If there is any food that people dont joke with, rice is one of those foods. Whether you prepare rice as: white rice,jollof rice, palm oil rice,mixed rice and beansorrice and potatoes, people would still love it. And if you are the type that loves white rice, you may not really lack what to serve your white rice with because,vegetable sauce,beef stew,stuffed pepper soup, banga stew (palm oil stew),palm oil sauce,tomato stew, gardenegg sauceare good and delicious accompaniments to white rice. Other things in which rice could be served with as a side dishes or toppings are:coleslaw,salad,fried plantain,moi-moi,fried yam chipsandpotato chips. Fried rice is always seen as a special recipe and one of the most popular rice recipes all over the world including Nigeria. It has become a big party favourite and one of the most sought after delicacies in any festive gathering at all times.
If you have ever been to different places where fried rice was served, you would have to agree with me that each of the rice tasted differently from the previous ones you have ever eaten. Fried rice is prepared differently in different parts of the world. You might come across the different names given to it in different countries of the world such as:
- Chinese fried rice
- Thai fried rice
- Japanese fried rice
- Nigerian fried rice
- Pork fried rice
- Egg fried rice
- Vegetables fried rice
- Shrimps fried rice
- Stir fried rice and so on. These names are derived from the ingredients and methods in which the rice is being prepared, in this case, the taste may differ too.
What is fried rice?
Fried rice is a type of rice that is oftenprepared by frying and continuous stirring of precookedrice. The rice is usually seasoned (with curry powder, pepper, onions, thyme and salt) and cooked until soft, before frying it with a mixture of spiced vegetables and cooked meat (chicken, liver or beef), among other spices.
It is very easy to make or prepare fried rice at home compared to ordering it from eateries or restaurants, because, you can make it tastier by using your desired ingredients and also adjusting it to your taste. By doing this, it means that you would have to spend less cash, while having some left over fried rice preserved in the fridge to warm up whenever it is needed. The thing about fried rice is that, you may need or not really need so much ingredients to make it, all you need to do is define your taste and make use of the ingredients you have at hand (spice the rice to your own taste), and also add some golden or lemon colour to your rice, and you are good to go. Additionally, fried rice doesnt need to be very tough to chew, like what we often come across in most events. You can soften the rice a bit, in order to safe all the strength that is needed for the hard chewing, neither should fried rice be always soggy or salty as some people think it should, to avoid over cooked mushy fried rice, you would have to put a check on the quantity of water and salt you cook the rice with, the amount of water should depend on your type, or brand of rice; which you want to use for your fried rice. this article will be showing you the two methods in which fried rice can be prepared. the methods are: stirred fried fried rice and non stirred fried fried rice.Below are the ingredients for making quick and a simple fried rice even at the comfort of your home within 1 hour of time.
Ingredients for preparing fried rice:
- 500g long grain white rice
- 500g chicken or beef
- 100g cow Liver (use beef as a substitute if you prefer)
- 1- 2 cups beef or chicken stock/broth
- 4-5 large carrots or more
- cup green peas or runner beans
- 3 large green bell peppers
- spring onions( optional)
- 1 large onion
- 1 tin sweet corn( optional)
- 3 tablespoonful curry powder
- 2 teaspoonful thyme
- teaspoonful garlic powder
- tablespoonful black (optional)
- 2 scotch bonnet peppers, blended
- 2- 3 cooking spoonful vegetable oil
- 2 stock cube or bouillon cube for seasoning of the rice and vegetables
- Salt (to taste)
Ingredients to season the chicken or beef before cooking it
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon curry
- 1 -2 stock cubes, crushed
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 scotched bonnet peppers, blended
- Salt to taste
Procedures for making fried rice (the nonstirred-fried rice method)
- Season your beef or chicken and your liver with 1 stock or chicken cube, 1 onion, 1 teaspoon dry thyme, 1 teaspoon curry powder, pepper (ground scotch bonnet pepper) and salt, and cook until tender. Add more water to the meat after 10 minutes as the liquid might have dried up, this will enable you extract some tasty meat broth, which you would be using to cook your fried rice later. You might have to remove the liver because, it will get cooked in time before the meat; since it is softer than the meat, but if you dont really bother, just skip that.
- Parboil the rice a bit for about 5-8 minutes and rinse with clean water, pour the rice into a strainer to drain excess liquid out. You dont want your rice to have excess starch in it.
- When your meat is well cooked, separate it from the broth and keep the broth aside for later use.
- Pour the parboiled rice into a wide pot and add the meat broth to it, add one or two stock cubes, 1 tablespoon dried thyme, 1-2 table spoons curry powder, minced garlic, pepper salt to it and stir to combine. You can add more water to the rice if it is necessary such that the cooked rice would not become soggy or too tender, and the grains stick together after you are done cooking it; that is if the meat stock or broth is small to get the rice softened.
- Cook the seasoned rice till the liquid dries up, this should take about 20 minutes for it to dry.
- While the rice is on heat, cut your liver into tiny cubes and keep aside.
- Wash carrots, green beans, and green bell peppers and chop them into desired shapes; preferably into smaller cubes and keep aside.
- Heat up vegetable oil in a pan and proceed to fry the beef or chicken and the liver. Drain excess oil with a paper towel and keep aside.
- Start frying onions, green beans, peas and lastly your carrots for 3 minutes, after 3 minutes season the vegetables with a little pepper, 1 seasoning cube, 1 table spoon curry powder, thyme and a little salt. Fry the vegetables for more 3- 5 minutes till you notice their softness. Remove from heat. You dont want them to wilt away before time.
- By this time the liquid in the rice might have dried completely. Bring the mixed vegetables and pour them into the cooked rice and stir all-round the pot for the vegetables to incorporate with the rice. This should be done on a plan surface to avoid kitchen accident while mixing. You can mix the rice and the vegetables in a larger bowl for convenience sake. This can be done in this way: Scoop the mixed vegetables in to the wide bowl and scoop the rice too into the same bowl mix this as you do, till the rice and vegetable are well combined. Do this until the rice and the vegetable are emptied from the pots.
- When you are done mixing the rice with the vegetables, pour the rice back into the pot and drop the pot on heat for 3 minutes to warm up a bit. Then scoop into a serving dish.
- Your fried rice is cooked. Bon appetit!
Steps on how to cook fried rice (non stirred fried method) :
- Season your beef or chicken with thyme, curry powder, stock cube, onions, pepper and salt. Cook the meat untilsoft and add water to it if the first water driesup, until the meat is properly cooked.
2. Measure white rice and parboil for 5 minutes and rinse with clean water to remove excess starch.
3. The meat should be separated from the broth and then the broth should be kept aside for later use.
4. Pour the parboiled rice into a medium pot; add seasoning cube, curry, thyme, pepper, minced garlic and salt to taste. Stir properly to combine and put the rice on heat to cook.
5. While the rice is on heat drying, cut your liver into tiny cubes fry them together with the meat and when you are done, drain excess oil and keep aside.
6. Chop carrots, green beans and green bell peppers after rinsing them into desired shapes, including onion.
7. Use the same oil you used for frying the meat and fry the vegetable for 5 minutes.
8. Stir the vegetables as you fry to give them aneven fry. Season with curry, thyme, salt pepper and 1 seasoning cube.
9. If you are sure the liquid in the rice is dried and the rice is soft enough, bring the vegetables into the cooked rice and mix them carefully until the combine properly. The mixing can be done in a wider pot or bowl.
10. While mixing, make sure the vegetables and the oil are well combined with the rice, to get even mixed fried rice.
11.When you are done mixing the rice, you can put it back on a low heat for 3 minutes, to warm it up; this is to prevent the rice from going soured easily.
12. Now, your fried rice is ready, dish into a serving dish and enjoy as you want.
Procedures for cooking stirred fried rice
- Parboil the Rice then place in a sieve to drain out excess water.
- Scrape carrots, deseeds green bell peppers and dress green beans.
- Wash all the vegetables including green peas and cut them into uniform size and keep aside. Place the carrots & green peas in boiling water for 3 minutes, strain out liquid and place in a bowl of cold water, leave to cool in the water, then pour into a sieve and set aside. Without cooking them completely, thereby cutting down the stir-frying process and reserving the greenish colour of the vegetables.
- Bring your beef or chicken broth into a large pot and add the parboil rice to it, season with 1 seasoning stock cube, curry powder, thyme, garlic, pepper, salt and stir well. The broth should be at almost the same level as the rice, so that it dries up completely when the rice is done, you can add some water if the broth won’t be enough to cook the rice. Leave to cook on medium heat until it’s done.
- Heat up vegetable oil in a wide pan; add onions, the carrots, peas, green bell peppers and cut livers; then add a little pepper, garlic, curry and a seasoning cube to taste stir fry for 1 minute and pour into an empty bowl.
- Bring the pan to heat again and add 2 table spoons of vegetable oil to it and swirl the pan for the oil to spread. Use the same oil you youve just used to fry the vegetables.
- Scoop some mixed vegetables to the pan and also scoop the cooked rice into the pan, using a spatula, stir- fry the rice and the vegetables to combine while on a low heat for about 2 minutes. The Rice is going to be fried in small batches, so you’ll have to divide the stir-fried vegetables into equal portions. The size of your frying pan/wok will determine how many batches you will have to fry the rice. Make sure you dont overcrowd the pan; there should be a little space in the pan so that you can move the rice around the pan, for an even distribution of heat.Pour the stir fried rice into an empty pot and repeat this process for the remaining rice and the mixed vegetables, till you are done with all.
- Your stir fried rice is ready; serve this with chilled coleslaw, fried plantain and fruit juice.
- This very method seems a bit tedious and more effort is required I suggest you make use of the first method.
Important tips to note while preparing fried rice
- Do not parboil your white rice more than 5 minutes; you just need to reduce some of the starch from it since you are still going to cook it again. Fried rice doesnt have to be soggy, but moderately soft and easy to chew.
- Fried rice goes soured easily after it is prepared or after is has been dished out from the pot. You can prevent this by storing the rice in an air tight container when it has cooled down, and then placing it inside the freezer. This would enable the rice to stay longer even for about a month to 2 months if there is constant power supply. You can defrost and warm it again whenever you want to eat it.
- When making fried rice, it is advisable to use long grain rice or basmati rice. This type of rice doesnt clump together; they come out just as perfect as you want. On the other hand, non-sticky short rice or brown rice can be used for preparing fried rice.
- Like I said earlier, fried rice usually go bad after it has been dished out. This happens because you scooped the rice at every corner, fried rice should be scooped from one side of the pot or food warmer and not on every side, till you proceed to the bottom of the pot. Also, after cooking the rice do not cover the lid immediately, allow the warm air to escape out a bit before doing that, this will enable the rice to stay fresher.
- When using garlic in fried rice, do not add it too much, the garlic flavour may over take the vegetables and other additives.
- If you are using frozen vegetables just thaw them first, to enable them loosen up. You can just soak them in warm water for 5 minutes before frying them.
- You would need to fry your rice in batches. This will allow all the rice grains incorporate with all the spices and ingredients, and will also allow the rice to be fried properly and evenly, without a single grain left out.
- If you have mistakenly added too much water to your rice while preparing it, and the rice becomes soft while there is still trace of liquid, remove the cover of the pot, while leaving the rice on a medium heat. This will enable the water to evaporate without much time wastage.
- While cooking your rice with meat broth, if you notice that the liquid has dried up and your rice is still hard, drizzle a little water to it and uncover the pot while it cooks. This will enable the water to dry and the rice soft without becoming soggy.
- To get a greener version of fried rice, you can asked some spice sellers for fried rice spices or when you get to store/ market, you can go to the section where spices are sold to get some. Fried rice spices sometimes come as mixed spices in sachets or containers. However, you can blend some green bell pepper and cook the rice with it; you will likely get the green colour of fried rice.
- Always use a moderate amount of vegetable oil to prepare your fried rice, the oil should not be too much such that the rice would be swimming inside of it, this can even irritates the heart while eating it.
- Curry is the colouring agent in fried rice, it gives the rice a yellowish or greenish look after it is cooked, but you can use turmeric powder in place of curry powder.
- Some people dont really like cow liver, if you are that type of person, ground meat or shredded chicken or beef can serve as a substitute for you.
- The above quantity of fried rice may serve 6-7 people at ones, if you are preparing this for a larger gathering or more people; you may need to multiply the ingredients and the quantityof rice.