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Making fried rice - how to use natural stock?


skyhskyh
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I am pretty good at making fried rice :biggrin: , I had been making since a kid because I love it. And it's easy.

For the sake of discussion, let's just say I am going to make egg fried rice (eggs in small pieces), with seasoning.

General method in Chinese fried rice (I know this is also in commercial kitchen but different kitchen may vary but still this is the general direction):

Hot pan / wok -> egg (stir) -> add rice -> mix / cook -> chicken stock powder -> salt / soy saucee -> cook -> done.

General method in Japanese fried rice:

Hot pan -> egg (stir) -> add rice -> mix / cook -> hondashi powder -> salt, soy sauce -> cook -> done.

My question:

If I want to use natural stock, that means liquid stock, right?

And so... when and how should I add the liquid stock in the cooking?

I was thinking it may go like this:

Hot Pan / wok -> egg (stir) -> add rice -> mix cook -> add liquid stock -> Waiting for the liquid to evaporate while infusing flavour to rice... keep waiting, keep waiting (a little like making risotto) but wait till the rice is dry again -> salt, soy sauce -> cook -> done?

That easy? Anyone know how do people do it in commercial kitchen if they use liquid stock?

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I make fried rice regularly and never used chicken stock powder or any other powder. I don't find it necessary.

I doubt adding liquid stock would work as you will ruin the texture of the rice. Adding liquid to cooked rice will make it bloom like it does when making porridge.

If you want to use stock, I would use it to cook the rice initially. That way you get the flavor without messing with the texture of the rice.

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I use stock for fried rice, but for an entirely different reason.

Mostly you use pre-made cold cooked rice from the refrigerator. The rice can get burnt or get tough on a very hot wok when you try to heat up a lot batch of rice.

If you add a 1/4 cup of stock to the wok and cover the rice, you can heat up all the rice in a few seconds without burning the rice and without making the rice mushy.

dcarch

Edited by dcarch (log)
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This is one possible way. Another, would be to add half a cup of stock before the rice ( after the oil, and maybe some Shouxing cooking wine and some very roughly chopped onion),let it reduce to 1/8th of a cup, then add the rice etc. The small amount of liquid should not harm the rice. Rather it would help rejuvenate it after being in the fridge a day or two, and as you said help warm it without burning. For best results, a special high power gas ring should be used, one that has a 100 gram/min supply valve.

I like also to add some stock to the egg mixture to give it flavour and more volume and a more fluffy texture. I usually add a few drops of sesame oil for flavour. Another way my preparation differs from your's, is that I usually fry the egg mixture in the wok on a high flame (before the rice), chop it up with the ladel in the wok while it starts to settle, and remove it to a plate. Then I do the stuff with the stock and rice, stir fry the rice well on a high flame, while adding Soy, sesame oil and salt & pepper, throw the cooked egg back in, stir fry for a few more seconds and serve.

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I know there are as many different ways to make fried rice as there are regions and people that make it. But this is how I learned back when I lived in Asia, several decades ago (the Philippines and Hong Kong).

Regarding the egg, I both scramble one and cut that one into strips, and also, as the last step in finishing the rice, stir in a beaten egg to coat things during that last frying. That's how I learned, and we like the flavor and texture that that last egg imparts, so that's what I do.

Regarding the stock... Our cook in the Philippines always had several different stocks in the fridge, including chicken, beef and seafood. Depending upon what sort of fried rice she was making for lunch, she splashed a little stock into the pan along with the oil as she was frying the individual items. So, she'd chop up whatever - onion, green peppers, celery, yesterday's pork chops - and fry them in individual steps, adding a very little stock to the sizzling pan with each ingredient.

After she put in the cold rice, she didn't add more stock, but the flavor of the stock was already incorporated.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

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I think putting chicken powder / chicken base in fried rice is mostly there as a replacement for plain MSG. I would just omit the chicken base entirely (or use plain MSG) if you don't want it.

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Decades ago I worked in a Chinese kitchen and if we wanted flavors that liquid would impart in the rice, we would cook the rice beforehand with the liquids added to the water, cool the rice down and dry it a bit overnight, and then fry it the next day.

Am I explaining that right? To get soy flavor in fried rice, boil dry rice, water and soy until the rice is cooked. Cool down, then fry with oil and egg.

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Mostly you use pre-made cold cooked rice from the refrigerator. The rice can get burnt or get tough on a very hot wok when you try to heat up a lot batch of rice.

If you add a 1/4 cup of stock to the wok and cover the rice, you can heat up all the rice in a few seconds without burning the rice and without making the rice mushy.

What do you mean by pre-made cold cooked rice? Cooked rice and then stored in fridge overnight?

***

Thanks all of you for your inputs...

After digesting all of your inputs, I think the best way(s) probably are (using natural stock):

1. use the stock / flavoured liquid to cook the rice, fridge overnight (dry up a bit) -> next day fried rice.

or.

2. no stock use during wok / pan frying the rice, but make sure the ingredients being cooked with the fried rice are well flavoured. Maybe like one of you said, when cooking those ingredients, add a little stock like adding wine / sake / cherry to food. Then add rice, cook....

or

3. My method as on the original post:

Hot Pan / wok -> egg (stir) -> add rice -> mix cook -> add liquid stock -> Waiting for the liquid to evaporate while infusing flavour to rice... keep waiting, keep waiting (a little like making risotto) but wait till the rice is dry again -> salt, soy sauce -> cook

Modifying the add liquid stock to add reduced liquid stock, almost like adding soy sauce (may be more amount than soy sauce, but the idea is that it's still a liquid, but the amount is only relatively little and it wont make the rice mushy.

agree?

Edited by skyhskyh (log)
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"-----What do you mean by pre-made cold cooked rice? Cooked rice and then stored in fridge overnight?---"

Except in a restaurant, I think fried rice use mostly leftover rice. That's what I do.

dcarch

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Often when I make rice I will use chicken stock instead of water (and no added salt) for extra flavor. I might throw in some sliced green onion/scallion before eating it.

I've always made my fried rice with leftover rice, not freshly made rice. The leftover rice will be drier due to the refrigeration and doesn't clump together like freshly made rice would during the stir fry. The stock just adds another level of flavor to the final dish.

 

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