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Special Fried Rice (3 Ways!)

An endlessly adaptable takeaway favourite

Whether you’re ordering Chinese food in the UK, the States or even in New Zealand, Yangzhou Chow Fan, commonly known as Special Fried Rice, is a perennial favourite. What makes this dish such a winner is its variety: you’re treated to a little bit of meat, veg, egg, and rice in every mouthful!

To make a really stellar Special Fried Rice, simply follow our three ‘rules of thumb’. And if you’re after something extra special, try our Dumpling Sisters variations: Tim’s Fried Egg Special, and the Curry Special.

The three rules of thumb

Overnight rice: The best rice for stir frying is cooked long grain white rice that has had a chance to cool and dry out a bit, usually overnight in the fridge. This allows the rice to become nice and toasty in the wok, and it also ensures that every grain gets coated in all of the lovely seasonings. What if you find yourself with a sudden craving for fried rice but no overnight rice at the ready? No worries. Simply cook the rice and let it cool, break it up on a baking tray, and pop it into the freezer for half an hour before frying.

Three meat and three veg: The ‘special’ part of Special Fried Rice comes down to the abundance and variety of good leiu, or ingredients. We recommend going for three meats and three veg of your choosing, chopped up into tasty little morsels.

Size and colour: Part of the appeal of Special Fried Rice is how lovely it looks, like an edible rainbow! To achieve this effect, choose meats and veg with bright and contrasting colours. To make sure that you get as many goodies as possible in each mouthful, chop all of the ingredients into small cubes that are approximately the same size as the peas. This will also help everything to cook evenly.

Serves
4
Ingredients

For the eggs
3 eggs
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil for frying

Classic Special Fried Rice
400g (uncooked weight) long grain white rice: cooked, cooled and refrigerated overnight.
2 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium-sized carrot, diced into small cubes
100g frozen peas
1/2 tbsp ginger, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
100g char siu pork, diced into small cubes
100g cooked and peeled small prawns
100g cooked chicken, diced into small cubes
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp light soy
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp pepper
5 tbsp cold water
2 sprigs spring onion, sliced into rounds

Tim’s Fried Egg Special (per person)
1 egg
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp light soy sauce
fried shallots for garnish

Curry Special (for the whole quantity of Classic Special Fried Rice)
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
2 tbsp water
sliced red chilli for garnish

Whether you’re ordering Chinese food in the UK, the States or even in New Zealand, Yangzhou Chow Fan, commonly known as Special Fried Rice, is a perennial favourite. What makes this dish such a winner is its variety: you’re treated to a little bit of meat, veg, egg, and rice in every mouthful!

To make a really stellar Special Fried Rice, simply follow our three ‘rules of thumb’. And if you’re after something extra special, try our Dumpling Sisters variations: Tim’s Fried Egg Special, and the Curry Special.

The three rules of thumb

Overnight rice: The best rice for stir frying is cooked long grain white rice that has had a chance to cool and dry out a bit, usually overnight in the fridge. This allows the rice to become nice and toasty in the wok, and it also ensures that every grain gets coated in all of the lovely seasonings. What if you find yourself with a sudden craving for fried rice but no overnight rice at the ready? No worries. Simply cook the rice and let it cool, break it up on a baking tray, and pop it into the freezer for half an hour before frying.

Three meat and three veg: The ‘special’ part of Special Fried Rice comes down to the abundance and variety of good leiu, or ingredients. We recommend going for three meats and three veg of your choosing, chopped up into tasty little morsels.

Size and colour: Part of the appeal of Special Fried Rice is how lovely it looks, like an edible rainbow! To achieve this effect, choose meats and veg with bright and contrasting colours. To make sure that you get as many goodies as possible in each mouthful, chop all of the ingredients into small cubes that are approximately the same size as the peas. This will also help everything to cook evenly.

GET THE METHOD →

Whisk the eggs with the salt and ¼ tsp of oil. Put your wok on medium heat and add the ½ tbsp of oil, followed by the eggs. Let the eggs set on the bottom for 10 seconds before moving them around gently with a spatula. Cook for a further 20 seconds until the eggs are partially set, then remove them from the wok and set aside.
Give your wok a quick wipe with a paper towel then put it over a high heat. Stir fry the carrots with ½ tbsp of oil until glossy, then add 1 tbsp of the cold water. Cover and steam for a minute. Take off the lid and add in the peas, stir frying briefly, then remove the veg from the wok.
With the wok on medium heat, add 1 tbsp of oil followed by the diced ginger and garlic. Slightly brown the ginger and garlic for 15 seconds before adding the char siu, chicken, and prawns. Stir fry for one minute until the meat starts to blister around the edges.
Add the rice to the meat, using your spatula to loosen the grains and to get rid of any lumps. Add 1 tbsp of oil, salt, light soy, sugar and pepper. Toss until the seasonings are well mixed and the rice is piping hot.
Break up the cooked eggs with your spatula then add them to the rice along with the cooked veg. Continue folding and tossing for another two minutes to combine all of the ingredients. Add the remaining water and toss for another minute. Finally, add the spring onions and fold to combine.
OUR
TIP!
TO MAKE TIM’S FRIED EGG SPECIAL
Heat a non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the oil and crack in an egg. Cook for until the egg white has just started to set, then drizzle the light soy sauce around the edge of the egg. Let the soy sauce caramelise and turn crispy before slipping the cooked egg atop a bowl of Special Fried Rice. Sprinkle fried shallots on top and pierce the runny yolk with a sharp knife.
OUR
TIP!
TO MAKE THE CURRY SPECIAL
Fold the curry powder into the Special Fried Rice. It will turn a lovely bright golden colour. Add the extra water and toss for a further minute before serving up and garnishing with sliced red chillies.
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