Sunday, January 27, 2013

Three Flavor Fried Rice (Saam1 Sin1 Caau2 Faan6, 三鮮炒飯)

Copyright © 2013 Douglas R. Wong. All rights reserved.

Here’s another three flavor (beef, chicken, shrimp) dish that you can get at my local Muslim Chinese restaurant. In order to make this dish you need all three flavors available at once, which can be a problem since you’re likely to make dishes with only one available. Since I made the Three Flavor Shanghai Noodle dish (recipe can be found here), I had all three flavors available and decided to go for it.
I used the trick of adding the shrimp at the end of the cooking process, using the thermal mass (i.e. heat) of the other ingredients to cook the shrimp until they’re just pink. This results in tender cooked shrimp and is an adaptation of an America’s Test Kitchen method using low heat to cook shrimp.

Beef and Chicken Preparation Ingredients
¼ lb. Beef Flank or Flap Meat (ngau4 juk6, 牛肉) sliced thinly against the grain
¼ lb. Chicken Thigh or Breast Meat (gai1 juk6, 雞肉) cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tsp. Baking Soda (sou1 daa2 fan2, 蘇打粉)
Beef and Chicken Marinade Ingredients
You can marinade the beef and chicken together and cook them together.
½ inch knob of Ginger (goeng1, ),  crushed
2 Garlic Cloves (syun3, ), crushed with a garlic press
½ tsp. (or to taste) ground White Pepper (baak6 wu4 ziu1, 白胡)
1 Tbs. Corn Starch (suk1 fan2, 粟粉)
1 Tbs. Soy Sauce (si6 jau4, 豉油)
1 Tbs. Hoisin Sauce (hoi2 sin1 zoeng3, 海鮮醬)
1 Tbs. Shaoxing Rice Wine (siu6 hing1 zau2, 紹興) or Dry Sherry
1 tsp. Sesame Oil (maa4 jau4, 麻油)
Other Ingredients
1 cup leftover cooked rice (faan6, )
1 tsp. Sesame Oil (maa4 jau4, 麻油)
1 tsp. (or to taste) White Pepper (baak6 wu4 ziu1, 白胡椒)
2 Eggs (gai1 daan6, 雞蛋)
¼ lb. Shrimp (haa1 jan4, 蝦仁), shelled with head and legs removed
2 stalks Green Onions (cung1, ) cut into ¼-inch pieces
2 Tbs. Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Flavored Sauce (hou4 jau4, 蠔油) (see notes)
Oil for cooking
Preparation Instructions
  1. If using frozen shrimp, defrost the shrimp overnight in the refrigerator. Remove any shells and legs from the shrimp; set aside. Refrigerate overnight if preparing the shrimp the day before cooking.
  2. Take the leftover rice out of the refrigerator and break up any clumps. Ideally you want to have each cooked rice grain separated. Add the sesame oil and white pepper to the rice. Mix the ingredients together, coating the rice with the sesame oil.
  3. Cut the beef flank or flap meat thinly against the grain and put into a bowl. Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes and put into the bowl with the beef. Add the baking soda to the bowl and allow it to tenderize for 10 minutes, and then wash the baking soda from the meat. This step can be skipped, but will result in the tender meat experienced with restaurant dishes.
  4. Marinate the beef and chicken for 1 hour (or overnight in the refrigerator) using the crushed ginger and garlic, ground white pepper, corn starch, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, Shaoxing Rice Wine or dry sherry, and sesame oil.
  5. If marinating the beef and chicken overnight, take them and the shrimp out of the refrigerator at least one hour before cooking.
  6. Take the eggs out of the refrigerator at least one hour before cooking.
  7. Wash and cut the green onions into ¼-inch pieces and set aside.

Cooking Instructions
  1. Heat the wok or pan over high heat before adding oil. Add and scramble the eggs in the wok while the wok is heating up. Remove the scrambled eggs to a bowl.
  2. Reheat the wok or pan over high heat before adding more oil and then the beef and chicken. Stir fry the meat until brown by forming one layer in the wok and leaving the meat alone for a while before stir frying. Transfer the browned meat to the bowl with the eggs.
  3. Reheat the wok over high heat before adding more oil and then the rice. Stir fry the rice and then add the contents of bowl with the cooked ingredients back into the wok with the shrimp and green onions. Stir fry the ingredients in the wok until the shrimp just turns pink. The shrimp will be tender and not tough if they are added raw at the very end of cooking, using the thermal mass of the other ingredients to cook them.
  4. Add the oyster sauce to the wok and combine the ingredients.
  5. Put the cooked ingredients into a dish and serve immediately.
  1. I use Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Flavored Sauce because it’s the brand I grew up with and has a good flavor. It’s a little more expensive than other brands, but it’s worth the price in my opinion. I once had a weak moment and bought an inexpensive brand of oyster sauce, and was disappointed in the flavor when compared to the Lee Kum Kee Premium brand. So get the good stuff!
  2. America’s Test Kitchen has found that if you don’t cook shrimp over high heat, they don’t get rubbery. I’ve adapted their method to add the shrimp at the end of the cooking process and using the thermal mass (i.e. the heat) of the other ingredients to cook the shrimp until just pink, which is the equivalent of using low heat. The shrimp remains tender when cooked this way.

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