Hunger Pangs! How to cook Yangzhou fried rice

Your stomach grumbles continuously and the only thing that’s on your mind right now is that mouth-watering plate of nasi lemak panas and a glass of teh tarik. You look at your phone and the time is 12.23am.

Going out to the mamak is not an option because your parents have trust issues or maybe there are no mamaks available nearby your housing area (*sighs). The next best option, sadly, is to cook yourself a bowl of Maggi (disclaimer: this article is not sponsored by Maggi) that never seem to disappoint in such circumstances, cause that’s how we Malaysians roll right?

Well, it doesn’t have to be instant noodles always if you could up your cooking game and learn to prepare some new dishes to cure that occasional hunger pangs that all of us experience out of nowhere.

So, what am I going to share today? It’s none other than the most lip-smacking nasi goreng recipe that you will ever come across in the internet realm (yes, even Gordon Ramsay will approve!).

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the simple yet delicious Yangzhou Fried Rice. Before we dive deeper into the ingredients and how to cook this dish, let’s look at how it came about in the first place.

Based on the name of dish, some of you might have guessed correctly that it originated from Yangzhou city in the Jiangsu province of China. Apparently, this recipe of fried rice is the most famous one in all of China and all the other versions of fried rice are simply tweaked and adapted versions of it that suits the local taste buds.

The famous Yangzhou Chinese cleaver

Yangzhou is famous for its Chinese cleavers that are produced locally and the knife skills that are used while preparing the ingredients using those very cleavers gave this dish its fame. A little of history for you there.

Now, moving on to the most interesting part now. The ingredients that goes into this recipe are probably already available in your kitchen, thanks to your mom… or dad. You should be able to prepare the ingredients and get done with cooking in less than an hour, or maybe within 30 minutes if you happen to be familiar with the cooking process I’d say.

What? Never cooked before? Fret’ not my friends as this recipe is very beginner-friendly as well and I’m glad to initiate you into the world of cooking. Trust me, it’s not as difficult as it sounds, however, I can’t say the same about washing the dishes after you’re done with cooking (give this article a like if you hate dish washing after cooking as much as I do, LOL).

Here’s a list of the ingredients that you will require for this dish:

1. Cooked rice (cooked the day before preferably)
2. Proteins of your choice, diced (prawns, chicken, beef, pork, tofu, etc.)
3. Vegetables of your choice, diced (mushrooms, carrot, green peas)
4. Spring onion, chopped into small pieces
5. Garlic, chopped into small pieces
6. Eggs, beaten (2 or 3, up to you)



Now that we have an idea of the ingredients that goes into the Yangzhou fried rice, let’s cook! Before we start cooking, make sure all the ingredients listed are ready and placed near you because the cooking is fast and it only takes up about 10 to 15 minutes.

There are two parts to this cooking method. First things first, place a wok on the stove and turn it on, the heat should be put on medium. Once the wok has heated up slightly, add in a reasonable amount of cooking oil (4 tablespoons estimated). Let the oil heat up and you can proceed to add in the aromatics, which are garlic and spring onions (be careful, the hot oil might splatter at this point!). Give them a good stir with a ladle or kitchen scraper until you can smell the incredible aroma and then you can toss in the proteins of your choice. The chicken, beef or pork may cook slightly longer compared to tofu or prawns, so constantly keep an eye to check. It should only take about 3 to 6 minutes on average.

Next, add in all the vegetables into the wok together with a dash of salt and give everything a good stir for less than a minute. After that, you can put aside these ingredients onto a plate and empty the wok for the second part.

As for the second part, you should add in some cooking oil again to the wok (reasonable amount, 4 to 5 tablespoons estimated) and pour in the beaten eggs. Whip the eggs around with a ladle, almost scrambling them but not quite, so that they cook evenly. As soon as the egg dries up or cooks, toss in the cooked rice and at this point, you can add in some cooking oil to avoid the rice from sticking to the bottom of the wok.

Add in some salt as well for seasoning and proceed to mix everything well together. That should take around 2 minutes after which you can incorporate the ingredients that you have put aside in a plate from the first part to the wok now. Mix every ingredient in the wok well to give them a chance to harmonize with each other.

And there you have it ladies and gentlemen, your very first, home-cooked, Yangzhou fried rice. That wasn’t so difficult after all now, was it? Make sure you give it a try yourself and let me know how it went in the comment section below!



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