AT A GLANCE
This classic dish is both a feature course at festivities and top-notch comfort food made in moments, writes Tony Tan. Whip some up for Chinese New Year. Chop chop.
|01||Gently loosen the cooked rice with your fingertips or a ladle to separate the grains as much as possible, then set aside.|
|02||Heat 500ml water in a wok over medium-high heat. Once it’s boiling, add prawns and cook until just pink (1 minute). Rinse prawns under cold water, drain and set aside. Rinse the wok, wipe out with absorbent paper and return to high heat.|
|03||Add 2 tbsp oil to wok and swirl to coat. Add egg and fry until just set or half cooked (30 seconds), then set aside in a bowl or push to the side of the wok.|
|04||Add remaining oil to wok and, when very hot, carefully add chicken and stir-fry until partially cooked (1-2 minutes).|
|05||Add the char siu and rice and stir-fry over high heat, moving everything around to prevent it from sticking (2-3 minutes). Use a ladle or wok scoop to break up any lumps until the grains are separated.|
|06||Add the prawns, peas and egg to the wok (or incorporate egg if pushed to the side) and stir-fry until rice is very hot and fragrant with wok hei (by now the rice grains on the side of the wok should pop or jump; 2-3 minutes).|
|07||Add spring onion, sesame oil and soy sauce, and season to taste with sea salt and pepper if you wish, then stir-fry for another 30 seconds or until everything is coated and well coloured.|
|08||Taste and adjust seasoning if required, then serve at once with chillies and soy sauce.|
Note Heat is of vital importance to achieving superior fried rice, so if you find your wok is small, I recommend you cook the fried rice in two batches. Although this recipe is a Chinese classic, you can vary the ingredients as you like - I've had a dressed-up version with XO sauce, for example - but just don't call it Yangzhou fried rice. Barbecue pork, char siu, is available from Chinese barbecue shops.