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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Yeung Chow Fried Rice 扬州炒饭

This is what I will personally classify as one of the classic and most popular fried rice in the Chinese restaurants in Malaysia. I have not an idea what the history to this is like, whether or not it really originated from the city the name bears or if this version of fried rice is made exactly like it was intended when first created. But despite all the unknowns, I must say that these Chinese restaurants have at least been somewhat consistent in defining this Yeung Chow Fried Rice 扬州炒饭 on the whole as if a common ground to the definition of this has always been achieved and agreed on all along. They are always made with the same few ingredients that even I have since and still made believe are the essentials in a plate of Yeung Chow Fried Rice 扬州炒饭. They are the Chinese barbequed pork (char siu), shrimps (whole or diced), eggs and balanced with something green (most of the time it will be the sweet peas). Each looks simple enough on their own really, but have them tossed together with the rice plus a bit of this and a bit of that of some real simple seasonings, there is something about this fried rice that has always captured my heart. And if I were to really pin point at one - I guess it must be the Chinese barbequed pork in its sweet glaze with a tad of the char grilled taste that makes the key to defining a plate of good Yeung Chow Fried Rice 扬州炒饭.

Quoting from the previous post on Kimchi Bokkeumbap (Kimchi Fried Rice) 김치 볶음밥, "As with any other varieties of fried rice, leftover rice always makes better fried rice, having had the chance to slightly dry up overnight chilled in the refrigerator. But making fried rice is always still possible even without any leftover rice in hand. Cook some rice well ahead of time with, use a little less water than what usually is required (reduce by a 1/4 maybe), remove the rice from the cooker as soon as it's done cooking, spread them out to let the steam escapes well and leave to air dry right until cooking time. Same good result, same level of satisfaction!".

Yeung Chow Fried Rice 扬州炒饭
Serves 4-5
3 cups cooked brown jasmine rice (or any other types or rice)
2/3lb Chinese barbequed pork, diced
8 shrimps (weighing about 1/3lb), shelled, deveined and diced
2/3 cup frozen green peas, defrosted
*6 eggs, beaten with a few dashes of white pepper powder and 1½ tsp light soy sauce
3 stalks spring onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 slices ginger of medium thickness
1 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste 
2½ tbsps cooking oil

Shrimp marinade
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar 

* Egg yolks to be adjusted according to personal health preference. I retained half making this, discarding the rest.

1. Begin with marinating the diced shrimps. Set aside.
2. Heat up a non-stick frying pan with 1/2 tbsp cooking oil. Once heated, add in the beaten egg and let set for a few seconds. Stir and continue folding and breaking regularly until they are all set looking brownish. Set the scrambled eggs aside.
3. Heat up the wok with the remaining cooking oil. Once well heated, add in the garlic and ginger and stir fry until fragrant. Add in the shrimps and again stir fry until the shrimp changes color.
4. Bring in the rice and stir regularly to make sure that they are heated right to the core, breaking down any clumps of rice in the process.
5. Add in the barbequed pork and the sweet peas, mixing them well with the rest. Fold the rice regularly - they always have a tendency to get burnt when left undisturbed directly above the heat.
6. Drizzle in the light soy slowly around the inner rim of the wok and add in the sugar. Stir to mix and incorporate well with the rest.
7. Add in the chopped scallions and re-introduce the scrambled eggs into the wok. Mix well.
8. Add in salt and white pepper powder to taste. Remove from heat and serve warm.

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