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 reason 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 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. 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
If you are using leftover rice, just go ahead and make it no matter what's the rice used already. 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.
About the stir-frying tool
Although a 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.
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.
- 6 cups leftover white rice (note 1)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ¼ cup diced Chinese ham (or you can use char siu )
- 8-10 shelled shrimp, deveined
- ½ cup green peas
- ½ cup diced carrot
- Pinch of salt to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
Slightly separate the grains of rice via slightly pressing the rice by a rice scoop. This step is optional but highly recommended for beginners. If I plan to make stir fried rice next day, usually I cook the rice on stove with a claypot or cast iron pot other than a regular rice cooker. You can know more about how to make rice without a rice cooker.
Heat up around 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in 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 until slightly seared. Transfer out.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and pour in 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, 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.
Chinese Fried Rice (Yangzhou Fried Rice)
- 6 cups leftover white rice , note 1
- 2 large eggs , beaten
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- ¼ cup diced Chinese ham , or you can use char siu
- 8-10 shelled shrimp , deveined
- ½ cup green peas
- ½ cup diced carrot
- Pinch of salt to taste
- ¼ tsp. ground white pepper
- 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
- 2 green onions , finely chopped
- Slightly separate the grains of rice via slightly pressing the rice by a rice scoop. This step is optional but highly recommended for beginners.
- Heat up around 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in 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 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.
Note 2: You can use both wok and skillet for this recipe. If you do not have a old wok, a nonstick skillet is a better tool for a new wok.
Great post, very easy to follow. Can you add a drop a two of sesame oil with the soy?
Put a few drops in your egg mixture, just lovely!
Looks great - can't wait to make it!
Can you use brown rice? Thanks.
Chinese Fried Rice is a regular stable at my household. I make the fried rice three or four times a week. I have used left over beef steak meat, lamb meat, and Chinese pork and chicken sausage. Always when I make the Chinese Fried Rice, it is consumed in two days. Nothing is left over. I also use a large wok to make it. I garnish the plate with sliced cucumbers and top with cilantro leaves.
Chinese Fried Rice is a delicious meal that can be served by itself. I love it and so does my family.
Elaine, thank you for a lovely recipe.
I'm a fan of "Fried Rice" as you. It's flexible that you can rationally use the left ingredient. And it's easy to make, any time any where.
from your recipe I gather that you cook the rice for frying the day before. How do you store it in between?
Just in the pot you cooked it in at room temperature oder covered/uncovered in the fridge?
What would be your estimate of the minimal time the rice would need to "rest" or rather dry out before it is good for frying?
In winter, I just keep it uncovered in room temperature. In summer, I keep the rice in a larger plate and store in shade places overnight.
If you are in hurry, it is ok to use cool down rice (I usually spread the grains on a baking sheet) and make fried rice directly. But a better solution is to transfer the rice into a air-tight bag and freeze for 30 minutes before frying.
that's a great idea to draw the moisture out by putting it in the freezer. Never thought of it. How do you come up with this stuff... you don't happen to have a degree in physics, do you?
Haha, I really hope I have a degree in physics, which can definitely improve my cooking skill to a higher level.
I have always wondered how to make these! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Evelyn, I'm glad you like it.
How do you cook the rice before frying it? 🙂
I usually cook rice for fried rice with a claypot or casting iron pot. You can get the detailed steps here.
You are the most welcome!
Can't go wrong here! Another of my favorites!
Thank you, Glenn.
What if you don't have a wok?
Use non-stick pan as a substitute.