Substitute seasoned chicken for the traditional char siu pork and you have delicious Chinese-style chicken fried rice. To complement the chicken, add everything that Chinese fried rice has — eggs, Chinese sausage, oyster sauce and sesame seed oil. Sweet peas are traditional too but if you’re not a fan of peas, you can use finely sliced scallions instead.
To make good chicken fried rice, use medium-grain or long-grain rice — never short-grain rice which is too starchy which causes the grains to stick together. Day-old rice is best because it has dried out a bit making it easy to separate the grains before the rice is thrown into the pan. “Day-old”, of course, is a rather relative term. If you cook your rice in the evening make fried rice the next morning, it’s the same as cooking rice in the morning and making fried rice on the evening of the same day. So, take “day-old” to mean about an eight-hour interval between the time the rice is cooked and the time you make the fried rice.
Chicken Fried Rice
- 1 cup diced skinless chicken fillets (white or brown meat, both will work)
- 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon rice wine
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
- 2 tablespoons chopped carrot
- 1/4 cup sweet peas or 2 tablespoons finely sliced scallions
- 1 Chinese sausage chopped
- 3 cups cold rice mashed to separate the grains
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame seed oil
- Place the chicken in a bowl. Add a teaspoonful of salt, half a teaspoonful of pepper, the garlic and rice wine. Mix well. Set aside.
- Heat a wok or frying pan. Pour in a tablespoonful of oil. When hot, pour in the beaten eggs and cook just until set. Scoop out, transfer to a chopping board and cut into pieces. You can cut the eggs into strips, into chunks or into teeny weeny bits.
- Pour the remaining oil into the cooking pan and heat. Stir fry the chicken. Depending on how small or large the pieces are, this step can take anywhere from four to six minutes.
- Add the shallots, carrot and peas (or scallions) and stir fry for 30 seconds.
- Throw in the chopped Chinese sausage and stir fry for another 30 seconds.
- Add the rice to the pan. Sprinkle generously with salt, and a little bit of pepper. Stir fry until the rice is heated through.
- Drizzle in the oyster and hoisin sauces. Throw in the cooked eggs. Toss and stir until the sauces are evenly distributed.
- Taste the rice. Stir in more salt, if needed.
- Turn off the heat. Drizzle in the sesame seed oil and toss a few more times.
- Serve the chicken fried rice at once.
See also the recipe for the creamy lemon butter garlic shrimps on the background of the photos.