Fried rice is the most typical and ideal traditional Chinese cuisine. Chinese fried rice is a prehistoric dish that started in Sui dynasty all the way back in 589 – 618 AD. It was created mainly to utilise leftover elements of vegetables, meat or seafood from other dishes, resulting in countless number of different versions of fried rice. Normally, steamed rice is stir-fried in a wok combined with other ingredients like meat, seafood, eggs and vegetables. Typical and famous Chinese fried rice dishes are Yangchow fried rice and Hokkien (Fujian) fried rice. Other variations are chicken fried rice, beef fried rice, seafood fried rice, eggs fried rice and vegetarian fried rice. In a Chinese restaurant, fried rice is usually served as the final main dish just before desserts in a multicourse Chinese banquet.
Normally, the ideal way of cooking fried rice is to cook each ingredient individually, then all the ingredients will be combined together with rice and seasonings added at the end of cooking. For my gluten free version of seafood fried rice, I am using steamed basmati rice, eggs, peas, corns and carrots mix vegetables, king prawns, calamari and pipis. Chinese fried rice is not only the classic comfort food but extremely nutritious as well.
There are two groups of shellfish, namely crustaceans and molluscs. Crustaceans includes prawns, lobsters, crabs, scampi and crayfish, with all having an external skeletal invertebrates. While mulluscs are oysters, mussels, scallops, cockles and pipis that live inside a shell, albeit cuttlefish, squid or calamari and octopus do not have shells. The entire groups of shellfish are an excellent source of protein, with reasonable amount of calories and are abundant in trace minerals like copper, zinc, iodine and potassium. Mulluscs also contain iron and crustaceans plus cuttlefish, squid or calamari and octopus contains selenium. In addition, shellfish are also rich in vitamin B12 (cobalamin)and has omega-3 fatty acid for cardiovascular health. Consuming shellfish has many health benefits, including providing essential nutrients for healthy blood, muscle and bone functions and may protect against lung cancer.
- 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 kg large fresh king prawns shelled and deveined tails intact
- 1 kg fresh pipis shelled and washed
- 2 about 500g large calamari hoods
- 500 g frozen peas carrots and corns mix
- 250 g frozen baby beans thinly sliced into 1cm lengthwise
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons pale or medium dry sherry
- 4 cups basmati rice
- 3 tablespoons gluten free light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of salt or to taste
For the Marinade:
- 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon of ground white pepper
For the Omelette:
- Extra virgin olive oil for pan frying
- 6 extra-large free-range eggs
- 1 teaspoon gluten free soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- Wash the basmati rice and cook in an electric rice cooker by adding number of cups of water specified by the electric cooker. Rice should be light and fluffy. Keep warm in the rice cooker.
- Wash and clean squid hoods under cold running water. Cut the hoods lengthwise to open up the calamari. Making sure to get rid of the clear and hard spine from inside the hood. Place the hoods flat on a chopping board with outside surface facing up and cut diagonally into 4 to 5 cm wide strips and then score the strips with a sharp knife in crosshatch parallel lines. Taking care not to cut all the way through.
- Marinade the prawns with ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of ground white pepper and set aside. Then marinade the pipis and calamari with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of ground white pepper and set aside.
For the omelette:
- Crack all the eggs into a medium bowl, add the salt and ground white pepper. Beat all the eggs well with a fork.
- Heat up a medium non-stick frying pan with some extra virgin olive oil on medium to high heat. Empty half of beaten egg mixture into the frying pan, turn the heat to medium. Move the frying pan around to distribute the egg evenly, cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until the bottom of the omelette turn slight brown. Turn the omelette around and cook for roughly the same time. Remove omelette onto a plate. Repeat with remaining egg mixture by adding a bit more extra virgin olive oil. Set aside.
For the Fried Rice:
- Heat up a large wok with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, swirl to coat, than add prawns and pan fry the prawns for two minutes on each side on medium heat or until prawns are cooked through. Remove and set aside in a bowl. Clean wok with kitchen paper towel.
- Heat up another 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and stir-fry the garlic on low heat until lightly golden. Add the pipis and calamari and stir-fry for two minutes on medium to high heat or until they are almost cooked through. Then add the peas, carrots, corns and baby beans, plus the pale or medium dry sherry and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.
- Turn the heat to low, add the steamed basmati rice in step 1, the omelettes and gluten free soy sauce and salt into the wok, break the omelettes into smaller pieces, stir frequently, toss and combine well until the rice is heated through on medium to high heat.
- Lastly, add the cooked prawns and toss and combine with the fried rice and serve.