How to cook perfect ‘Special Fried Rice’ on a budget

Posted on: 22 October 2010 by Mark O'haire

Easy to follow tips for special fried rice.

The first thing you need to do, though, is buy an electric automatic rice cooker. They are truly versatile and only cost around £20. The first rice cookers were manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric in the 1940s, and have evolved from the first basic metal non-automated models into today's automatic versions with their own removable ‘non-stick’ bowls. The beauty of the automatic rice cooker is that you need only add rice and water, turn it on and, in only 20 minutes, the rice is ready to eat as plain boiled rice or for use in a range of other dishes. Best of all, the non-stick bowl is easy to clean, but do remember to wash the rice in a separate bowl as cleaning will often damage the non-stick bowl's coating.

Fried rice

Now, here is how you go about cooking rice:-

(1) If you do not have a rice cooker: wash the rice with water and rinse it several times. Then put the rice in a saucepan or pot big enough for it to cook without spilling over. Next, add water. At this point I use a method I learnt from my parents. I use my middle finger and dip it onto the surface of the rice. At this point, the water should measure up to more or less an inch on your finger. Next, bring it to the boil. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to simmer until all the water is absorbed. (Tip: Use a saucepan or pot with a glass lid so that you can see it easly. Also, if the rice is under-cooked then add a little more water and continue simmering);

(2) If you do have an automatic electric rice cooker, follow the same steps as above and use slightly less water as the evaporation will be less on a rice cooker. (Tip: A drop of cooking oil and a pinch of salt will reduce any stickiness.) The rice should cook perfectly with just a touch of the button. Don’t use the cooked rice straight away, however. It has to be completely cool before you use it to make fried rice. (Tip: Why not save time and cook 3 times more rice than you need and store the rest in plastic containers in the fridge or freezer for future use?) Once the rice has cooled, use wooden chopsticks or your fingers to separate the rice as this will help frying later;

(3) Now for my Special Fried Rice recipe! Feel free to substitute the ingredients with different types meat or vegetable but remember to vary your frying time accordingly:-

Put a small amount of oil in the heated non-stick wok;


Add a finely chopped onion, celery and spring onions and stir-fry them until they're nearly brown and then put it aside;


Next put some more oil into the wok and add thinly sliced chicken, bacon, prawns or shrimps and fry them together. Once they are cooked, set them aside along with the cooked vegetables (Tip: Clean the woke each time in hot water to remove any stickiness);


Then addsome oil into the wok, heat and, when it is hot enough, add the boiled rice. Put some extra oil ontop. (Tips: Sesame seed oil is ideal as it gives it some extra flavour). Then, start frying, being sure to turn the rice regularly. Add soya sauce and a pinch of ground pepper, then add some more oil and crack one or two eggs and stir them into the rice. Mix together and continue to fry;


Finally add the meat and vegetables, mixing them with the rice. Continue to fry until golden brown, then add soy sauce to taste if required. You may wish to some finely chopped spring onions and roasted sesame seeds before serving.


And that is how you make the Shopaholic's Special Fried Rice! 

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