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Old 11-06-2004, 08:45 PM   #1
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Chinese fried rice... missing something

Hi everyone. I just googled "cooking forum" and found this place. I hope you guys can help. I am very novice at cooking, and only know how to make a few things, but i'm willing to learn. Anyway, I really like chinese fried rice, and googled a few reciepes, but none taste as authentic or smell like the "real" stuff you get at any chinese restaurants. Please tell me what i'm missing or doing wrong?

here's what i've tried:

i take some olive oil and sautee onions, bok choy, and bean sprouts in it. Then i scramble 1 or two eggs in it.

I add 1 cup of cooked rice to it, and then i add a liberal amount of Kikkoman Soy Sauce. I stir that around for 7 or so minutes and eat it.

It tastes a lot like the stuff at restaurants, but itsnt totally authentic. what am i missing?

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Old 11-06-2004, 09:05 PM   #2
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Hi OU8! I think know what you mean by that missing taste. I've wondered about it myself too.

Somehow homecooked Chinese fried rice doesn't taste the same as in the Chinese resto. I'm thinking it might be that slightly toasted taste that's very pleasant.

I've asked an acquaintance who owns an authentic Chinese resto here and she was very quick to say (without me mentioning the toasted taste) that the difference is caused by the intense fire that they cook with. Have you ever peered into their kitchens? They put their woks on industrial stoves that spew 6-in high flames.

Anyway, I've never confirmed this as I can't recreate that scenario at home for fear of losing my eyebrows (which might end up to be the least of my problems). LOL!
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Old 11-06-2004, 09:17 PM   #3
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That's mostly how I make it. I also add garlic and shrimp or pork, some times a bit of oyster sauce. But I've had a few people tell me tastes like the Chinese restaurant. Try a smidge of oyster.
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Old 11-06-2004, 09:35 PM   #4
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here's fried rice real chinese style and not as oily as resturants.

So you first steam some rice. In a pan you first put vegetable oil and cook your slices of meat like chicken sausage etc. until done, then you add in a little bit of oil and throw in the rice and vegetables. Toss the rice on high heat and add in oyster sauce i think thats wut its called. its like soy sauce paste. don't over add it. High heat high heat and quickly toss the rice around for like 2 minute or 1 1/2 minute. turn to low or even off Add in egg and stir around until the egg is done. Well i have a stove that shoots up 6 in flames on high, but this method works on home stoves.
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Old 11-06-2004, 09:38 PM   #5
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Yes Oyster sauce... NOT hoison sauce.. that's too sweet.... Oyster sauce!
Yum
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Old 11-06-2004, 09:38 PM   #6
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This was recently discussed in a forum I frequent. Here are the highlights:

Char siu pork (red cooked pork)
Soybean or peanut oil (definitely not olive)
Day old refrigerated rice (very important that it be chilled overnight)
A small amount fresh garlic/ginger (maybe)
MSG (definitely)
A tiny amount of toasted sesame oil (drop or two)
scallions
Dark soy sauce
Very high heat

Here is the entire discussion (it's quite lengthy):

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=54668

The other tip I'd give you is to buy some fried from your favorite restaurant and analyze the ingredients. Bok choy might be delicious in fried rice, but I doubt many restaurants add it. A lot of ingredients like this could be easily discerned by a visual inspection.
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Old 11-06-2004, 09:40 PM   #7
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so are you guys saying chinese restaurants dont even use soy sauce? just Hoisin or oyster sauce? I have a gas stove, I should keep it at max high? i didnt think anyone cooked anything on high.. .how do i keep it from burning?

edit: also, isnt MSG bad for you? i thought it was a carsinogen. I know a lot of restaurants in nashville have a sticker that says they dont use it.
anyway, i dont have a wok, is that absolutely necessary? can i just use a big non stick pot?
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Old 11-06-2004, 09:52 PM   #8
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i don't use wok i use big non stick pot msg is bad for you yes it is eats away your stomach lining somehow so i never use it. i use max high and sometimes i just take the pan off the stove after i put it on max high for like 5 seconds. its all coordination. I put it on max high (like 8 in flame) and stir den i remove it and stir then i put it to medium heat and start stiring. Fried rice is just plain rice with some type of sauce and briefly stired in a pan with a little oil.

I sometimes use chinese vegeterian mushroom sauce another paste like sauce.
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Old 11-06-2004, 09:54 PM   #9
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I use my big cast iron skillet.
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Old 11-07-2004, 02:27 AM   #10
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This comes from the man who developed Yoshida's Teryaki Sauce.

Fried Rice

Refrigerate the rice overnight.

I then mix in the soy sauce and oyster sauce into the cold rice.
It separates the rice and evenly coats each grain.

I then saute chopped up ham, roast pork, or even left over steak.
Add in peas, carrots, etc. Frozen veggies are real handy.
Saute until veggies are just barely cooked.
Add in chopped garlic and saute for a few seconds.

Toss in the rice and fry until rice is heated through.
Make a hole in the middle and crack a couple of eggs in the hole.
Mix the eggs to partially scramble and finally, mix into the fried rice.

Good Luck!
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Old 11-07-2004, 06:07 AM   #11
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Wasabi, that's how I've made mine since my college days. My cousin taught me to do it that way.

I'm lazy, though. I use frozen vegetables. Peas & Carrots, Green Beans, etc. I also use a massive dose of garlic.
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Old 11-07-2004, 06:31 AM   #12
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A little fresh ginger is nice, too - and I'm definitely in the 'not olive oil' category -too heavy! Soy or peanut oil is fine.
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Old 11-07-2004, 11:03 AM   #13
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Dark Soy Sauce...aka Double Black Sauce is a totally different product than the normal thin lite soy sauce that you buy in most markets. The product I'm referring to is sold in Asian Markets. I'm fortunate to have China Town a subway or car ride away..it is there that I shop for my authentic Asian ingred.
It is this product that I use in Fried Rice.
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Old 11-07-2004, 09:18 PM   #14
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MSG is not a carcinogen, nor is it bad for you. Soy sauce contains naturally occuring MSG. Billions of Asians consume MSG laden foods every day with absolutely no ill consequences to their health. The main driving force behind the 'MSG is bad for you' myth isn't based on science, it's based on fear of foreigners, aka, xenophia. If you tell an Asian MSG is bad for them, they'll laugh in your face. And rightfully so.

If MSG concerns you, you shouldn't be making fried rice with soy sauce, nor should you eat tomatoes or parmesan cheese, as they contain naturally occuring MSG as well.

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=54668

OU8thisSN, click the link. The high heat, the type of soy sauce, regional Chinese approaches to the dish, the science behind refrigerating the rice - all there. I don't normally go out of my way to direct people to other discussion forums, but in this case, all your answers, and more, are there.
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Old 11-08-2004, 12:00 AM   #15
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Mushrooms too, have a naturally occuring MSG in them. That's part of what makes them so good with so many things. :)

Fried rice is definitely one of those foods that requires a careful ballance of flavors, something savory, like mushrooms, salt, soy sauce, etc, with the sweetness or the rice, a touch of Chinese 5-spice powder, snow peas, etc. Color comes in the form of carrot, celery, snow peas, etc. The meat should be light as well. Pork or poultry are naturals for stir fry, as is shrimp or crab meat. Scallops are good, as long as they are minced, and not to great in quantity. And peanut, or a neutral flavored oil such as sunflower oil is preffered to moisten the mixture.

Hope this helps.

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Old 11-08-2004, 12:19 AM   #16
 
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Sorry Scott123, but I'll disagree with you on soya sauce, if not MSG...

Soya sauce will skyrocket your bloodpressure and do evil things to your heart...

I'm not sure what the crab is on MSG, aside to know there is one, but you CANNOT eat a North American diet and compare yourself with an Asian in what will have positive/negative effects...

Re-read or contact Audeo on her several posts and give your head a shake!

Or skin an ounce of chicken off a cooked carcass and mix it in with your rice and noodles, as is the case in Asia (in case you've never been there and seen the real life thing!) just to "flavour" it...because that's about how much "meat" it in the diet there, as compared with 1 pound steaks per person here....

And donate a bunch to Heart Disease Research...it'll be investing in yourself, the way you're going at it!

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Old 11-08-2004, 12:38 AM   #17
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Lifter; I use the Lite, or low sodium soy sauce. I find the other too salty for my tastes. And I use just a little. I like the flavor much better. In fact, I don't really care for regular soy sauce. I never used it until the lighter versions came out. And I agree with you. Too much sodium, whether caused by MSG, or salt, is hard on the heart, can cause strokes, angina, water retention, and other things not good for our bodies.

I'm fortunate in that our family has a history of strong hearts and no one with high blood pressure. Unfourtunately, we have other problems. I think all of us on this planet have some inherited genetic weakness of some kind.

After all, if we outsmart the fast-moving objects trying to run us down, and choose only the aircraft that arrive safely to their destinations, and avoid slipping on ice and cracking our heads wide open, well, there has to be something to propell us past this limited mortality :)

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Old 11-08-2004, 01:48 AM   #18
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Lifter, telling someone they are going to develop heart disease is in extremely poor taste. There are certain lines you shouldn't cross in polite conversation, regardless of the depth of commitment to an ideal.

So, you're anti-salt, good for you. If you want to live your life terrified of food, go for it, but please don't project your fears on me. My intake of sodium is a fraction of the norm.

Some sodium intake is necessary for our bodies to function. An excess of sodium is where you get into problems. Am I advocating excess sodium intake? Of course not! I avoid processed high sodium foods and I use only minimal amounts of salt in my cooking. If anything my use of MSG lowers the sodium in my food since much less salt is needed when the two are combined.
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Old 11-08-2004, 02:30 PM   #19
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>> If MSG concerns you, you shouldn't be making fried rice with soy sauce, nor should you eat tomatoes or parmesan cheese, as they contain naturally occuring MSG as well.

You know I guess some people dont understand the concept of MODERATION.

salt occurs in many things naturally too. I dont advocate dousing my food with it though.

The other logical fallacy is that you admit some foods contain MSG naturally and then you advocate adding more of it. Huh?
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Old 11-08-2004, 02:33 PM   #20
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Also, you should not be stir frying w/ olive oil (the original poster on this thread).

Hot temps and olive oil is thought to produce carcinogens, at least some sources claim this. How much, how bad, I dunno, but the taste will be off.
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