Here is one of my time-honored family recipes, an everyday dish of fried rice with green peas. There will be other, more elaborate fried rice recipes as our lessons continue in Part II, but this is the most basic use for cooked, or leftover, rice. It traditionally relies on fresh peas for its flavor, though nowadays flash-frozen peas are nearly as good as fresh. The peas, together with the seasoning mix, give an elegance to this simplest of dishes, commonly found in nearly every home, rural or urban.
This final recipe again illustrates how important it is to have all of the ingredients for a stir-fry at hand before you begin cooking, so the frying can proceed without interruption. All of the ingredients for this dish can be prepared up to 3 hours in advance of cooking.
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
Pinch of white pepper
5 cups cooked rice, at room temperature
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
2 cups water, if using fresh peas
5 extra-large eggs
4 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of white pepper
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup 1/4-inch-dice shallots
1. To make the sauce: In a small bowl, mix together all of the ingredients and reserve.
2. Place the cooked rice in a bowl. Using your hands, break up any lumps and reserve.
3. If using fresh peas, pour the water into a small pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the peas and boil for 1 to 2 minutes, or until they are tender. Drain and reserve. If using frozen peas, allow them to thaw, then drain well, and reserve.
4. In a bowl, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and the white pepper. Reserve.
5. Heat a wok over high heat for 30 seconds. Add 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil, and using a spatula, coat the wok with the oil. When a wisp of white smoke appears, add the beaten eggs and scramble with the spatula for about 1 1/2 minutes, or until medium-firm. Turn off the heat and transfer to a plate. Cut into coarse, small pieces, and reserve.
6. Wash and dry the wok and spatula. Heat the wok over high heat for 20 seconds. Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil, and using the spatula, coat the wok with the spatula. When a wisp of white smoke appears, add the ginger and stir briefly. Then add the garlic and stir briefly. Add the shallots and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, lower the heat to medium, and cook for 2 minutes, or until the shallots are translucent. Add the peas, raise the heat to high, and stir and cook for 2 minutes, or until very hot. Add the rice, stir to mix, then lower the heat to medium, and stir and mix for 3 minutes, or until the rice is very hot.
7. Raise the heat to high, stir the sauce, and drizzle it over the rice. Stir constantly for about 2 minutes, or until the rice is evenly coated with the sauce. Add the eggs and stir and mix for about 2 minutes, or until all of the ingredients are blended.
8. Turn off the heat, transfer to a heated dish, and serve.
Makes 6 servings