Our French-Influenced Fried Rice
I know that there are hundreds of versions of fried rice out there but this version, not surprisingly, has a little French influence: butter! There is a reason this simple ingredient is a chef’s secret weapon.
- 300 g jasmine or long-grain rice (10½ oz; 1½ cups)
- 4 eggs
- pinch of sugar
- 1 tsp freshly ground white pepper
- 80 ml peanut oil (2½ fl oz; 1/3 cup)
- 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
- 3 Chinese sausages (lap cheong), cut into cubes
- 8 medium raw prawns, peeled and deveined, each cut into 3 pieces
- 1 Tbsp sea salt
- 2 tsp soy sauce, or to taste
- 3 spring onions (scallions), pale and green parts separated, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 20 g butter (¾ oz)
- dash of fish sauce (optional)
If you can’t find Chinese sausages (lap cheong) you can replace them with 250 g (9 oz) streaky bacon, cut into 5 mm (¼ inch) thick strips.
A rice cooker can be used for the rice, then resume recipe from step 2.
- Wash the rice four or five times until the water runs clear. Transfer to a medium saucepan and add 750 ml (26 fl oz; 3 cups) of water, ensuring the rice is level so it cooks evenly. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes, or until tunnels form in the rice and most of the water has been absorbed. Take off the heat and set aside, covered, for about 10 minutes to allow the rice to steam through and become fluffy. Remove the lid and run a fork through the rice.
- Spread the cooked rice on a baking tray lined with baking paper (this will help the rice cool faster and will also soak up any excess moisture). You can do this up to a day ahead and keep it in the fridge, if you like.
- Combine eggs, sugar and a pinch of the white pepper in a bowl and whisk together. Heat a large wok over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the oil. When it is smoking hot, pour in the egg mixture. As soon as the egg starts to sizzle, start stirring it as if you are making scrambled eggs. Remove the egg from the wok as soon it’s cooked and set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in the wok and wait until it is smoking again, then add the onion and stir-fry until it starts to become translucent. Add the Chinese sausage (or bacon) and stir-fry for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle over the remaining white pepper, then add the prawns and cook for a further 1 minute. Season with salt, then add the cooked rice. Spread the rice around the wok, then let it sit for a few minutes. Don’t over-stir the rice at this point – you want it to stick to the wok and crisp up, adding a delicious texture to the dish.
- Add soy sauce to taste. If the rice looks a little dry add some hot water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency. Toss through the pale part of the spring onion and the cooked egg, then remove from the heat.
- Scatter over the green part of the spring onion, quickly mix through the butter to give the rice a flavour boost and a good shine, and season with a dash of fish sauce if using. Serve immediately.
As seen in my fourth book More Please! — recipe by Manu Feildel, photography by Rob Palmer, published by Murdoch Books Australia.