In Chinese households the leftover rice from the night before is never thrown out. It’s “recycled” by frying with egg, vegetables and bits of meat. Once you have the basic technique down, experiment with different ingredients. Most Chinese families have at least one electric rice cooker. Don’t worry if you don’t have one. Use a cooking pot and the triple rinse method.
Triple rinse method. Measure your rice into a cooking pot. Usually one cup of dry rice will yield enough for two people. Triple rinse under cold tap water, pouring off the excess water each time. Even if the package says not to rinse, do it anyway. You don’t want “sticky rice” and it also brings good luck!
Pour off the excess rinse water and then add two cups of cold water for every cup of uncooked rice.
Put the pot on to boil. You should stir it once or twice to be sure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. However, once it starts to boil, don’t stir; all you need to do is let it boil for about a minute and then turn the unit off. Cover it and go check your email!
Usually, fresh is best. But with fried rice that’s not the case. You need to be sure the moisture is out of the rice, so let it sit for a while. You can even put it in the refrigerator overnight.
The secret to perfect fried rice is that you stir-fry all the ingredients separately and then at the last minute stir-fry them all together! Some Chinese cooks add a little soy sauce to give the rice a golden brown appearance.
To make egg-fried rice you can either scramble the eggs first or fry them and slice into bite size strips.
The list of ingredients you can stir-fry with your rice is limited only by your imagination. The most famous stir-fry rice recipe is probably Yangzhou Fried Rice which features bits of roast pork, prawns, scallions and peas.
The number 8 is lucky in China because it is “ba” which sounds like “fa” – which is Chinese for good fortune. So, good luck and good fortune to you.