One of my favourite orders from the Chinese takeaway used to be one portion each of Special Fried Rice and Chinese mushrooms – haven’t had it for ages, by the way, not sure why. Special Fried Rice is, as far as I am concerned, as near to comfort food as you can get in Chinese cuisine. I was delighted to find this recipe in a book of recipes from around the world I found remaindered in bookshop and it was probably the first Chinese style recipe I every tried to make. It was certainly in the days before I owned a wok. It is a great way to use up leftover rice and worth making a little extra so you can make this recipe the next day. It is good to serve as a light lunch as well as part of a multi dish meal. This was very well received as part of my mum’s Chinese style birthday dinner.
The recipe was mostly based on one in Cooking and Eating Around the World by Alison Burt and I also looked at the Fried Rice recipe in Ken Hom’s Chinese Cookery. It is a versatile recipe where a selection of ingredients are fried with the pre-cooked rice. If available Chinese Sausage “Lap Cheong (sometimes spelled Xuong)” can be added. This is available from Oriental supermarkets. (See also this interesting Fried Rice post using the same Chinese Sausage: Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage, Mixed Frozen Vegetables & Eggs from Wandering Chopsticks.) Finally an egg is quickly stirred through the rice mixture and allowed to cook briefly before serving. A vegetarian version can be cooked, leaving out the meat and fish and if necessary increasing the quantities of vegetables and possibly adding another egg.
Special Fried Rice
This recipe mostly does not have any quantities as it uses a mixture of leftovers and ingredients chosen by the cook. Rice, oil to fry and an egg to bind are essential, plus at least one vegetable and one other ingredient – the more ingredients you add, the more ‘special’ it is.
Cold cooked white rice
Garlic cloves, finely chopped
Spring onions, white and green, chopped finely
Ginger, finely chopped (not a large quantity)
Frozen Peas, partly cooked
Button mushrooms, quartered or sliced
Ham or bacon, chopped fairly small – or leftover ham
Poached Chicken, chopped fairly small – or leftover chicken
Small frozen pre-cooked Prawns
Chinese Sausage Lap Cheong/Xuong (available from the Oriental supermarket)
Salt & black pepper
1 egg (more for a larger quantity)
1. Fry together the chopped onion/spring onion, ginger, garlic and button mushrooms until soft. If you are adding any uncooked meat (ie bacon) then add it at this point so it cooks thoroughly.
2. Stir in the pre-cooked rice and mix thoroughly.
3. Add part cooked frozen peas, ham, cubed chicken, prawns (and/or other ingredients of choice) plus soy sauce. Stir well to combine and cook over a medium heat for five minutes. Watch to make sure the ingredients do not burn. Season as required with salt and black pepper.
4. Just before serving add the egg and stir throughly until just cooked. Be very careful that the egg does not burn.
5. Finish with a splash of sesame oil, stir through the rice mixtuure and serve immediately.