Monday, June 29, 2009

Chicken and Cucumber Fried Rice

Chicken and Cucumber Fried Rice
Home Cooking


Fried rice is a classic - simple but so very tasty. I think it's often forgotten about but in my eyes, a good fried rice dish can be absolutely dominating. The other bonus is that you can incorporate a lot of spare or left over ingredients you have sitting in your fridge.

I had some cooked chicken in the fridge so I wanted to use that up in my rice dish. You can use barbecued chicken or any other form of cooked chicken (as long as it doesn't have over-powering flavors). The idea is that you can add in any meat/veggies you like. I think chicken and cucumber is a nice combination. I kept this fried rice dish nice and clean as opposed to dark and heavily seasoned.


I know the ingredients list is long but it's fried rice; lots of the things are optional and the quantities are adjustable.

Chicken and Cucumber Fried Rice
Serves 2

Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp light soy
  • 3 green shallots (white only - reserve the green for garnishing), sliced
  • 1/2 large brown onion, sliced
  • 1/3 cup of left over chicken
  • 1 cucumber, chopped into thick sticks
  • 1/3 cup bean sprouts
  • a few slices of canned bamboo
  • 1 cup of cooked rice (preferably day old rice because it's more dry and separated)
  • 1 tsp szechuan spice
  • 2 tsp dashi stock powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • salt (if required)
  • 2 tbsp fried onion
  • 2 small red chilies, chopped (for garnishing)
  • more fried onion (for garnishing)
Procedure:

1. Mix together the minced garlic and ginger.
2. Heat up a bit of vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan or wok. Throw in 1/2 the garlic and ginger mixture. Mix the tsp of light soy into the beaten eggs. When the garlic and ginger is fragrant and beginning to turn golden, pour the egg in and cook it as an omelet. Break up the egg into smaller pieces and reserve.3. Add a bit more oil to the wok and the rest of the garlic and ginger mixture. Once it's fragrant, start stir-frying the onion and shallot slices until just softened. Set this aside with the omelet.4. Stir-fry the rice with a bit more oil until starting to turn golden. Add the chicken, cucumber, bean sprouts and bamboo and cook till each element is heated throughout.
5. Return the omelet, onion and shallots to the wok. Add the fried onion and stir-fry everything together.
6. Sprinkle on the dashi seasoning and add a bit of soy or salt if required. Season with sugar and szechuan spice to your liking.
7. Garnish the fried rice with some chopped shallots, fried onion and sliced chili. Serve immediately.


Fried rice is all about getting the different components cooked and ready to go and finally bringing them all together in the end. If you're making modifications to my recipe, just keep that in mind and you'll be all good. Season as you go along and adjust once you've finished adding everything to make sure the flavors are perfect.

I thought this dish was delicious. The thing about fried rice is that each combination of ingredients has its own 'personality' and differs depending on what seasoning you use etc etc. I loved the flavors here - the dashi stock was subtle but added a unique edge that I haven't tasted in fried rice in the past. The szechuan spice also elevated the ingredients... I just dig chili and spiciness.

If I have one critical comment, it's that there wasn't enough CRUNCH. Maybe some crisp snow peas or capsicum would have provided a nice textural addition to compliment the other components of the dish.

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