Making Chinese Rice Dishes
In China a man who’s lost his job is said to have had his rice bowl broken. While out on the street people greet each other by asking not ‘How are you?’ but, ‘Have you had your rice today?’
The use of rice in these sayings demonstrates the importance of the grain in Chinese culture, and it’s been part of the Chinese way of life for, probably, thousands of years. Archaeological evidence suggests that rice was first cultivated in Korea as long ago as 4,000 B.C. From there it spread northwards to China and gradually out to the rest of the world.
Boiled Rice(serves 2 people)
Place 1 cup uncooked long grain rice in a sieve and hold under running water to rinse out some of the starch. Place the washed rice and 1½ cups water in a saucepan and bring the water to the boil. When it’s boiling turn down the heat to medium-low and put the lid on. Leave the lid off slightly to allow steam to escape. After a few minutes when the level of the water has gone down, reduce the heat to low and fit the lid tightly on the saucepan. Simmer for another 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Using a fork, fluff up the rice and serve.For fried rice, boil the rice the day before if possible. Spread it out on a baking sheet and allow to dry thoroughly. Break up any lumps with your fingers.
Egg Fried Rice
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- White pepper to taste
- Oil for frying
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, cored, deseeded and finely diced
- 2 oz frozen peas
- 4 cups cold boiled rice
- 1- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
You can vary the vegetables to suit your taste and what’s in your fridge. For a meal in one dish try Chicken Fried Rice. Use the same basic ingredients and method as above but add 8 oz diced cooked chicken with the rice. Stir well. Add 1 tablespoon oyster sauce along with the soy sauce. Make sure it’s all thoroughly heated before serving.
Instead of scrambling the eggs, cook as an omelette and serve sliced as a garnish on top of the dish.
Prawn Fried Rice
- 1 red chilli, cored, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon grated root ginger
- 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, cored, deseeded and diced into small pieces
- 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into slivers
- 1 cup small prawns
- 1 small tin pineapple chunks, drained
- 2 cups cold cooked rice
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- A pinch of sugar
- Oil for frying