Do you ever have one of those moments when you think about a food, or rather, you see a picture of a food, hear about it from someone, and then you invariably begin to crave that food and only that food? I’ve been craving fried rice since Saturday after I read about in a manga that I had not previously read but was lurking around my bedroom.
Fried rice can be tricky to make, and right now I’m learning about the various kinds of soy sauces, especially the differences between Chinese and Japanese varieties as well as the difference between “light” and “dark” soy sauces.
Though many Chinese restaurants use soy sauce to darken and flavor their rice, surprisingly, there are many cooks online who suggest that one shouldn’t use any kind sauce at all but should instead let all the flavor come from the ingredients themselves.
One blogger explained that “fried rice” is a Chinese comfort food akin to a casserole; it’s made for adding leftover bits of vegetables and meat together to make something delicious and comforting. Therefore, no end to the variety of fried rice exists.
Tonight, I made a recipe that relied exclusively on rice, egg, onions, and soy sauce. (Gigi chopped the onions for me; thank you, Gigi!)
Okay, so I did add ginger and garlic salt, but that’s beside the point: normally, I prefer to go more elaborate with my recipes, so I would’ve had bell pepper, carrots, peas, and shrimp in the mix if I were in a typical mood, but since the weather is now hotter than the third layer of Hell in Alabama, my mood is quite atypical.
Some tips about fried rice: Make sure to use either old rice (day to three days old) or to chill your rice for a few hours before hand. Freshly cooked rice isn’t dry enough to fry, and so you’ll end up with a grand ol’ mush. Also, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES USE STICKY RICE unless you just happen to be starving to deal and need some kind of nutrition in your body to survive, period.
Different cooks prepare the eggs in different ways; some cook the eggs separately and add them later, some (such as myself) scramble the eggs in with the rice after the heat has been reduced. Next time I cook fried rice, I’ll see what happens when I add the scrambled eggs later.
As for the soy sauces: the way I understand it is that “dark” soy sauce isn’t as salty or flavorful as “light” soy sauce. Also, Chinese soy sauce typically is made more purely with soy beans instead of the wheat additions found in other varieties of soy sauce.
A big red light that appeared on one blog mentioned to not use “chemical” soy sauces that are made from a process that only takes two days; these include LA CHOY, which is one of the main brands we’ve used over the years. However, if I can help it, we will never use the LA CHOY soy sauce again; Kikkoman is much better and more flavorful in my humble opinion.
So that’s it for today! Go get your nosh on!