Learn how to make one of the most classic Chinese egg fried rice (Yang Chow Fried Rice or Young Chow Fried Rice) in the right way with all tips you should know for a perfect homemade stir-fried rice.
What's Yangzhou Fried rice
Originating from Jiangsu province of China. But the dish might be spelled in different forms, Yangzhou fried rice, Yang Chow Fried Rice, or Young Chow Fried Rice are all referring to this one. Yangzhou fried rice is enjoying super high popularity across the country. One of the reasons why it is so famous is because of the picky requirements of the raw ingredients. It is made with rice that is stir-fried with vegetables and meat and typically includes ingredients such as ham, shrimp, peas, carrots, and eggs. While Yangzhou fried rice is typically considered a Chinese dish, it has also been popularized in other parts of the world. In America, for instance, Yangzhou fried rice is often served as a side dish or an appetizer.
The Expensive Chinese version
The real Chinese version in restaurants includes fried egg shreds on top. This type is selling at a super high price, over 80 RMB for one serving with deep-fried egg and many expensive ingredients. Homestyle Yangzhou fried rice can be much easier. Fried rice (炒饭) and chow mein (炒面) possibly are the two most popular types of dishes based on staple foods of China—rice and noodles. Home-style fried rice can be as humble as basic egg fried rice, which only needs eggs, green onion, salt, and pepper, or as luxurious as this Yangzhou fried rice! The long list of ingredients not only brings different tastes and textures but more importantly different colors. Colorful fried rice is the most popular choice for children's meals in lots of restaurants.
Type of rice to use
In theory, any type of rice can be used in fried rice. If you plan to make some steamed rice right perfectly for fried rice recipes, the common popular option should be basmati or jasmine rice. Rice contains more starch may lead to a sticky texture of the rice. So long-grain Indica rice will be a better option.
The secret of restaurant-style Yangzhou fried rice is to make sure the rice is not mushy and wet. Leftover rice always meets the standard because of water evaporation. But if you want to make egg fried rice right now and there is no leftover rice by hand. Chilling the freshly cooked rice is another way.
Standard of good Chinese-style egg fried rice
A good egg fried rice has standards.
1. the whole dish should be fluffy meaning that the rice grains are well separated, giving the dish a light feeling. In addition, flavors can be totally wrapped for separated grains.
2. The egg fried rice should be balanced and flavored, to avoid over-greasy or over-salted. If you plan to use soy sauce, then spare the salt.
Tools for stir-fried rice
The best tool for perfect fried rice is a wok, in which you can quickly move all the grains. Along with the movement, the grains are well separated while all the other ingredients and seasonings are well mixed. Wok is believed to be the best tool for stir-fried rice, it needs several tips for beginners. If you have no confidence about using the wok, you can also use a non-stick pan to make this fried rice
For wok beginners, it will a little bit hard to handle because the starch of the rice may lead to a sticky texture. If the rice starts to stick to the wok, the process can be extremely messy. So you can start with a non-stick pan or follow the tips to avoid sticky problems.
- heat the wok until really hot, pre-heating the wok is the key tip to avoid sticking problems. Heat it until there is smoke coming out.
- swirl the oil in the wok to cover the surface as much as possible.
- keep a high fire during the frying process
- keep moving the grains during the whole stir-frying process to make sure each grain is evenly heated.
- 6 cups leftover white rice (note 1)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, butter, or lard can enhance the flavors of fried rice greatly. So you can try to change the oil type you use for fried rice.
- ¼ cup diced Chinese ham (or you can use char siu or sausage )
- 8-10 shrimp, deveined
- ½ cup green peas, both frozen peas or fresh ones
- ½ cup diced carrot, you can use frozen carrots or fresh ones
- Pinch of salt to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, you can skip this but it adds a faint unami flavor to the fried rice. But it will also increase the moisture of the fried rice.
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
Slightly separate the grains of rice by slightly pressing the rice with a rice scoop. This step is optional but highly recommended for beginners. If I plan to make stir-fried rice the next day, usually I cook the rice on the stove with a clay pot or cast iron pot other than a regular rice cooker. You can know more about how to make rice without a rice cooker.
Prepare peas and carrots: there are two ways of preparing peas and carrots, pan-frying or blanching. You can choose both ways. But blanching makes a softer texture. Remember to strain completely if you use the blanching method because the water may spoil the texture of the fried rice. Or heat up around 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in a wok and fry green beans and diced carrots until softened.
Heat up 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in a wok or a nonstick skillet (Note 2) and fry shrimp and ham dice until slightly seared. Transfer out.
Add rice in, and use a turner to separate the rice. When the rice grain is slightly warm and hot. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and pour in the beaten egg and the fried rice. Give a quick stir so the egg and rice can be mixed well quickly.
Add green beans, carrots, ham, and shrimp, light soy sauce, and sprinkle a pinch of salt and white pepper. Give everything a big stir-fry and mix well. Then add green onion and fry for another 30 seconds.
What to serve Young Zhou fried rice
If you want spicy fried rice, you can drizzle some chili oil on top. This will greatly improve the taste of the fried rice too. Other add-ons like deep-fried shallots or pork floss can make your fried rice taste super special. Have a try and twist your own favorite version of Yung Zhou fried rice.
Young Zhou Fried Rice - Yangzhou Fried Rice
- Slightly separate the grains of rice via slightly pressing the rice by a rice scoop. This step is optional but highly recommended for beginners.
Prepare peas and carrots
- Heat up around 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in wok and fry green beans and diced carrots until softened.
- Or blanch the peas and carrots in boiling water for 2 miuntes. Transfer out and drain completely.
Fry the rice
- Heat up 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in a wok or a nonstick skillet (Note 2) and fry shrimp until slightly seared. Transfer out.
- Play rice in wok and dig a small hole in center, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and pour in beaten egg . Give a quick stir so the egg and rice can be mixed well quickly.
- Add green beans, carrots, ham and shrimp, light soy sauce, sprinkle pinch of salt and white pepper. Give everything a big stir-fry and mix well. Then add green onion and fry for another 30 seconds.
- Serve hot!