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Chinese Stir-fried Rice

The most important point to remember if you want to fry rice successfully is that it must be cooked but cold, so you must cook the rice ahead and then allow it to cool completely.

I have used authentic Chinese ingredients here, which are easily obtainable if you live near speciality Chinese suppliers; if not, you can use fresh prawns instead of shrimps and fresh shiitake mushrooms instead of dried.


This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book One


Begin by making the rice: Warm the lidded frying pan over a medium heat, then add the oil and the onions and let them cook for 3-4 minutes, until lightly tinged brown. Next stir in the rice – there's no need to wash it – and turn the grains over in the pan so they become lightly coated and glistening with oil. Then add 16 fl oz (450 ml) of boiling water and the salt, stir once only, then cover with the lid. Turn the heat to its very lowest setting and let the rice cook gently for exactly 15 minutes. Don't remove the lid and don't stir the rice during cooking, because this is what will break the grains and release their starch, which makes the rice sticky.

After 15 minutes, tilt the pan to check that no liquid is left; if there is, pop it back on the heat for another minute. When there is no water left in the pan, take the pan off the heat, remove the lid and cover with a clean tea cloth for 5-10 minutes then allow to cool completely before using.

Put the shrimps and mushrooms in a small bowl, pour over 16 fl oz (450 ml) of boiling water and leave them to soak for 30 minutes. Then squeeze the liquid from them, discard the mushroom stalks and slice them finely. 

Then heat half the oil in a wok or pan and, when it's really hot, quickly fry the onions and bacon for 3 minutes, moving them around in the pan until the bacon is crispy. Then add the shrimps, peas and mushrooms and stir-fry these for about 1 minute. 

Now add the remaining oil to the pan and, when it's smoking hot, add the rice and stir-fry, this time for about 30 seconds. 

Now spread the ingredients out in the pan and pour in the beaten eggs. It won't look very good now, but keep on stir-frying, turning the mixture over, and the eggs will soon cook into little shreds that mingle with the other ingredients.

Finally, add the spring onions and soy sauce, give it one more good stir and serve.


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