Why not cook and enjoy your fried rice dish exactly the way you and your family love it? This is a quick and simple beef fried rice recipe for when you’re in need of a quick, delicious one-dish meal.
We’re having simple food this week – nothing that takes too much effort or time to prepare. Something that I probably have all the ingredients for. Even if I don’t, I could probably just as easily throw in whatever I do have on hand and mix things up, and it’ll work beautifully. Something simple and quick, like Chinese style beef fried rice.
Thinly sliced beef, diced shallots, chopped spring onions, julienned ginger- just your everyday meat and veggies that most of us will likely have in our refrigerator. And oh yes, I’d throw in a little bit of diced bacon, just for some smoky flavour and added saltiness. If you don’t have beef, you could always substitute with ham, roast pork (char siew) or chicken. Or completely go with seafood like shrimps and scallops. Exactly why fried rice is such a family favourite in my home – it’s so ridiculously versatile!
I use different sauces to flavour the rice depending on what I’m putting together. The most basic of flavourings is light soy sauce, salt and pepper. Since I’m adding beef to a basic fried rice recipe, I like to use a premium oyster sauce as well as dark soy sauce, which pair so well with beef. Frying shallots and ginger here will also help flavour the oil before adding the meats and cooked rice.
Beef fried rice is also a great accompaniment to other dishes. It pairs really well with a vegetable dish like bittergourd omelette. I don’t know why really – perhaps the slight bitterness and crunch of the gourd amidst the soft, slightly mushy scrambled omelette offsets and compliments the savoury saltiness and tender chewy texture of the beef fried rice. Simply yin yang in action.
Cooking your own fried rice is also a great way to go a little healthy – less oil, less salt, less MSG and loaded with your favourite ingredients. When eating out, I tend to get annoyed when an order of fried rice is served with loads of rice but stingy on everything else. You know what I’m talking about here.
Picture this – you eat your first mouthful of fried rice – and while the flavour’s there, it’s predominantly … rice. Then, you take your second mouthful of …er…more rice with little specks of stuff, and oh, if you’re lucky (unless you’re deliberately picking up the ‘meaty’ stuff onto your spoon), you might actually taste some meat, shrimp, crab meat or salted fish by the third mouthful. Okay, so I might be exaggerating just a little too much, but if that’s a familiar scene for you, point made.
So why not cook and enjoy your fried rice dish exactly the way you and your family love it!
Chinese Beef Fried Rice
- 300 g beef fillet
- 4 tsp dark soy sauce plus a few extra drops
- 2 tsp ground white pepper
- 4 tbsp oil plus extra if needed
- 10 shallots peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 cm or 1 /12 inch old ginger, cut into matchstick strips or julienned
- 4 cups cooked rice
- 50 g bacon or cooked ham diced
- 1 ½ tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tsp salt plus more to taste if needed
- 1 tsp chicken stock powder or granules (optional)
- 1 stalk spring onion finely chopped, plus extra for garnishing
For Sliced Chilli in Soy Sauce Dressing
- 4 bird's eye chilli or chilli padi (or 2 red finger-length chillies)
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- Slice the beef into thin strips across the grain. Marinade with 4 teaspoons of dark soy sauce and 1 tsp of pepper.
- Heat up a wok over medium fire. When smoking hot, add the oil. Stir-fry shallots and ginger over medium heat until they turn golden brown and start to crisp up.
- Add the beef slices and fry for about 30 seconds. Add the bacon or ham and stir-fry together for another 30 seconds, depending on how well done you prefer the beef.
- Stir in the salt and chicken stock powder or granules (optional). Then add the cooked rice, and stir or toss vigorously to mix well. Drizzle extra oil around the edges of the rice if it gets a little dry (but do NOT be tempted to add water).
- Stir in the oyster sauce, light soy sauce and 2 to 3 drops of dark soy sauce to colour the rice. Add the remaining pepper and stir or toss vigorously to mix well.
- When rice is warmed through, turn off the heat. Add the chopped spring onions and toss with the rice to distribute well. Immediately turn out onto a serving plate. Garnish with extra chopped spring onions and serve hot, with sliced chilli in soy sauce dressing.
For the Sliced Chilli in Soy Sauce Dressing
- De-seed and slice the chillies. Combine with the soy sauce in a small sauce or dish and serve with fried rice.