On this day, we had run out of fish sauce and it was a rice day hence, my aunt suggested that we make fried rice instead of the regular white rice and fish sauce. In my home, we always have vegetables in the freezer so, getting the ingredients for fried rice was not a challenge. However, there was one missing ingredient: sweetcorn. What is fried rice without sweetcorn? Is it tasty or not?
Well in this recipe, I will be sharing with you how to prepare tasty, crispy, yummy fried rice with no sweetcorn. If you have access to sweetcorn while you prepare for this meal, you can use it. But, with this recipe, you can be rest assured to have a tasty meal even without sweetcorn. This recipe is really unique in its method of preparation.
As a teenage girl in the kitchen, I had a cousin who used to prepare fried rice by frying the rice till “golden brown“. But growing up, I neglected this method because while my cousin cooked back then, it always seemed quite stressful stirring and turning the rice continuously in a bid to prevent it from burning even though the rice often got stuck to the bottom of the pot. Anyway, my aunt who is a chef recently re-introduced and enlightened me about this method.
This method is actually called “Sautéing”. It is different from frying in that the fat used is very little in relation to the quantity of food immersed and it involves constant motion of the food in the pan.
Ideally and unlike my cousin, onions are included in this method and the cooking process requires that both onions and rice be sautéed till translucent and golden brown.
Translucent means to sauté to a point when the food has absorbed the oil in which it is being cooked. After achieving translucency, the food is left to toast. It is the toasting that gives it a golden brown color. Aside from this obvious appearance, toasting locks in more flavor into the food and the translucency keeps the rice grains separate.
Read the recipe below for the step by step guide to preparing this golden fried rice using the sautéing method.
In using this method, three actions are important:
Sautéing onions as a base for rice: Doing this prevents the rice from easily sticking to the bottom of the pot, and gives it the sweet flavor of onions which contributes to the overall taste of the fried rice.
Adding salt to onions when frying: this is a process that helps to draw out moisture from the onions.
Washing rice with salt: This is an age-long method of reducing the starch level in rice. Typically, the process washes off some starch present in the rice into the water used for washing.
How to Make Fried Rice by Sautéing
- Chopping board
- Knife to cut vegetables
- Bowl to wash rice
- Strainer to drain the rice
- Ladle to stir rice while cooking
- Pot for cooking
- Cooking gas
- 6 cups Rice
- 6 Carrots
- 3 ltrs Hot water
- 1.5 cup Vegetable oil
- 1 large Onion
- 2 medium Green pepper
- 2 handful Green peas
- 20-25 Runner beans
- 8 Spring onions
- 2 cups Chicken stock
- 2 tablespoon curry
- 2 teaspoon thyme
- 8 Stock cubes 3 Knorr and 1 Tasty Chicken cubes
- 3 teaspoon salt Kindly use your discretion for the salt
- Wash rice properly with salt to remove as much starch as possible because with this method of preparing fried rice, you would not be parboiling the rice. So, you can wash thrice with water and then add about two tablespoons of salt to wash the rice the fourth time.
- After washing, pour rice into a strainer and allow the water to drain.
- Now, you need to prepare the vegetables to be used for the rice. Chop the spring onion and runner beans, dice the carrot, green pepper, and some onion while you slice the remaining onion. Wash the green peas and also set aside.
- Add the cups of oil into a heated pot and allow it to get hot.
- Pour the sliced onions, a teaspoon of salt, leave to cook briefly, and then pour all the rice into this pot for sautéing. This is the most important step of this recipe and you have to patiently stir the rice as it fries. While stirring, make sure you continuously flip the rice from the base up so that the rice can evenly sauté until it's translucent and golden brown.
- Do you remember that we have onions inside this frying rice? Yes, throughout this process, the onions ought to retain its freshness just as it was before you poured the rice into it. However, it is not impossible to have one or two slices of onions get burnt in the frying process. Whenever you notice a burnt slice of onion in the rice, it means that you've left the rice to sit in the same position for too long. Thus, if you were resting, kindly get your ladle back, remove the burnt slice and continue to stir the rice until its golden brown.
- Next, add your stock, curry, thyme into the rice and stir evenly. Then, add half of the hot water, stock cube and a teaspoon of salt to taste. Stir the rice, over the pot and allow the rice to cook.
- Check the doneness of the rice after about 10-15 minutes and add some more water, the diced onion, green peas and taste the rice for the salt level. If you think there is need for more salt, you can add more. Continue to check doneness and water level until the rice is softened to your taste. Add the additional water gradually making sure that the quantity of water used does not exceed 3litres. The fried rice is best enjoyed when it is not too soft.
- Once you are sure that there is no need for more water and the water is almost dried, pour the carrot, spring onions, and green pepper and allow the rice to be completely done. After it's done, stir the rice by lifting and flipping careful not to mash the rice.
- Serve hot with whatever accompaniments you want.