Teppanyaki fried rice is rice that is cooked with sauce, eggs and vegetables. It goes well with leftovers because it can be mixed with a variety of proteins or vegetables. Even though it can be made on a large pan or a wok, Japanese fried rice is commonly cooked on a teppan.
- 2 ½ cups of short grain rice
- 3 cups of water
- 4 eggs
- Canola oil
- 1 ½ tablespoon of butter
- 1 diced carrot
- 1 diced onion
- Pepper, edamame, corn or any other vegetables
- White wine
- Soy sauce
- 12 green king prawns
- 10 minutes preparation
- 10 minutes cooking time
- Ready in 20 minutes
- Wash the rice twice with tap water
- You can either boil the rice in water or use a rice cooker. Drain the rice and rinse with hot water.
- Break eggs and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread eggs in a heated pan (or directly on a teppanyaki plate if you have one) then coat them with butter before scrambling them.
- Heat the grill plate to very high temperatures before the cooking begins. Depending on the heat source you will be using, remember to use high heat.
- Sprinkle some carrots, fry some onions and use oil, then spread them evenly around the pan.
- Wait until the onions turn golden brown before adding corn, edamame, peas or any other vegetables that you may prefer. To add a little healthy twist to the fried rice, you may consider mushrooms, pepper, zucchini, broccoli, squash and spinach or any other leafy green.
- Add the rice on top of the cooking vegetables then mix the vegetables and rice evenly. Maintain high or medium high heat.
- Add seasonings such as salt and pepper, and drizzle with white wine and soy sauce. Try and add the right amounts of soy sauce to bring out the other flavors without being too much.
- You can finish off the dish with some fresh cut green onions if you want
- Serve while still hot. You can use a wok or pan rather than a microwave when heating leftovers.
Rules to keep in mind when cooking Teppanyaki Fried Rice
Get the right rice
This is probably the most important rule. Below are some of the types of rice you can look out for:
- Medium grain white rice: This is the most common in Japanese restaurants and it is strong. It is a bit more versatile than the other types because it has less floral aroma.
- Jasmine: This type of rice is from Thailand and it has a thickness that makes it easy to eat. It is also known to have individual grains that give it a much superior texture. It has a unique aroma that stands out, especially when used in very light stir- fries.
- Sushi rice: This type of rice is stickier than the other varieties and it is believed to have originated from Japan. It may be a little difficult to stir without clumping but the result definitely stands out, and it is the easiest to chew of the lot.
Rinse the rice
Excess starch makes the rice to be clumpy and one effective way to get rid of the excess starch if you are cooking it from raw to make it fried rice is washing it. Very few people prefer clumpy rice and a little dunking and shaking in a bowl of water, or rinsing it under tap water for about 30 seconds will do the trick.
Break up the rice
If by any chance the rice goes stale or clumpy, make sure to break it up before placing it in the wok. Breaking up the rice will ensure that the rice turns into individual grains without getting crushed or breaking, making it easy to cook. Frying the rice is faster compared to making stir- fries. Make sure you have the ingredients ready before lighting up the wok.
Make use of a wok
Woks have proved to be much more effective in preparing stir-fried rice compared to saucepans or skillets, even though they were not meant to be used on the Western gas ranges with their burners.
So if you don’t have a teppanyaki grill plate yet, make use of your wok.
Apart from offering different zones of heat which makes it possible to push ingredients away from the center when adding new ones, the wok also makes flipping and tossing a walk in the park. Wok hei is the smoky flavor that is achieved from vaporization and combustion when the rice is tossed in the air and it can easily be produced in a wok.
Keep things hot
Just like in cooking beef for stew, it is important that the pan becomes hot before adding the rice when preparing fried rice. This enables the rice to get some texture before it produces too much moisture, which may make it to be more steamed than fried.
Minimize the Add-Ins
Remember that fried rice is all about the rice itself and the Add-Ins come second. Go easy with the Add-Ins making sure that they don’t appear to out-taste the rice.
Manage the Sauce
Too much sauce is not necessary as long as the rice is of high quality and good technique. Just a single teaspoon of soy sauce with the same amount of sesame oil is enough to awaken the much needed taste. A ton of sauce will only help dominate the flavor making the rice look like enhancers rather than the primary component.
Add salt to the rice
Soy sauce may add a little salty taste to the rice but it may not be enough for the whole wok-full. A little plain salt will produce much better results compared to adding more soy sauce. Plain salt in the right amount will not interfere with the desired taste nor add excess moisture.
As much as these is not much of a rule, eggs have become a common component of fried rice that it has almost become a rule over time.
A few tosses will do your food more good than harm. All the seasonings and flavors should be equally distributed in the food, and each grain of rice should be separate from each other by the time its ready.
What type of rice is best suitable for making fried rice?
To sum things up, any medium to long grain rice will work amazingly in creating the best fried rice. It is perfect since it will end up fluffy and not sticky once cooked, and the individual grains will continue to be firm and distinct.
What is the science behind this?
If we look into it from a scientific perspective, rice texture is determined by two starch molecules that make it either firm or sticky: amylose and amylopectin. Amylopectin makes the rice grains stickier since this molecule is greatly branched.
On the other hand, medium to long grain rice has a higher quantity of amylose and less amylopectin when compared to other types of rice.
Finally, sticky rice (actually called glutinous rice, even though it has no gluten) has a higher amount of amylopectin and has 1 percent amylose at most. It is perfect for when you need rice that can be easily eaten using chopsticks, but not for fried rice since it will stick together.
Can I use Jasmine rice?
The best type of rice you can use is medium to long grain as we mentioned above. However, you can also use Jasmine rice and get fluffy rice that won’t clump together or fall apart once it’s fried.
As a matter of fact, many people prefer to use it over all the other types, since it features an aroma that resembles popcorn and also has a somewhat sweet and nutty flavor. However, even though this rice is long grain it has less amylose than traditional long grain white rice, which means it will still cook up a bit sticky.
Basmati rice, grown in India and Pakistan also has a distinct flavor and aroma, but since it has a higher amount of amylose it’s a better choice in this case. In the end, it’s up to what you prefer to use so if you enjoy the texture of jasmine rice, feel free to use it.
For guaranteed results: use chilled cooked rice
Using chilled cooked rice is a foolproof way of getting perfect fried rice every time. Actually, any rice you use should be chilled ahead of time preferably.
When making fried rice, fresh isn’t better. Using sticky, warm, recently-cooked rice is bound to result in soggy fried rice and those distinct and delicious chewy grains will be long gone. That’s why using chilled rice is so important.
So instead, try to cook the rice one day ahead of time and store it in the fridge. This will help dry the grains and make sure your fried rice has a good texture. Think about this positively, this is a great way to speed up the process and have some elements ready ahead of time.
Making the fried rice is actually pretty easy and quick so having the rice ready will actually work for you, not against you. So start out with cold or frozen, day-old rice.
Day-old leftover rice gets a chance to firm up in the fridge, making it easier for the grains to separate and reduce the possibility of the rice ending up being a big mush.
However, if you don’t have any leftover rice and are craving fried rice, you can also avoid having to wait until the next day.
Simply cook your rice with about ⅓ less water than you usually would and then spread the cooked rice on a large baking sheet. Place this baking sheet in the freezer for about 20 minutes and then store the entire batch in a ziploc bag for a couple of hours.
To make things even easier we have a couple of tips for you, so you can have some rice ready if you plan to make fried rice:
- Doggy bag leftover steamed rice that you didn’t finish at the restaurant so you can use it on fried rice the next day.
- If you’re cooking at home, make double the amount of rice so the leftovers can be stored and used the next day without having to make another batch.
- If you have the leftovers but aren’t sure when you’ll get around to making some fried rice, freeze it. If you freeze it spread out on a tray and then store you’ll be able to throw it right into the pan and it’ll thaw right away. No big blocks of rice.
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FAQ about fried rice
Now that we’ve come this far looking into fried rice, let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
Is fried rice traditional?
Fried rice is as old as 600 A.D so it’s safe to say it’s a traditional cooking style. It has adapted and changed a lot since then and a lot of different ingredients are used as add-ins in the rice now.
Where does fried rice originated from?
It’s not known exactly where fried rice originated, and that’s because it was so long ago. Dating back to the Sui dynasty in 589–618 A.D., in an eastern Jiangsu province town called Yangzhou. So the culture fried rice is from is Chinese.
Is fried rice white rice?
Contrary to popular believe, fried rice is made with white rice, not brown whole grain rice, and gets it’s color from the soy sauce used to make the dish.
Why is my fried rice mushy?
Rice gets mushy when you fry it straight after you cook it. To get a more textured and crispy fried rice, use completely chilled cooked white rice to fry with. The best is to use cooked white rice kept in the fridge overnight to use the next day.
Why is there eggs in fried rice?
Traditionally, eggs were added to fried rice because it’s a peasants dish. Eggs were available to most of the Chinese people living off the land and are an inexpensive source of high quality protein, and still are.
Do you have to use sesame oil in fried rice?
You don’t have to use sesame oil in fried rice. In fact, the rice isn’t fried in the sesame oil but in soy bean oil (or you can canola oil). The sesame oil is used for flavoring the dish, next to some soy sauce. You’ll only get that Asian taste by using some sesame oil though.
Can you use olive oil to fry rice?
You can use olive oil to fry rice, but it is quite heavy on flavor and doesn’t have a traditional Asian taste. So, even though you can use it, it’s much better to use canola oil, soy bean oil, vegetable oil or peanut oil.
Which onion do you use for fried rice?
You can use a yellow or red onion to stir fry along with the rice and other vegetables you might put into your dish. Since Asian cuisine uses a lot of green onions as well, it’s a great idea to top off your dish with some fresh cut green onions.
Can fried rice be eaten the next day?
Fried rice can be stored and eaten the next day without any health risks, but only when kept refrigerated. You should be careful with un-refrigerated fried rice, especially with eggs added to it. A common illness called “Fried rice syndrome” or Bacillus cereus comes from eating fried rice left at room temperature for a few hours.
Can I eat fried rice while pregnant?
You can safely eat fried rice while pregnant and it’s a great grain. Of course, you should eat other grains and foods as well to help minimize health risk and avoid eating rice uncooked or cold as a leftover.
Also read: different types of Japanese food explained