Monday, October 25, 2010
If you've never tried rice, you can start from this dish
Recipe #50: Shrimp fried rice
Rice is the main staple in Chinese cooking. However, ever since I started eating, I have refused to touch anything with rice. The older folks always thought, "How could this kid grow if he doesn't eat rice?" They saw it as a serious problem. "How could a mother not let their child eat rice? That will spoil him!"
I really ought to thank her. She has never gotten mad at me for refusing to eat rice. When I was about seven, she started to encourage me by giving me a tiny bit of rice at once. I stopped rejecting rice, but I would still eat only that tiny bit, and nothing more. However, I fell in love when I tried fried rice for the first time.
Whenever my family wanted to go out to eat at a Chinese restaurant, my only demand would be fish or fried rice (preferably both). However, most fried rice sold in restaurants is way too oily. In some cases, I could smell that the oil was not fresh, and I'd wonder if the oil was already used to fry something else. One of my mother's friends told us that she would develop a rash each time she eats fried rice.
If you like fried rice, I recommend making your own.
It's really not hard to make; many of my mother's friends first dishes are fried rice.
1. 2 green onions (scallion), chopped
2. 3 large eggs
3. 1/2 tsp. cooking wine and 1/2 tsp. corn starch
4. 1 tsp. salt
5. Pepper to taste
6. 4 Tbsp. oil, divided.
7. 4 cups long grain or brown rice, cold and cooked
8. 1 - 2 Tbsp. light soy sauce (optional)
9. 1/2 cup frozen peas, corns or other beans
10. 2/3 c. shrimps, peeled and divined
1. Put shrimp in a mixture of 1/2 tsp. cooking wine and corn starch, place in refrigerator for at least an hour.
2. Heat water in a pot. When it boils, add peas and corn. The pot stop boiling momentarily; when it resumes boiling, remove heat and drain the pot in a sieve. Set aside.
4. Lightly beat the eggs, adding a tiny pinch of salt.
5. Heat a wok or frying pan and add 2 Tbsp. oil. When the oil is hot, add the eggs. Stir and break up the eggs until they resemble scrambled eggs. Remove eggs and set aside.
6. Add 1 Tbsp. oil in a heated fried pan. Add shrimp and stir lightly until color turns pink. Set aside.
7. Add another Tbsp. oil in heated fried pan, and add rice. Stir-fry for a few minutes, using a wooden spoon to break the rice apart. Stir in the cooked vegetables. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
8. When the rice is heated thoroughly, add the egg and green onion and shrimp back into the pan. Mix well and turn off heat. If you like soy sauce, you can may add it now. Server hot.
1. You can substititue white with brown rice.
2. If you are a vegetarian, you can omit the shrimp.
3. You can use any of your favorite vegetables, such as carrots and shelled edamame beans. However, carrots have a stronger taste, so we usually don't add carrots when we use shrimp.
4. Some people like oyster sauce or ketchup. You can add these sauces if you want, but be sure to adjust the amount of salt as well.