Monday, 7 January 2019

Fried Rice Anyone?

Call it Bokkeum-bap, Chāhan, Chǎo fàn, Khao phat or Nasi goreng, it’s basically plain old fried rice that presents itself in many mouthwatering variations. Found in many parts of the world, you can have it spicy, vegetarian, seafood, Thai style, Chinese style…the choice is yours!

Yeung Chow Fried Rice
[Flickr: AleCostaRica05 ]

What is Fried Rice?
Believed to be developed during the Sui Dynasty (A.D. 589–618) in the city of Yangzhou in eastern Jiangsu province in China, fried rice is rice that has been stir-fried in a wok or a frying pan & is usually mixed with other ingredients such as eggs, vegetables, seafood, or meat. It is often eaten by itself or as an accompaniment to another dish. Whatever its variation or its geographical disposition, it always leads back to China.

Haitian Shrimp Fried Rice
[Flickr: Steven Depolo]

The Science of Fried Rice
Two researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology of USA, David Hu and Hungtang Ko, conducted a study on the tossing techniques used for fried rice and stir-fry. They observed & recorded expert chefs making the dish at 2 restaurants in Taiwan. 

What did they discover? Making fried rice involves 2 types of motion – translational & rotational. We will not go into details of these 2 motions as it could get complicated [refer to glossary]. 

The cooking process for fried rice basically involves a system of repeated cycles and phases. Each cycle lasts about 1/3 of a second. The cycles are broken down into 4 phases where the chef would move the wok forward, backward or tilt it side to side. This is to ensure no portion of rice touches the hot wok for too long & risk it getting burnt. The ingredients are hence constantly mixed, cooked, and cooled. 

Kimchi Fried Rice
[Noob Cook]

Is Fried Rice healthy?
Whether one cup of fried rice is healthy depends on what we add when making it…the calories can range from a low of 67 to as high as 1000 (

Can fried rice be healthy? If you prefer super healthy fried rice, you can use brown rice instead of white rice. But then what you add to the rice or its accompaniments (e.g. fried chicken) are equally important. 

There are several ways to make healthy fried rice:
Use brown rice (has a higher fibre content than white rice & is more slowly digested)
Use oil to a minimum amount
Cook eggs first
Pre-cook proteins before adding to rice
Accompaniments prepared in a heathy manner

Explore ways and means to create your very own fried rice. Be innovative. Do not be afraid -after all its just the humble fried rice you’re trying to re-create!

1. Fried Rice Being Cooked in a Wok During a Five-Second Interval [0:04]

2. Cooking Yangzhou fried rice| CCTV English [2:08] 

3. Crab Fried Rice - Thai Street Vendor Flips It [3:44]

1. Translational Motion
A type of motion in which all parts of an object move the same distance in a given time.
E.g. Vehicles moving on a road

2. Rotational Motion
When an object moves about an axis and different parts of it move by different distances in a given interval of time.
E.g. Blades of a rotating fan

Shared by Azni Zainal Abidin
Guest Blogger


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