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Chicken Fried Rice

by Ken Hom from Complete Chinese Cookbook

Ken Hom's quick and easy recipe for chicken fried rice is the ultimate Chinese comfort food dish, with simple ingredients that come together to make a delicious alternative to a takeaway dinner.

From the book

Introduction

The best chicken fried rice I have ever had was from a street food stall in China. Instead of tough, over-cooked chicken, with the fried rice as an afterthought, the dish was cooked fresh from scratch. The cooking time was literally minutes and the result was delicious. I have re-created a version that comes very close to the original. It is quick and easy and makes a meal in itself. The rice to be fried is cooked beforehand.

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Ingredients

Long grain white rice measured to the 400ml (14fl oz) level in a measuring jug and cooked according to the method below
600ml (1 pint) water
100g (4oz) fresh or frozen peas
3 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
3 tbsp finely chopped shallots
2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
3 tbsp finely chopped spring onions, white part only
225g (8oz) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, coarsely chopped
Salt and black pepper
4 eggs, beaten
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp chilli bean sauce or paste
2 tsp shrimp paste or sauce
3 tbsp finely chopped green spring onion tops

Method

To make the steamed rice:

Put the rice into a large bowl and wash it in several changes of water until the water becomes clear. Drain the rice and put it into a heavy pan with 600ml (1 pint) of water and bring it to the boil. Continue boiling until most of the surface liquid has evaporated – about 15 minutes. The surface of the rice should have small indentations, like a pitted crater. At this point, cover the pan with a lid, turn the heat as low as possible, and let the rice cook undisturbed for 15 minutes. Let it rest on the turned-off heat for 5 minutes before serving.

To make the chicken fried rice: 

Allow the cooked rice to cool thoroughly by spreading it on a baking sheet. When it is cool, refrigerate. When the rice is cold, proceed with the rest of the recipe.

Cook the fresh peas in a pan of boiling water for about 5 minutes, then drain them in a colander. If they are frozen, simply thaw them.

Heat a wok or a large frying pan over a high heat until it is hot. Add 1½ tablespoons of the oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the shallots, garlic, ginger and white spring onions and stir-fry for 1 minute. Then add the chicken, 2 teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper and continue to stir-fry for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and put the contents of the pan into a bowl. Wipe the pan clean.

Combine the eggs, sesame oil and a pinch of salt in a small bowl and set aside. Reheat the wok or pan over a high heat until it is hot. Add the remaining 1½ tablespoons of oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, turn the heat to moderate and add the eggs. Stir-fry the eggs for 2 minutes, then add the cooked rice and stir-fry it for 3 minutes, mixing well. Add the peas, cooked chicken, chilli bean sauce and shrimp paste and continue to stir-fry for 5 minutes over a high heat. Add the green spring onion tops and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes, then turn the mixture on to a plate and serve at once.

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From the book: Complete Chinese Cookbook

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