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Cantonese Fried Rice

Another favorite of the kids. I developed this when they were very young, and the only Chinese restaurants around were the traditional Cantonese style.  This was before Sichuan was available, and other southeast Asian cuisines such as Vietnamese or Thai were unheard of.  So it was that when you ordered fried rice it was always a dark brown color, very different than the kind produced from recipes in most of today's oriental cookbooks.  The secret was the thick soy sauce.  This is very different from traditional soy sauces.  It's a deep dark, almost black color, and has the consistency of molasses. This shouldn't be surprising since it contains molasses, which gives it a slightly sweet flavor.  You can usually find this in the oriental section of most supermarkets or you can always order it online.

1 cup white rice, uncooked
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
2-3 large eggs
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon thick soy sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bunch scallions, diced
1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or pale dry sherry
¼ cup peanut oil

Cook the rice according to package directions.  The rice can be cooked ahead of time and the temperature does not matter, but it should be as dry as possible.

Break the eggs in a mixing bowl, add the wine, and beat with a wire whisk until mixed thoroughly.

Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok over medium to high heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add the scallion and stir-fry for an additional 15 seconds.

Add the egg mixture and scramble, breaking up the large pieces of egg. Keep frying beyond the usual scrambled egg stage until the concoction is quite dry, but try not to let the eggs start browning (a few brown spots are OK).

Add the rice, bean sprouts, oyster sauce and thick soy sauce. Stir-fry continuously for 8-10 minutes.

Try adding different things to the fried rice such as green peas, pea pods, mushrooms (previously sautéed to reduce moisture) or slivers of chicken or pork.  Experiment with,different bean sauces, sesame oil etc., to create different flavor sensations.


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