Plain Fried Rice

When cooked rice is stir-fried with egg but without meat or seafood, it is called “plain fried rice,” and it often has greater appeal than boiled rice to those who are not used to eating rice as a staple. The stir-frying process adds much taste and fragrance. The Chinese sometimes serve it in place of boiled rice as a measure of economy when there are few dishes to go with it. Since the best result is obtained from cooked rice that has been left for a few hours or overnight, it is also a way to turn any leftover rice into an appetizing dish.

Recipe courtesy of "Yan-Kit's Classic Chinese Cookbook" by Yan-Kit So, copyright 2006.

Plain Fried Rice

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    3 cups or 14 ounces boiled rice, cooked at least 3 or 4 hours in advance (rice, noodles and dumplings) 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
    2 tablespoons peanut or corn oil 2 teaspoons thick soy sauce
    2 scallions, cut into small rounds, white and green parts separated 2 tablespoons clear stock (optional)
    1 large egg, lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt


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    • 1

      Loosen the rice grains as much as possible.

    • 2

      Heat a wok over high heat until smoke rises. Add the oil and swirl it around. Add the white scallions, stir a few times, then pour in the egg. Let stand for 5 to 10 seconds, so that the egg sets at the bottom but remains runny on the surface.

    • 3

      Add the rice. Sliding the wok scoop or metal spatula to the bottom of the wok, turn and toss continuously for 3 or 4 minutes or until thoroughly hot. Season with the salt and soy sauce. If the rice is very hard, add the stock and stir for a few more seconds. Add the green scallions. Put in a warm serving bowl and serve immediately.

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