Yangzhou fried rice, also known as Yangzhou egg fried rice, is a Jiangsu Yangzhou classic snack.
Yangzhou fried rice belonging to Huaiyang cuisine has over 1000 years of history and a deep diet culture. Besides the rice, Yangzhou fried rice base ingredients include ham, shrimp, eggs, salt, green onion plus other stir-fried ingredients added according to preference, such as peas, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, sea cucumber, chicken, etc.
Homely fried rice is the mother of all rice dishes; Yangzhou fried rice has enjoyed the highest status among rice dishes in China for centuries. According to legend, “broken gold rice” appeared around the time when the Emperor traveled to Yangzhou.
By the Qianlong period of Yangzhou, prefect BingShou Yi upgraded the dish by adding a variety of other ingredients.
Bingshou Yi took the Yangzhou fried rice recipe back to his home in Fujian and it was soon on everyone’s dinner table. Variations were made according to local preferences and availability of ingredients.
Many Cantonese restaurants sold Yangzhou fried rice, the Lingnan people claiming it as their own authentic fried rice, but the Yangzhou people were not convinced.
Knowledge of Yangzhou fried rice was spread abroad by Fujian and Guangdong people who took the recipe wherever they went, and it fast became a favorite everywhere.
Yangzhou fried rice is always on the menu at China’s VIP State Banquets, having fed the likes of US President Nixon and Bush, Thai Princess Sirindhorn, and more recently the United States First Lady Michelle Obama.
It was also a big hit at the Beijing Olympic Games, being a staple meal on the Olympic Village menu with more than three tons consumed in just one day! Chinese restaurants are more numerous in America than McDonald’s, and Yangzhou Fried Rice appears on most of their menus. The name ‘Yangzhou fried rice’ rings out like an international superstar.
Here is a bowl of Yangzhou Fried Rice:
Yangzhou Fried Rice is colorful and pleasing to the eye, full of yellow rice that has been wrapped in a layer of golden oil, complemented by the pale fried eggs and rosy pink shrimp, adorned with bright jade green peas, sunny carrots and smooth, soft ham. Today I will show you how to cook the yummiest Yangzhou Fried Rice.
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 20 g dried sea cucumber
- 10 g cooked ham
- 30 g fresh bamboo shoots
- 10 g water dry scallops
- 10 g cooked chicken leg meat
- 10 g mushrooms
- 10 g cooked green peas
- 10 g shrimp
- Basmati Rice (Indian rice)
Instructions and Tips for the Best Yangzhou Fried Rice:
It is standard practice to have all the ingredients for fried rice (except the eggs) chopped to approximately the same size, about ½ cm. Authentic Yangzhou fried rice will never have large or irregular sized pieces of the other ingredients in it.
The point is to have all ingredients uniform in size.
Rinse the uncooked rice until the water runs clear.
Add a little oil to the rice before steaming it, and cook until tender.
The two things to take note of here are the rice and the oil. Basmati rice is best for fried rice as the grains are more translucent and separate more easily, avoiding ‘sticky’ rice.
Blanch the mushrooms and bamboo shoots.
Add a little oil to the wok, and stir fry the chopped sea cucumber, chicken, ham, dry scallops for a minute, then add the mushrooms and bamboo shoots together, continuing to fry. Next add a little rice wine, chicken stock and a little salt. Remove from the wok and set aside.
Quickly cook the shrimp in boiling water, remove and set aside.
I use only a small amount of shrimp as it can easily overpower both the taste and the presentation of the fried rice.
Clean the wok, add more oil and pour in the beaten eggs. When the eggs are in a semi-solid state, turn off the stove, add the rice and stir to combine. Turn the stove back on to low and toss the other ingredients through the rice, and finally add the cooked peas. Season with salt and stir well.
Tossing the par-cooked egg, so it coats the rice grains rather than having big lumps of fried egg, gives the rice its golden color and spreads more flavor through the rice.
Timing and speed are important at this step: to coat the rice adequately and avoid forming large clumps of cooked egg. Stir the rice, so it doesn’t stick to the wok, causing hard lumps of rice.
Finally, throw in the shrimp.
OK, here are the pictures you want to see.
And there you have a delicious bowl of authentic Yangzhou Fried Rice.