Chiu Chou Fried Rice
Up until this weekend, I always thought that fried rice was one of those dishes where you chop up some vegetables and throw in a whole bunch of leftovers. I guess pasta can be like that too, a compilation of random things found in your fridge but obviously we all know there’s the fancy pasta that takes hours to make. Apparently fried rice falls into that same category. It too can be fancy! And who knew that there could be so much time and effort that went into making fried rice? I will never underestimate fried rice again. This is fried rice is a dish from the Canton province of China.
This is a traditional family recipe that Jesper and his whole family holds near and dear to his/ their heart. This is his great grandmother’s recipe that was passed on from one generation to the next. According to him this particular dish was made only for special occasions such as family gatherings and Chinese festivals so I’m especially grateful that Jesper chose to share this recipe with us!
1lb of jumbo shrimp, head and shell intact
1/2 lb of shredded or ground pork
1 cup of dried Chinese mushrooms, rinsed and soaked in water for an hour
1 bunch of cilantro
1 bunch of scallion
3 cups of raw rice
1 tsp of shrimp paste
3 eggs, scrambled
1/2 lb of Chinese sausage
1 cup of fried peanuts (recipe below)
1/2 tbsp of light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp of dark soy sauce
In a wok, add 1 cup of raw peanuts and 1 cup of vegetable oil and slowly fry peanuts on low/medium heat. Continue frying for about 15 to 20 minutes stirring consistently so that the peanuts don’t burn. Drain oil and allow peanuts to cool on a paper towel for 15 minutes. Season with a generous amount of salt.
De-shell the shrimp and set aside. Put the shells and the heads in a small pot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the top of the shells. Once the water starts to boil, simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Remove shells and shrimp heads and set aside the shrimp broth.
Rinse the Chinese sausage and cut into diagonal slices or round disk whichever you prefer. Wash the rice and fill with equal part shrimp broth. So if you have 3 cups of rice you want 3 cups of shrimp broth. If you don’t have a full 3 cups of shrimp broth make up the difference with water. Sprinkle in the Chinese sausage on the top of the raw rice and cook rice until well done. We used a rice cooker which took around an hour. Once it’s ready stir the sausage until well integrated into the rice.
In the meantime, cut shrimp into quarters and fry in the wok with salt and pepper until pink, set aside. In a wok, fry sliced mushrooms, scrambled eggs and pork. Add shrimp paste and salt and pepper to taste. Add light soy sauce and dark soy sauce. If you go to a Chinese supermarket you’ll see that they sell dark soy sauce and light soy sauce. Dark soy sauce is primarily used to add color to the dish while light soy sauce is more about flavor.
Add rice mixture to the wok and stir on low heat. Turn off heat and stir in fried peanuts, cilantro and scallion.