Hello fellow foodies! I’m excited to share some pretty exciting news with you.
Firstly, I want to thank all of you for sharing my recipes on Facebook and Pinterest. I’m so over the moon that more than a hundred of you loved and shared my Cheat’s Chicken Rice and Ayam Masak Merah recipes! It gives me great pleasure in knowing that your kitchens are going to smell a lot like mine! Let’s keep our stoves burning and cook more delicious treats for our families and friends. Making food is such a simple way to share and multiply the love around us and every living, breathing person and creature should be able to feel the sensation of a warm belly after having eaten home cooked food.
Secondly, I’ve decided to post more fuss-free, weekday meals that would require minimal prep and washing up. You would be able to customise the recipes to your dietary needs (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian, spicy , carnivore etc.) I’m starting of the series with this ‘No Recipe Fried Rice’ post. “No recipe? Then why am I even here?” you lament? Hang in there. What a no-recipe recipe means is that you’ll be able to make any type of fried rice with whatever ingredients you have in your fridge and whatever combinations you’d like. So as long as you follow the order prescribed, you should have a fried rice dish that will be a hit at your weeknight dinner table. Audacious, you say? I hope not because I’ve made countless plates of fried rice and I’m pretty confident that this prescribed order should give you a decent plate of fried rice. But I might be wrong. If you’ve tried this no recipe fried rice ‘recipe’ and it doesn’t work for you, do leave me a comment. If you’re unsure about how a certain ingredient should be used or any other queries, please do leave me a comment too. I’d like to know how I can improve and how I could help you have successful dinners at home.
No Recipe Fried Rice
- 2 cups long grain jasmine white rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp chicken/anchovy seasoning powder or sea salt
- Optional: Fresh Ginger slices, Lemongrass, Kaffir Lime Leaves
Cook rice as you normally would in your rice cooker, pressure cooker or microwave. I like to add onion & garlic powders to my rice. But you can use plain leftover rice too. A 1:1 ratio for rice grains: water works for me and I use freshly cooked rice to make fried rice. However, leftover rice from the fridge works as well as the rice is drier and thus it can absorb more of the flavour of the sauces. If using freshly cooked rice, add slightly lesser water so that rice grains keep their shape. Brown rice would also work. Leftover ‘flavoured’ rice like this chicken rice would be really delicious. I’ve used basmati rice and found that it lacks ‘bite’ compared to jasmine rice. Ultimately, the type of rice and level of doneness is up to your preference. You’ll have to experiment and found out what flavours you’d like in your rice too. Separate the rice grains using a fork working from the outside of the rice pot to the inside so that rice grains remain whole. If using refrigerated leftover rice, bring rice to room temperature before using.
- Boneless, Skinless meat
- Spam (unhealthy but oh! so delicious!)
- Roast Char Siew, cubed
- Minced meat
- Firm Tofu
All the meat,protein should be cleaned and cut into small cubes.This helps to cook them faster.
For prawns, deveining them and leaving them whole is fine as prawns cook very quickly.
Season the meat with a little salt, white pepper before cooking them.
For eggs, melt some butter in the wok and semi-cook them scrambled eggs style. Set aside.
For tofu, it can be fried separately in a deep saucepan. Fry till all sides are golden brown. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
Cook each meat/protein separately as each has a different cooking time.
- Snow Peas
- Corn kernels
- Any hardy green vegetable (eg. Kale,Chinese Kale, Mustard)
- Green Beans/ Snake Beans
- Butternut Squash
- Mung Bean Sprouts
- Soft Leafy Greens (eg. Bok Choy)
Again, cut all vegetables into cubes. It’s easier to toss them in the wok with the rice (hence a cleaner stove top & less cleaning!!) and easier to dish out. All the vegetables, except leafy greens & soft mung bean sprouts, should be cooked/boiled separately before being add last to the fried rice. I cooked them in the same oil that I cooked the meat in earlier to build the flavour in the oil and make things easier for myself.
- Onion, cubed
- Garlic, finely chopped
- Ginger, grated
- Sliced red chilli
I use half a large onion and 2 cloves of garlic for 2 cups of cooked rice and I only use ginger if I want a spicier fried rice. Any type of onion is fine but yellow onions go with any flavour.
- Light Soy Sauce
- Fish Sauce
- Kicap Manis (Indonesian Sweet Sauce)
- Chilli Paste / Sambal
- Thai curry pastes
The sauce you use will depend on what type of ‘cuisine’ you want- soy sauce for Chinese, soy sauces and kicap manis for Indonesian, soy sauces and sambal for Malaysian, soy sauce and fish sauce for Thai-Chinese and Harissa for a North African version. You could experiment with other sauces as well.
- Seasoning powders – chicken, anchovy, mushroom, savoury yeast etc.
- Spring onions
- Coriander leaves
- Fried shallots
- Toasted peanuts, cashews, sesame seeds etc.
- Garlic oil
- Shallot oil
- Sesame Oil
- A stir-fry ladle
- A good wok or large cast iron skillet
1. Have all ingredients prepped and near your wok station. This is crucial for any stir-fry as the wok is very hot and things burn if you’re busy whisking an egg or chopping garlic.
2. In a large wok/ skillet, heat peanut/ vegetable oil on high on your most powerful stove burner.
3. When oil is smoking hot, add a little butter (optional) and partially cook scrambled eggs till they form semi-solid lumps. Set aside.
4. Stir-fry meats till sightly browned. Remove and set aside.
5. Stir-fry each vegetable separately till cooked to your desired doneness. I like my vegetables to still have a little crunch. Remove and set aside.
6. Add in aromatics and stir-fry till very slightly browned around the edges.
7. Add in cooked rice and break up any lumps, if any.
8. Pour sauce/s over the rice and keep tossing the rice using your ladle till the sauce/s have evenly coated all the rice grains. Using a large wok helps tremendously in this as you’ll have the ‘space’ to toss your rice.
9. Add your extra seasoning powder or butter and toss again.
10. Add cooked meat ,vegetables and scrambled eggs. Toss in leafy greens or mung bean sprouts (if using)
11. Toss for about 1-2 minutes on high heat. Check for seasoning. Add extra sauce/s or salt if required.
12. Add garnish. Serve immediately.
Fried Rice Combinations that I’ve tried and I can attest to their deliciousness:
- Tofu, Kale, Mushroom, Soy sauce, Chilli paste
- Prawns, Chicken, Bean Sprouts, Soy sauce, Fish Sauce
- Frozen Peas, Carrots, Spam, Soy sauce
- Pumpkin, Harissa, Toasted Cashews
- Red curry paste, chicken, mushrooms, fish sauce
- Harissa, kale, yellow peppers, mushrooms, butter (Photo 3rd from the top)
- Spam, mustard greens, soy sauce, fish sauce, chilli paste (All the other 3 photos)
Essential tips for good fried rice
- Always cook on high heat. This gives the rice and slightly charred flavour (wok hei)that is characteristic of a good restaurant-quality fried rice.
- The key is the correct doneness and quality of the rice.
- Don’t add anything that is wet or mushy.
- Get a good quality wok and ladle. It’s the best for any stir-fry. I don’t recommend non-stick ones as the high cooking heat will destroy the teflon layer.Also, ignore the frying pan I’ve used in the photos, it’s all for aesthetics. Oh come on! We live in the Kardashian Age! (insert shocked emoticon)
I’m bursting with excitement to know your customised version of my No Recipe Fried Rice. Also, do you like posts like this where I give multiple variations to a dish? Or do you prefer a specific recipe to follow? Do leave me a comment below. Many thanks!
On another note, I’d like to dedicate this post to the victims of the Nepal earthquake. It was devastating to know that the many beautiful people and places I’ve met and seen during one of my travels have been struck by this debilitating catastrophe. We’re still thinking of a way to help in the rebuilding efforts. Let us know if you know if there are any fundraisers we can contribute to.