What Is Fried Rice Stir-Fry?
Fried rice stir-fry is a dish often found in Asian cuisine, especially Chinese cooking, which involves frying cooked rice in a small amount of oil. The rice is essentially shallow fried in a hot wok, and not deep fried, leaving the rice with a crispy and not at all oily texture. Fried rice stir-fry gets its name from the fact that the rice is stirred just about constantly during cooking. A number of other ingredients can be added to this stir-fry, including vegetables like peas and shredded carrots, as well as meat like beef, pork, or shrimp.
The cooking method used for fried rice stir-fry is fairly simple, but does require some planning and preparation. Rice is cooked first in a rice cooker or in a pot with some water over heat, in the way that rice is traditionally prepared. Any additional ingredients that are going to be included in the fried rice stir-fry should be chopped and prepared prior to frying, since the cooking process is usually quite fast. A wok is traditionally used for stir-frying, though any fairly deep skillet or pan with high sides can be used to make this dish.
Once the rice is cooked properly, then the wok is heated and some oil is added to the bottom. Different types of oil can be used for fried rice stir-fry, though peanut and sesame oils are both quite common. Once this small amount of oil is hot, then any meat or vegetables that are being included with the rice are placed in the wok and cooked. The food is stirred continuously during cooking, to prevent meat and vegetables from burning or scorching, which lends this cooking technique its name.
After the meat is cooked through, and the vegetables begin to soften appropriately, then the cooked rice is added to the wok, sometimes with additional oil. This rice is fried gently in the hot wok, stirred and tossed with the other ingredients while it cooks. Vegetables such as shredded carrots, peas, and water chestnuts are all commonly used in stir-frying, as are meats like slices of beef and pork. Thin cuts of meat and vegetable are often preferred as they cook quickly.
Additional flavors can be added to the fried rice stir-fry as it cooks, such as minced garlic, grated ginger, and soy sauce. An egg or two can also be added to the wok and scrambled into the cooked rice. The rice should not be cooked to such a degree that it becomes crunchy, but should take on some color and become firmer than when it was freshly cooked. Once done, the fried rice stir-fry can then be served, often with additional soy sauce or slices of green onion.
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