Friday nights was Chinese night at my house, we would order a spread of: fried chicken, egg rolls, wontons, egg drop soup and shrimp fried rice. Oh, and plenty of soy sauce and duck sauce too. Yum! Unfortunately, our favorite Chinese restaurant left the neighborhood and it would not be until my teenage years that another good Chinese restaurant would move in the neighborhood.
It was not until I was hired as a dishwasher at a Rock-n-Sake Bar and Sushi that I learned how to make fried rice. The secret to making fried rice is a hot skillet. Of course, in restaurants they use woks on super high heat but home stoves do not put out the same amount of heat. That’s not going to stop us from making a wonder bowl of fried rice. You just need to pay attention to a few key areas and you’ll have amazing fried rice at home in 30 minutes or less.
First, you want to use a heavy bottom skillet, I prefer cast iron because it holds heat well and distributes heat evenly. Preferably you want to cook over a high heat. However, If you are not comfortable with high temperature cooking, then cook over medium heat. Just let the skillet sit over the fire for 2 minutes before you begin cooking. This will ensure a piping hot skillet.
The flavor of fried rice comes from the iron in the woks and the many years of cooking in the same skillets. This is another reason why I prefer cast iron skillets. Even the woks made for home cooks don’t distribute heat as well as cast iron does. A hot skillet is so important with this dish!
Next, in the heavy bottom skillet add some oil and onions and stir for about 2-3 minutes until onions begin to caramelize. Then you add your rice, soy sauce, seasonings and green onions. The best rice to use is rice that is 1-3 days old because it’ll be a little drier and will absorb the soy sauce better. If you are adding shrimp or lobster you would add at this point. Shellfish takes no time to cook.
No fried rice is complete without egg. Take an egg in a non-stick skillet and scramble. Be cautious not to overcook your eggs because you will be adding them to the hot rice mixture and they will continue to cook. Cut the fire off and garnish with some more green onions and it’s ready to serve.
Of course, I just couldn’t make fried rice without adding a little twist by making a spicy soy glaze chicken fried rice. I made a quick glaze with oil, red chili flakes, soy sauce, teriyaki, pineapple juice and made a slurry with cornstarch and pineapple juice. The slurry helps thicken the glaze.
I seasoned the chicken with black pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion. Then cooked it on both sides and followed the rest of the fried rice steps with the onions, rice, soy sauce, green onions and eggs.
This dish is packed with flavor! You can literally add and take away any ingredient you like in fried rice and make it for your own personal style! Cook this deliciousness up for your friends this week and leave a comment below.
Spicy Soul Chicken Fried Rice
- Spicy Soy Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon red chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- ¼ cup teriyaki sauce
- ¼ cup light soy sauce
- ¼ cup pineapple juice
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Chicken Fried Rice:
- 2 chicken breast chopped ¼ - ½ inch
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 2 teaspoons granulated onion
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 4 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 carrot shaved, chopped small
- 3 ½ cups short grain rice cooked
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 stalks green onions chopped, garnish
- ¼ cup sesame seeds garnish
- To make spicy soy sauce, in a non-stick skillet over medium heat red chili flakes and oil for 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and allow to cool for 1 minute then add garlic, teriyaki and soy sauce; mix pineapple juice and cornstarch together pour in skillet, bring mixture to a boil and remove from heat once thickened about 2 minutes.
- In a bowl mix chicken, black pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion and toss to combine. Heat a non-stick skillet over high heat for 2 minutes, add oil then add eggs and stir while cooking to scramble eggs for about 30-45 seconds, remove from heat and sit to the side.
- In the same skillet add chicken and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly, add onion and carrots cook for 3-4 minutes stirring constantly (add more oil if mixture starts to stick).
- Add rice, butter, cook for 2-3 minutes stirring and chopping occasionally to make sure there’s no lumps in rice. Add spicy soy sauce, half of green onions and stir until all rice is brown, then stir in egg. Serve immediately and garnish with remaining green onions.