discard root and very
top of the green part)
- 4 cups of quartered and sliced zucchini
- 1/4 cup of peanut oil
- soy sauce
- Cook 4 cups of rice. Fluff rice and refrigerate for one day (see comments above)
- Slice Vegetables and Sausages
- Beat eggs in a bowl, but do not whip
- Add sliced scallions to beaten eggs and mix
- Add 1/4 cup of peanut oil to wok and heat until oil is very hot but not yet smoking
- Carefully add egg and scallion mixture to wok
- Cook until eggs just start to brown and then flip "omelet" over and cook briefly (20 seconds or so) and then remove eggs and return to bowl
- Add Chinese sausages to wok, moving the pieces briskly about to keep them from burning
- When sausage pieces just begin to crisp, remove them and set them aside in a bowl
- Turn down heat under the wok to medium high
- Add peas and a little water (no more than a 1/4 cup), cover and cook for one minute
- Remove cover and add the remaining vegetables
- Cook while moving vegetables until they are about half-cooked (about 2 minutes)
- Turn heat up to high, add rice and mix everything in the wok thoroughly. Keep everything moving!
- When rice is hot, add egg omelet and fold into the fried rice. The omelet should break into small clumps.
- Mix in cooked sausage
- Serve in individual bowls
At the table, soy sauce can be added according to individual taste. To add some kick you can season your fried rice with red chili flakes or Lao Gan Ma Chili Sauce (with or without peanuts).
Recipe and photos by Shari K. Johnston-O'Neill
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