Plan B… bacon & bokchoy fried rice recipe

Bacon & bokchoy fried rice

I am yet to come across a Chinese restaurant at Mumbai which serves a fried rice that is similar to what one gets abroad.

The key difference is that restaurants here use long grained basmati rice. The grains of rice are separate.

The fried rice served in Chinese restaurants outside, and I am talking of Europe, Australia, Malaysia & Singapore here, are made with short grained rice with a texture that is more sticky than separate. The caveat of course is that I have not been to China yet so have no idea whether you even get a fried rice there. Let alone how it looks.

The other difference is that fried rice in restaurants abroad are flavoured in sauces and could serve as a one dish meal. The fried rice in most restaurants here except at 5 stars or at Ling’s is white…devoid of any flavours. Kolkata is different where you get fried rice favoured in soy sauce in old school Chinese restaurants.

I usually make noodles at home as rice which sticks together is where I draw my line when it comes to my love for the Orient.

There are times when I to want cook Chinese and yet feel lazy. Those are times when I make fried rice instead of noodles. Fried rice requires less tending as you cook… needs less oil too…plus you can take pre-boiled rice out of the fridge unlike noodles which are best had freshly boiled and tossed.

The basic template that I use is the same for both fried rice and hakka noodles.

Heat oil. Season with sauces & condiments. Add meat. Rice/ noodles. Add egg (if rice). Add vegetables at the end for crunch. Top with pre-scrambled eggs (if noodles).

I made a bacon & bokchoy rice yesterday. Bokchoy, part of what is locally called as ‘Chinese vegetables’ needs to cook a bit more and I added it before the vegetable crunch stage at the end.

Here’s the recipe in case you still need it after the template.

Bacon & bokchoy fried rice recipe (for 2)

Ingredients:

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  • 1 coffee mug of boiled rice
  • 1 egg
  • 2 strips of bacon---finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger and or garlic. 2 or 3 star anise (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of green and red chilli sauce
  • 1 stalk of bokchoy. Shredded
  • 1 teaspoon sugar. 1 teaspoon salt. a pinch of ajino moto if you want. Both optional
  • Half a lime or a teaspoon of vinegar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped vegetables – cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, mushrooms, corn, sprouts

Cook:

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  • Heat oil in a wok
  • Add ginger/ garlic/ star anise & stir for 10 sec
  • Add the sauces and stir
  • Add the meat – bacon in this case – stir
  • Add mushroom & sweet corn and stir. They take more time to cook. This is optional
  • Add rice. Stir
  • Add salt, sugar (restaurant Chinese usually has a touch of sweet), lime/ vinegar…ajinomoto pinch if you want to. Stir till the rice takes the colour of the sauces
  • Add the shredded bokchoy. Stir
  • Break and add the egg directly onto the rice. I’ve seen this on TV shows and this is how pad thai noodles are made too. Keep stirring the rice and the egg so that the egg begins to wrap around the rice in tiny shreds. This is when the rice, and I use basmati, begins to break and looks more authentic
  • Add the veggies at the end. Toss a bit and turn off the flame while the vegetables still retain their crunch

This is a one dish meal. At the most finely chop chillies and add to a mix of soy and vinegar to add on to the rice.

When I first came to India as a kid I would refuse to have Indian food. My mom would often make me fried rice then.

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Comments

Kajal said…
Well cuz what they use here is Basmati, and outside they use Thai rice, which is thicker shorter, more glutinous and creamy and hold the flavor better.
Try making it next time Thai rice and see the difference.
Wonderful blog you have here Kalyan, and I'm so glad to have found it.
I don't eat pork but I'll try n substitute it with some "Meat " lol :p
PeeGee said…
Looks Yum... Chinese food is my fav, provided it is from Tangra, Kolkata. Anywhere else... I simply do not like it. The Chinese you get in US is sweet... not hint of sweetness, but SWEET. Ami to eikhane eshe Chinese khaoa chere diyechi. I have a Malay friend who made fried rice using Jasmine rice and anchovy. Not the one soaked in oil/brine, but the simply dried ones, u get in asian market. My husband said, "Sutki Maacher Fried Rice; ami khabo na kichu tei...!!" But he had to eat his words and rice too, because it was soo delicious.
You do get fried rice in China. The commonest you get all over China is "Yangchow" style fried rice which is basically fried rice with eggs, shrimps and some pork. This is available in restaurants from Beijing to Guangzhou (north to south). You have to ask for this specific style and it is very similar to the fried rice we get in India. No vegetables though.
The thing is this is not common to eat if you are eating with a Chinese friend. They eat very few carbs in the meal. Most of the large meals are usually multiple courses of meat, fish, poultry with usually one dish of tofu, one of greens and followed by a token carb, could be a type of noodles or rice in a very small quantity. The meal usually ends with a plate of fruit.
The knife said…
Hey Kajal, lovely meeting you the other day and discovering your wonderful blog.

I guess customers like me are responsible for the basmati rice conundrum here. The Thai sticky Jasmine rice doesn't work for me. I like to be a purist but sticky rice is my Achilles heel

And yes meat is good :)
The knife said…
I've had the Chinese fried rice in KL which had anchovies. Quite liked it. They use pork lard too
The knife said…
thanks so much for writing in.

I guess all food traditions get mutated as they travel across borders....but I still like to taste things or at least know how they were meant to be in their original form.

One more thing that i noticed is that they normally have rice in small bowls and with chopsticks. Designed to ensure that you don't over eat :)