Growing up my family only ordered takeaways on a special occasions where we would stick to 4 dishes; chicken and cashew nuts, beef and broccoli in oyster sauce, egg fried rice and prawn crackers.
Sadly over the years our favourite takeaway changed hands and the dishes weren’t quite the same so I decided to learn how to make them from scratch.
This is a fancier version of egg fried rice, it can be made with all sorts of left overs (peas, spinach, cauliflower, beansprouts, mangetout all work really well) and it works well with beef or pork.
Chinese fried rice
Yield 4-6 portions
- 1 cup of rice
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 2 eggs
- A handful of cashew nuts
- A handful of shiitake or oriental mushrooms
- ¼ cup of soy sauce
- Sesame oil
- 1 clove of garlic – minced
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger
- Sesame seeds
- Start by cooking the rice and get the chicken ready for cooking (see notes)
- Prepare the vegetables. Chop the onion, mushrooms and pepper, mince the garlic, grate the ginger, chop the broccoli into florets and peel the carrot into ribbons – put to one side.
- Heat two separate frying pans with sesame oil
- Pan 1: add the chicken to a hot pan and turn down the heat slightly so the chicken caramelises. Cook the chicken for 4 mins on one side, turn over for a further 3 mins, check the chicken to see if it is cooked - then remove and leave to rest covered in foil. Add the cashew nuts to the pan and toast until golden (watch these carefully as they burn quickly) take off the heat and leave to one side.
- Pan 2: add the onion and cook until soft, followed by the garlic and ginger and cook for a further 2-3 mins. Finally add the pepper, mushrooms and carrot and cook gently for 5 mins.
- Whilst the vegetables are cooking, slice the chicken breasts into thin strips
- When the rice is done, add the rice to the vegetables and pour over the soy sauce
- Push the vegetables an rice to the side of the pan and crack two eggs into the pan and lightly scramble. Once the eggs are almost set, stir though the vegetables and rice.
- Add the chicken and cashew nuts and give everything a good stir
- Serve the dish topped with plenty of sesame seeds
- This dish will keep well in the fridge and is delicious cold or lunch
I've always been scared and intimidated with cooking meat, especially chicken (can probably thank the Dettol adverts for that) so to compensate I'd always over cook my chicken until it was rubbery.
Even when I would try to cook my chicken in a more forgiving manner I was still miles away from the chicken I'd get in restaurants so I decided to turn to Youtube for help and come across Brothers Green Eats.
Their video shows how to prepare a chicken breast which I tried for the first time for this recipe and I'm so pleased with the results. The chicken had flavour! It was moist, tender and had a beautiful golden colour.
Even if I'm in a rush I won't revert to dicing a chicken breast and adding it everything else I'm cooking and simply hope for the best as I'm not that lucky.
To make this into a veggie dish substitute the chicken for more vegetables. I like to add more peppers and peas.