Quick and deliciously easy, egg fried rice is open to countless variations, making it the most delicious and versatile meal for any time of the day!
Egg fried rice is such a feel-good food! I used to look forward to my mom cooking it for lunch on the weekends and would often go back for second servings. (In fact, I love rice so much that I used to eat plain boiled rice and soy sauce for dinner during my first year at uni #strugglemeal #stillgoodthough.)
I recently posted a quick recipe on how I make egg fried rice to my Instagram story (ig gingeryginseng). I was taken aback by how well-received this was with many of my friends commenting on it and even sharing it on to their followers. But being so cheap, and quick to make, was it a surprise that it kicked off so well?
The above photo was taken at the same time as the recipe from my Instagram story. Looks good right? A recipe for dumplings is definitely overdue, but what fillings would you guys like to see? Please comment below telling me!
But firstly, what exactly is egg fried rice? Chinese fried rice was first recorded during the Sui dynasty of 589 – 618 BC. As the name suggests, it consists of rice that has been stir-fried in a wok with eggs, vegetables, seafood or meat. This tasty dish is a takeaway staple, eaten as a main or a side.
However, domestically, fried rice is typically made using leftover ingredients from the day before – that is, foods that are no longer fresh yet are still too good to be discarded. Whilst this was common in rice-growing south China, northerners cooked a similar dish with fried noodles called chow mein. Sound familiar?
The rice and other leftovers were paired with pantry items of soy sauce, lard and cloves of garlic to make a delicious and economical meal. And thus, this naturally lends itself to countless variations! In the picture above, I went a little fancy and used fresh prawns with my rice. My mom on the other hand makes a delicious variant with ham, carrots, sweetcorn and peas.
In traditional Chinese cuisine, vegetarianism and veganism are relatively unheard of. However, no need to fret for I have a solution for those who need it! Scrambled tofu is the perfect vegan substitute for eggs, whilst meat can be omitted.
Egg Fried Rice (with a vegan tofu alternative)
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 4 beaten eggs (or 225g of firm tofu, mashed with a fork).
- 250 g cooked rice
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine (or white rice vinegar).
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 chopped scallions
- Cook the rice according to its instructions. (Fresh rice can be used as long as it is not too wet and sticky, otherwise, there will be clumps in your fried rice. Leftover, dried rice is much better – do this step the night before if possible.)
- In a wok on medium-high heat, add the oil and scramble the eggs, or tofu, until cooked.
- Add the rice and stir thoroughly to break any clumps, to heat it evenly and, to distribute the egg evenly.
- Season with soy sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Stir in the scallions, cooked meat or vegetables if using.
- Bon appétit (or 慢慢吃 (màn màn chī) in Chinese!).