Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nonya Fried Rice

If you haven't figured it out by now, I like food and I like to eat. Which shouldn't come to anybody's surprise that I also like to watch cooking shows. However, I don't often cook what I watch on T.V. as most of the stuff that's cooked on the telly these days is too gourmet or fine dining for me. When I come home from an exhausting day at work, I don't want to necessarily be slaving away in the kitchen for 3 hours on a meal that will be eaten in 30 minutes and that doesn't taste nice reheated the next day for work. I tend to cook more easier, simpler, practical meals on a work night and occasionally on a weekend or a day off I might try a recipe that requires a bit more effort.

Watching Poh's Kitchen the other day, I saw her make a dish called Nonya Fried Rice. It looked quite easy to put together and the flavours of this Malaysian style fried rice intrigued me so much that I decided to give it a go and to my surprise I quite liked it (and so did hubby). There is a spicy prawn flavour as you eat the fried rice (that comes from both the dried shrimp and fresh prawns), with the refreshing and cool taste of the cucumber. The cucumber also adds a nice crunch and bite to the dish.

It's great to see Poh (the runner's up to season 1 Masterchef) have her own T.V. show and share some of her Malaysian recipes with the wider audience in Australia.


¼ cup vegetable oil
2 large red chillies, chopped and seeded
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 shallots, chopped
¾ cups dried shrimp, soaked in boiling water
10 green prawns, peeled deveined and cut into small pieces
1 ½ cups jasmine rice, cooked
2 tbs light soy
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp white pepper
2 eggs, beaten lightly
1 telegraph (long thin) cucumber, quartered lengthways, seeds sliced off and discarded (for maximum crunch) and then sliced diagonally - about 2 to 3 mm

  1. Pound the chilli, garlic and shallots to a paste in a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, chopping finely will be completely appropriate.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok till hot and add the paste and sauté till it is rich and aromatic. (If finely chopping the aromatics, add the garlic first to the wok, and cook briefly, then the shallots and chilli and stir fry till aromatic).
  3. Pound drained dried shrimp in mortar and pestle till shredded, or blitz in a food processor to a crumbly consistency. Add to the wok and stir fry till fragrant. Add prawns and stir fry till just cooked. Immediately add rice, soy, salt, sugar and white pepper.
  4. Cook till rice has separated, and tender.
  5. Make a well in the middle of the wok pushing rice to the sides. Tip in the egg and let it sit for a while so the bottom has a while to caramelise. With an eggflip turn it over on the other side till that is also nice and brown, then chop it with the eggflip so little pieces of it cook all the way through. Add the cucumber and give it all a final toss so everything is incorporated, checking for seasoning. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Notes & Tips

The trick to cooking great fried rice is to pre-cook the rice and put it in the fridge overnight spread out on a baking tray lined with a sheet of baking paper. This makes the grains stay separate and prevents the fried rice from getting stodgy when cooking.

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