Egg fried rice is the most basic and simplest of Chinese fried rice dishes. It’s mighty good! But add garlic and it’s even better.
But traditional Chinese egg fried rice doesn’t have garlic! I know. I know. But why make “traditional” the standard when “tastier” is a better standard?
This tradition versus better version debate reminds me of a paella incident a couple of months ago. Jamie Oliver cooked paella with chorizo and, on social media, some Spaniards were outraged. Personally, I rarely cook paella without chorizo because the flavorful oil from the sausages add a deeper color to the rice — not to mention a whole lot of added flavors. Chorizo might not be a good idea when cooking seafood paella but if it’s paella with meat or poultry, chorizo is such a lovely addition to the flavor base. Right. I’m no purist.
That said, here’s fully illustrated step-by-step guide for cooking garlic and egg fried rice.
It starts with beaten eggs cooked in hot oil. Whether or not you want a little browning on the surface of the egg is up to you. I’m a fan of the caramelization of the natural sugars of food so, yes, I do like a little browning in my eggs.
With the eggs partially set, they are stirred and cut through with the spatula into bite-size pieces. What “bite-size” is may be subjective so, as a guide, if a piece of egg is to large to be popped into the mouth of an average person, it is larger than bite-size. You may, of course, opt for smaller pieces.
The eggs are scooped out from the wok and additional oil is added to lightly brown chopped garlic. Do this over medium-low heat to allow the garlic to impart its flavor to the oil while acquiring a golden color in the process.
When the garlic is golden brown, add the rice. Toss to remove the garlic bits from the bottom of the pan to prevent them from burning. Now, turn up the heat and stir fry the rice with a bit of salt and pepper.
When the rice is heated through, add the eggs and stir. Turn off the heat, drizzle in a little sesame seed oil and toss a few more times.
If you want to add more color, flavor and texture to the already wonderful garlic and egg fried rice, sprinkle in some sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds before serving.
Garlic and Egg Fried Rice
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil divided
- 2 whole eggs lightly beaten
- 3/4 teaspoon salt divided
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper divided
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 cups cooked rice (must not be newly cooked), grains separated
- 1 tiny drizzle sesame seed oil
- sliced scallions to garnish
- toasted sesame seeds to garnish
Set the stove to medium heat. Pour one tablespoon cooking oil in a wok.
Pour in the eggs and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
When the eggs are set around the edges, stir around and, using the edge of the spatula, break into bite-size pieces or smaller.
Scoop out the eggs and set aside.
Pour the remaining tablespoon of cooking oil into the wok.
Over medium-low heat, cook the garlic, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.
Add the rice to the garlic. Sprinkle in the remaining salt and pepper. Toss well. Turn up the heat and stir fry the rice until heated through.
Add the eggs to the rice and toss to distribute.
Turn off the heat. Drizzle in a little sesame seed oil and toss a few times.
Optionally, sprinkle the garlic and egg fried rice with sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds before serving.