making fried rice brown

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by gianni123, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. gianni123

    gianni123

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    At home cook
    Hi everybody,
    I'm a newbie here. In my house I'm the 'sou chef' to my wife, although I often come up with new ideas and take liberties with recipes.
    As far as Chinese food goes, I make a good hot and sour soup. However, one recipe I've never been able to make the way it is prepared in Chinese take-out (or, as the British say, take-away) is fried rice. I am never able to get the dark brown appearance, even though I use plenty of soy sauce. The white of the rice still shows through. I once used annatto, but that didn't seem to work either. I wonder if it is the reddish pork that usually comes with the fried rice that gives it the color I so like. I'm beginning to suspect that the take-out places use a food dye. :)

    I hope someone can help me out.
    Gianni

     
  2. cakerookie

    cakerookie

    Messages:
    1,191
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    Have you tried adding fish sauce?Or turmeric or maybe curry powder?
     
  3. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,743
    Likes Received:
    346
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    You can use dark thick soy sauce, although, not all fried rice is brown. Some forego the soy sauce altogether.
     
  4. higjse

    higjse

    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    do you chill your rice first or do you fry it right after steaming or boiling it...?
     
  5. sushigaijin

    sushigaijin

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Sous Chef
    cold rice, ample fat, high heat, a little soy = brown rice.
     
    jaklyn and brandon odell like this.
  6. gianni123

    gianni123

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    At home cook
    Thanks, all, for your suggestions.
    Gianni
     
  7. chef kaiser

    chef kaiser

    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    hi,

    Well the question is, what is brown, dark brown, light brown. The traditional way is adding a light soy sauce (depending the region and the fried rice). The pork could have an influence, as the traditional chinese BBQ pork was glazed with honey or sugar in the final stage and the fat does disolve some of the color.

    regards
     
  8. gianni123

    gianni123

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    At home cook
    Hi SushiGaijin,

    Can you be more specific about the kind of fat. I imagine you mean peanut oil or some such, but I'd like to be sure you don't mean Crisco. (When I was a kid we had a friend that we called Crisco, because he was fat in the can.) :)

    As Yan from "Yan Can Cook" says,

    Gaijin
     
  9. liv4fud

    liv4fud

    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    11
    Its usually the dark soy sauce (mushroom soy sauce as its sometimes called). Its usually less in sodium content and we usually mix the light (salt-substitute) and dark (color) and add it to the rice for a more uniform color. (usually mixed in equal amounts)

    if you see a hole-in-the-wall type of place making fried rice, the ingredient that they keep adding on a regular basis while continuously stirring is dark soy sauce / mushroom soy sauce.
     
    sean lougheed likes this.
  10. gianni123

    gianni123

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    At home cook
    Thanks very much for your reply. I just went out to buy the dark soy sauce. I went only to one shop and I didn't find it, but I did get a barbecue sauce which is thick and black like roofing sealant. The first ingredient is sugar, the third is soy.
    I have the rice boiling right now. We use my wife's method of boiling rice in lots and lots of water, not just enough so the water covers "the first joint of a finger". It comes out very fluffy. Of course, there is no "singing rice" stuck to the bottom of the pot. I guess my wife figured that if lots of water works for pasta it should also work for rice.
     
  11. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

    Messages:
    9,204
    Likes Received:
    65
    Exp:
    Cook At Home
    This is the method favored by Sarah Moulton, too.

    I wonder if bead molasses is what turns the rice brown. It wouldn't add saltiness to the rice but would make it dark brown and somewhat sweet.
     
  12. chef kaiser

    chef kaiser

    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    hi,

    this type of soy sauce is commonly used by the Japanese, when they make their fried rice and it is darker. however when refering to chinese fried rice in general, especially in the cantonese cuisine the rice is not dark brown. Well at least back here in Asia. Will post a recipe, when i am back form work.

    regards have a nice day
     
  13. skilletlicker

    skilletlicker

    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    11
    In addition to the Soy some Hoisin sauce helps. I don't cook Chinese much but I do like fried rice.

    I've also added Worcestershire, more for flavor than browning but contributes to both. As I type this I'm wondering about Worcestershire and molasses in addition to the soy. Certainly not ethnically authentic but...
     
    lisiepooh likes this.
  14. headless chicken

    headless chicken

    Messages:
    866
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    Some of the colour will come from the wok, the rest will come from either dark soy or oyster sauce and add near the end of cooking. Besides, fried rice shouldn't be dark dark brown but very light brown. If you want that dark brown colour, I recommend you steam your rice with a little soy sauce and add oyster sauce when making fried rice. Should help a little.
     
  15. gianni123

    gianni123

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    At home cook
    I made the rice yesterday. For the amount of rice I used I put too much oil in the pan and I also used too much of the barbecue sauce. It certainly came out much darker than what I had hoped for. It tasted too greasy while it was hot, but my wife liked it a lot after it had cooled off.

    I'm going to experiment by steaming the rice, that is using a minimal amount of water, and add the barbecue sauce during the simmering process.
     
  16. scott123

    scott123

    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Culinary Instructor
    The rice needs to be more than just chilled/cold. It should be refrigerated overnight.

    The starch in rice takes time in the fridge to retrograde for the proper consistency of fried rice.

    Steam the rice, let it cool, refrigerate overnight.

    Besides refrigerating the rice, you'll want to track down a good recipe for char siu pork. Fried rice just isn't fried rice without it.
     
  17. chef kaiser

    chef kaiser

    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    hi,

    As promissed, a base recipe the way we cook it out here in Asian. The method is stir - fried.



    Ingredients
    Specifications
    Units
    Quantity
    Cooked Rice
    Cold

    Kg
    1.000
    Chinese Sausage
    Sliced small, blanched

    Kg
    0.250
    Green Peas
    Frozen, blanch before using

    Kg
    0.200
    Lettuce
    Iceberg, washed and dried

    Kg
    0.100
    Shrimp
    Washed & de-veined

    Kg
    0.150
    Soy Sauce
    Dark soy sauce

    Ml
    40
    White pepper
    Ground

    Kg
    0.005
    Eggs
    Fresh, approx. 50 grams per piece

    Pcs
    5
    Spring Onion
    Washed, finely chopped

    Kg
    0.100
    Garlic
    Peeled, chopped

    Kg
    0.030
    Oil
    Corn oil

    Ml
    50
    Salt
    Iodized

    Kg
    0.005


    Method:
    · Using a Chinese wok, heat the oil.
    · Add garlic and sauté.
    · Add the beaten eggs, stirring well. Add the shrimps.
    · Add the Chinese sausage and stir well. (or BBQ pork)
    · Add the cooked rice into the wok.
    · Add the green peas, lettuce, salt and white pepper.
    Add the soy sauce and the spring onions. Stir well to evenly distribute the ingredients

    you need high heat for this preparation.

    note: BBQ sauce is not the right ingredient. Also i saw someone recommending Hoisin sauce. Hoisin sauce is served in the chinese for cold roasted appetizers, or when serving pekin duck etc.

    regards and good luck
     
  18. iworkforthem

    iworkforthem

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Food Writer
    Dark soy sauce might just be the thing you are looking for. :chef:
    But did you use 'overnight' rice? And fry the egg first?
     
  19. gianni123

    gianni123

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    At home cook
    I made steamed rice in the pressure cooker today. That's where you put the rice and water in a small bowl and place that in the pressure cooker with a cup of water. I added one teaspoon of barbecue sauce during the cooking which resulted in a very nice brown color and a slightly 'smoked' flavor. It was convenient in that it takes only a few minutes and there is no need to refrigerate the rice before frying it. Of course a true fried rice should include roasted pork.
    Gianni
     
  20. travisbickle

    travisbickle Banned

    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    I read through all of the exsisting posts up to this point and most of the suggestions revolved around some kind of sauce to bring the "brown" color our friend asked about. The "brown" that you seek comes from method, and not your sauce of choice entirely. Fried rice came from where most things we Westerners think is great...Leftovers! Here's a great tip: Cook off two cups of rice, after you have rinsed it in cold water thoroughly, Chineese style (rice equal proportion to water). It should be sticky, but not starchy-gooey. Lay it out flat and cool it down fast. Allow it to dry out under refigeration. This is key...it must dry out! Now, when you go through your steps to prepare it, your rice will perform. Don't use so much oil and cook over high heat. Stir-fry is fast, hot cooking and it doesn't take much time if your mise en plas are in front of you.