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"Fried Rice" Chinese type: in China or Restaurants here


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#1 rotuts

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:32 PM

I apologize for not being able to find this else where with a 'search'

'fried rice' her in the USA in Pretty Tasty Chinese Restaurants was always 'Not White'

Im assuming they added soy or something before bringing it out.

some time ago there appeared 'White' F.R. here I cant recall the menu changes, lets say it said:

"F.R. from Here in China"

there area many accomplished Chinese Cooks here , At Home or Not,

and after seeing a number a very delicious F.R. es here that are white:

is that darker color only an export chinese restaurant thing?
many thanks!

#2 huiray

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 02:11 PM

Well, so far as I am concerned "fried rice" in the USA is often done with soy sauce liberally added in to give that brownish color. Not always, but often enough. To me that is a cardinal sin. Just me. One should use soy sauce judiciously, and NOT on fried rice with wild abandon, and it should not be assumed that "soy sauce" is a required part of "sampling Chinese cuisine".

I have almost never added soy sauce to my fried rice in my many permutations of the dish and intend not to do so for the forseeable future. "Fried Rice" from Chinese take-out places which are brownish in color almost always have had soy sauce added to it and I for one avoid that sort of thing.

Fried riced with curry added - that's a separate thing, bjt I also tend to avoid those. There are valid interpretations of "Fried Rice with Curry Powder" and once in a while I might indulge but by the large I stay away from those too.

#3 rotuts

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 02:56 PM

Thank You.

as I had thought. good to know that in most of China the End Soy is not done>

Cheers

:smile:

#4 HowardLi

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 07:36 PM

In Toronto, authentic fried rice is usually not brown. That's fortunate because I prefer it pale yellow.

#5 JTravel

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:34 PM

Yangzhou Fried Rice is famous, named after the city which is several hours outside of Shanghai. The city of Yangzhou is supposed to be famous for its food...the emperor came here on the Grand Canal to enjoy it. The rice is one of its specialities. We were surprised at its "whiteness" and that it was served in several cities we visited. No soy sauce on any FR if I remember correctly. You can find recipes on line, and in cookbooks. Basically it is only seasoned with salt and white pepper and contains some egg sheet, tiny cubes of carrot, peas, tiny cubes of ham and perhaps shrimp. At least that was the most common version.
Where we are in western NYS the rice is always yellow, or darker.

#6 FeChef

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:44 PM

I believe turmeric is used to give it that nice yellowish orange color. I never had FR that was brown. If it came out brown i would say i didnt order FR w/brown rice and send it back. Also, I like the white FR you get at japanese habachi restaurants. Everyone that ive been to usually justs adds eggs, a few veggies, pork or shrimp, and a garlic butter sauce. Nothing to turn it brown.

#7 Dejah

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:22 PM

Tumeric in fried rice?! Not in Chinese fried rice that I know of... :blink:
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#8 huiray

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:17 AM

It depends on how strict or how limited one's definition of "Chinese Food" is. Turmeric fried rice is not unknown amongst the Chinese communities in SE Asia, as a dish incorporating spices used in those lands, and amongst the non-Chinese. The Thais/Thai-Chinese, Malaysian-Singaporean Chinese, Indonesians/Indonesian-Chinese all have variations upon it ("黃薑炒飯"; Nasi Goreng Kunyit; etc etc) with various add-ins and ingredients in it as well of course. In American-Chinese take-out joints it is used too (or "curry powder" instead). It even appears as recipes on Chinese websites, as new influences are absorbed into the cuisine. :-) [Here's one - http://www.haodou.com/recipe/269317 - where the writer even comments that it is "good food in Suzhou". Heh.) The Chinese wikipedia entry on turmeric (黃薑) also comments that it is used in the cuisine of Nanyang (南洋) ;-)

#9 huiray

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:30 AM

Yangzhou Fried Rice is famous, named after the city which is several hours outside of Shanghai. The city of Yangzhou is supposed to be famous for its food...the emperor came here on the Grand Canal to enjoy it. The rice is one of its specialities. We were surprised at its "whiteness" and that it was served in several cities we visited. No soy sauce on any FR if I remember correctly. You can find recipes on line, and in cookbooks. Basically it is only seasoned with salt and white pepper and contains some egg sheet, tiny cubes of carrot, peas, tiny cubes of ham and perhaps shrimp. At least that was the most common version.
Where we are in western NYS the rice is always yellow, or darker.



The fried rice that is known as "Yeung Chow" (or Yangzhou) fried rice ("chow fan") in SE Asia and Southern China is typified by the use of char-siu. I think of the use of lap-cheong or ham as variations or versions of it. The "style" of the dish doubtless plays a part, see the images here: https://www.google.c...iw=1124&bih=957


It is true that the more commonly known "Yeung Chow" fried rice is said to be the Guangzhou (Canton) version, which would also appear to be the version more known outside China and in North America. The dish may not actually have been invented in Yangzhou, although nowadays the dish - if made IN Yangzhou - has certain specified ingredients which do not include either lap-cheong or char-siu. NB: Yangzhou is north of Shanghai, quite far from Guangzhou (Canton).
http://zh.wikipedia......‚'飯
http://translate.goo...om/translate...


The English wikipedia entry... http://en.wikipedia....Chow_fried_rice ...if one is interested in it. :-)



#10 rotuts

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 06:04 AM

here are images of FR"

http://www.google.co...w=1219&bih=1054

the 4th row 3d from the left is the FR in 'good' Chinese restaurants We used to get while growing up in CA.

I love them all!

#11 JTravel

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:29 AM

I love it! An encyclopedia of American/Chinese Fried Rice.

First....a picture of typical Yangzhou fried rice, this happens to be from the breakfast buffet in Yangzhou but is typical of what we had most days. Lovely pure white (and delicious) rice.IMG_7319.JPG

As part of our conference in Yangzhou the "accompaying persons....10 women) got to go to the culinary school of Yangzhou University for a cooking lesson. The translation was poor so I'm not sure what the liquid ingredients are for sureIMG_7508.JPG .IMG_7505.JPG Nor all the "bits and pieces" for that matter. I know there were the green onions and the tiny shrimp, and edamame which were a surprise, plus ham and perhaps sausage.
The finished product is for sure not white.IMG_7510.JPG ....but it was tasty, though kind of cold by the time we got to it.

#12 naguere

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:00 AM

what a great thread, and good links, especially the 'google images 'fried rice' Sorry about the strike through, I cannot get rid of it :)
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#13 huiray

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:03 AM

JTravel, very interesting. Well, as for that darkness of the fried rice you were shown how to do, that very first bottle on the left (at the front) on the counter is dark soy sauce. ("老抽王") :smile: Nevertheless, it looks like they didn't use it with "wild abandon".
Here's the Baidu article on 老抽 and the Google translation.

Just wondering - what was the composition of your group and was the demonstration specially arranged for your group or was it a "standard class" that you were invited to sit in on?

#14 Jason Perlow

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:58 AM

There are rules to fried rice? I thought it was always considered a leftovers dish in Chinese homes.

I happen to like the dark soy fried rice, I grew up on it. The yang chow version is also good. What I absolutely hate is the "yellow rice" version that comes out of cheap takeout places and uses some kind of artificial coloring and adds no flavor. Curry rices are different animals entirely.
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#15 rotuts

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:45 AM

Ive always seen FR as planned for leftover ice, and some new stuff. Not as refrigerator clean out. but lots of bits in the refrig that are due for a clean out might be very good for FR HomeStyle.

#16 huiray

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:34 AM

I've never really considered fried rice as a refrigerator clean-out dish or a leftovers dish. It *is* better to use day-old rice,** as is well-known, although I've cooked fresh rice on occasion just to use in a fried rice almost immediately after - but I cook it on the "dry side" [but not so that it has hard centers ["sang kuat")] and I make sure to toss it and fluff it a lot to drive off as much steam/water vapor as possible while allowing it to cool down. However, I've usually used fresh, good quality ingredients (veggies, meats, etc) to make the fried rice - i.e. the fried rice is specifically made as a dish in its own right. I've almost never used leftover veggies - it just becomes a wet melted mess. (Leftover snow pea pods as an example in particular are horrible; but almost any leftover leafy veggie is problematic. The "hard" ones or the "harder parts" are usable - such as the thick stems of gai lan etc. The taste profile also often changes and not for the better, to me anyway.) Sometimes I will chuck in leftover meats, but not just any kind - they need to be "appropriate" - such as roast duck, leftover roast lamb/beef, BBQ meats, that sort of thing - so that they stir-fry properly to meld with the fried rice and not come to resemble a rice version of "leftover casserole" instead. :-) Well, all this is my personal practice, anyway.

** I leave my rice out (covered) at room temperature. I rarely refrigerate or freeze leftover rice and definitely dislike using refrigerated rice/cold rice for my stir fries. I find that inspection of the rice has served me adequately over many years in judging whether the rice is still OK or not as time slides on... I personally find the texture of rice changes on refrigeration and is never quite restored by rewarming. Yes yes, Western notions of food safety would forbid this practice but y'know what? - lots of people (including folks in SE and E Asia) would do this regularly. I dare say many folks in the US and the West do it too, and get into arguments with other folks about the practice. :-) Heh.

BTW, rotuts, those versions of fried rice (including the couple of Yeung Chow fried rice meals) I posted on the Lunch thread did not have any soy sauce added to them. ;-)

Edited by huiray, 13 February 2013 - 11:23 AM.


#17 Jason Perlow

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:47 AM

I wrote this blog entry a couple of years ago on fried noodles. Obviously, the same techniques are applied to fried rice.

We always have leftover protein in the fridge, whether it is cooked chicken, beef, pork or seafood. Typically we don't throw in already cooked vegetables, but we always have leftover bits of fresh stuff that were not used in other meals. We never "plan" a fried rice or fried noodle meal, it just happens. Or we end up at an asian market that has stuff like Char Siu or lap cheung and the lightbulb to make fried rice or noodles that night goes off ("hey, we have X sitting in the fridge")

http://offthebroiler...ng-your-noodle/

Edited by Jason Perlow, 13 February 2013 - 11:48 AM.

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#18 Toliver

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:01 PM

For me, homemade fried rice has always had the brown color (from the soy sauce).
If I get white fried rice in a chinese restaurant, I think the cook hasn't made it properly. :laugh:
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#19 huiray

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:34 PM

I suppose this thread also illustrates another difference in perspective (between cultures? regions?) regarding "fried rice". As I explained above, I think of fried rice as a discrete dish in its own right. I don't think of it as a "use leftover stuff up" dish. ;-) The best fried rice dishes [including in E and SE Asia] are composed, discrete dishes cooked with fresh ingredients and treated as an individual dish. :-)

Edited by huiray, 13 February 2013 - 12:34 PM.


#20 Jason Perlow

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 01:04 PM

I think there is a key difference in how fried rice and noodle dishes are practiced in restaurants and done at home. Totally different. You certainly don't have "Wok Hey" in most home kitchens, that alone is going to affect the outcome of what you are making and how you approach cooking it.

Also I think we are arguing over the difference between freshness and leftovers. Already cooked meats/proteins from a meal from the night before is certainly fresh, unused chopped up (uncooked) vegetables are also fresh.

Edited by Jason Perlow, 13 February 2013 - 01:05 PM.

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#21 dcarch

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:31 PM

In a way, Fried Rice is like Stir Fry, there is no one stir fried recipe.

Definitely fried rice has nothing to do with leftovers. You can stir fry leftovers too.

If you go to a fancy banquet, there is always a fried rice dish near the end. Leftovers? No way.

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#22 Jason Perlow

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:49 PM

But you're comparing banquet cuisine to home cooking. Way, way different.
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#23 Dejah

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:00 PM

Fried rice can be a featured dish on its own. Then I think there's more planning for the composition - the vegetables, the protein. I can't imagine using leafy vegetables in fried rice - texture is just not right. Each component needs to maintain its shape, texture, thus celery, bell peppers, onion, peas, beans, etc.

Sometimes tho', fried rice is a side along with other entrees or as "I can't think of what to have for dinner". Then it's "throw together". In that, I don't mean leftover cooked vegetables (proteins ok), but leftover bits of fresh vegetables in the fridge. Nothing wrong with that at all. I think Jason established that well.

There is only one rule for fried rice - NEED RICE (tho' I've broken that with cauliflower rice). The whole idea is to add wok hei to the rice, so you can have just plain fried rice - no veg, no protein - and it'd still taste good!

It kills me when I see people ADDING soy sauce to fried rice AT THE TABLE!

Yers, I'm sure there are lots of regional varieties, even with tumeric. But I don't think that's used for colouring, probably more for a "curry fried rice" style. But I believe this thread was about CHINESE fried rice?

To my shame, we used to do "plain fried rice" WITH soy sauce - for people who didn't want white rice but too cheap to buy a side order of real fried rice. This was on the prairies. I think diners are a little better educated now.,
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#24 Jason Perlow

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:41 PM

Yers, I'm sure there are lots of regional varieties, even with tumeric. But I don't think that's used for colouring, probably more for a "curry fried rice" style. But I believe this thread was about CHINESE fried rice?


I think it is safe to say that countries which are in the Chinese sphere of influence are also Chinese fried rices, since I imagine the dish probably originated in China. Anywhere you have a population of Chinese people living you are going to have some form of Fried Rice, be it Malaysia, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand or even in places like Peru (The "Chaufa" being the most prominent example of this, and one of the best derivative versions IMHO) or Jamaica or other parts of the Caribbean and of course the US.

Edited by Jason Perlow, 13 February 2013 - 05:43 PM.

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#25 liuzhou

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 04:44 AM

If you go to a fancy banquet, there is always a fried rice dish near the end.


Not in my experience and I've been to literally thousands of fancy banquets. Occasionally there is fried rice, yes. Always? No. I more often tend to see Yangzhou Fried Rice or Egg Fried Rice on menus in cheap hole in the wall restaurants.

And the only turmeric I've ever seen in China, my daughter me brought from England.

Edited by liuzhou, 14 February 2013 - 04:49 AM.


#26 Keith_W

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:19 PM

There are as many versions of fried rice as there are Chinese cooks! The only "rules" for fried rice are: (1) it must be fried, (2) it must have rice!

In my house, I make fried rice to use up leftovers ... so no two versions are ever the same. It is food which I will never serve to guests, so I don't care too much about appearance. I like the taste of soy sauce in it, so I tend to use it.
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#27 JTravel

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:30 PM

IMG_5861.JPG
This is our lunch (for just 2 of us).....large, white, fried rice....a stuffed chicken (wrapped in leaves), lots of lovely baby bok choi. There were some wonderful fried dumplings first. Always our meals were too large, but very tasty....except we didn't like that chicken. This was at a tea plantation visitation place in the tea growing area outside Hangzhou.

A strange thing (to us) at the cooking school in Yangzhou.....they opened a huge rice cooker and scooped out lots of steaming hot rice for us to use in the fried rice.

The class was arranged by someone from the tourism bureau. They had a good facility with a nice enough conference room/dining room for us. But they surely were not doing this sort of thing a lot...and certainly not for non-Chinese speakers.

#28 Dejah

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:30 PM

JTravel: I'd be interested in knowing why the chicken was not to your liking. We will be in Hangzhou in May, at a tea plantation, so maybe I should avoid the chicken... :blink:
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#29 Beebs

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:51 PM

Widely available around here is salty fish fried rice. It's so good - fried rice with salty, pungent bits in each mouthful! It's usually yellow (from egg yolks??) and sometimes brownish, with bits of egg and/or diced chicken in it. I don't think I've ever seen white fried rice in the restaurants here, though.

At home, I use Maggi sauce in my fried rice instead of soy.

#30 annachan

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:57 PM

Fried rice is not meant to have rules. I remember having fried rice with shredded lettuce in it.....not 100% sure, but I think it was in Hong Kong when I was a kid....
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