I love fried rice and I love cooking fried rice. It’s an easy and quick weekend breakfast. We usually have fried rice on weekends only so that we don’t have the same breakfast as weekdays and I don’t like waking up early in the morning on weekends, so I have to prepare something quick to serve on the table as soon my boy complaining “I’m hungry. What’s for breakfast?”
When by boy has to stay back after school for some school activities, then I usually prepare fried rice in his lunchbox. He likes something simple that he can eat quick at school (and no veggies because he will eat at least 7 hours after I cooked his lunch in the morning, so I don’t like to put veggies in his lunchbox).
Also, when I don’t have time to go grocery shopping (when I’m sick or it’s been raining for days), then I just cook fried rice for my son and my husband. So yes, fried rice is a simple thing to make, but it tastes great for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner.
Fried rice is also a common dish in Indonesia. We have so many variations of fried rice: red (from tomatoes), yellow (using turmeric), white (only use salt and no sauce at all), light brown (using soy sauce or just a little sweet soy sauce), dark brown (using lots of sweet soy sauce). I will post the recipe one by one if I happen to make them at home.
Fried rice from the street vendor in my home town usually comes in dark brown color because they’re using sweet soy sauce, while the ones from Chinese restaurants come in light brown color……………..but I love all of them.
Today, I wanted to make something different, and that was to make Thai Fried Rice that used fish sauce and no sweet soy sauce, and I loved it because it tasted so yummy. It would be a different kind of fried rice that I usually made.
In Indonesia, fried rice usually serves with some condiments. First is keropok (either shrimp crackers, melinjo crackers, colorful rice crackers, kerupuk Palembang, or other crispy and crunchy thing that lay side by side with the rice). Second one is pickles (Indonesian pickles made from small cucumbers, carrots, shallots, and green chili padi). The third side dish is usually fresh vegetables such as cucumber, tomato, lettuce, and cabbage (cut into bite-sized and eaten raw without any sauce at all). All these side dishes are so good and must have when we cook fried rice at home or buying from the street vendor or restaurants (although Chinese fried rice from Chinese food restaurants sometimes does not come with side dishes).
When we’re using the eggs for the fried rice, the cooking method is also different. Instead of adding the egg after the rice, most of us like to add the egg after the garlic is fragrant so we’ll have crisp egg texture at the end.
The key to good fried rice is the rice.When planning to make fried rice, I usually reduce the amount of water (about 30 to 40 ml when using a rice cooker) so my rice will turn not as soft as usual (a bit drier). After the rice is cool enough, I will fluff the rice using my rice serving spoon and carefully separate the cooked rice. This is to release the hot steam and let cool air in. After the rice is completely cool, refrigerate the rice (cover the container of the rice so the rice will not become hard) for one night before cooking it into fried rice. This will avoid us from making clumpy and soggy fried rice and will guarantee that we’ll have the perfect, chewy, and flaky fried rice.
Basically, you can put anything that you have for the fried rice, from sausage, chicken, meatballs, bite-sized chicken fillet, shrimps, crabs, frozen peas, corn, chopped carrots, and spring onion.
In this recipe, I tried to make is as original as I’ve ever tasted before, so I used egg, shrimps and chickens only.
- 1 plate of rice for 1 person, will be better if using overnight rice from the fridge (don’t freeze the rice)
- 1/4 large onion, cut in thinly slices
- 1 shallot, mince
- 2 garlic, mince
- 4 chili padi (red ones will be better as it will give bright color to the rice), cut diagonally into 4 or 5
- 20 gr chicken, cut 0.5 cm x 0.5 cm
- 4 shrimps, peel and devein
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce (optional but this will give the nice light brown color to the rice)
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp oyster sauce
- salt to taste
- 5 chopped coriander leaves (chop the stems also)
- 1 tbsp oil
- Heat a non stick pan with 1 tbsp of oil and add large onion. Stir fry until fragrant
- Add shallot, garlic, and chili padi and stir fry until the garlic is aromatic
- Add chicken and shrimps and keep stirring until they change color
- Add the egg and coriander stem. Stir and break apart the egg
- Add the rice. Mix the rice with other ingredients and keep stirring and breaking apart the rice with the spatula for about 30 seconds
- Add seasoning (fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil). Mix well with the rice. Taste and add salt if necessary
- Keep stirring so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and cook for several minutes until the rice is really hot
- Turn off the heat and transfer to a serving plate
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with keropok and fresh tomatoes, cucumber, cabbage, or lettuce