In September 2020, egg fried rice is going somewhat viral on YouTube because of the hilarious recipe reaction videos filmed by comedian Nigel Ng in his guise as ‘Uncle Roger.’ Uncle Roger commenced his Chinglish-laced egg fried rice rants with an attack on Hersha Patel’s colander. When Patel washed her cooked rice with additional water, Uncle Roger exclaimed:
“You killing me woman!”
Once Patel had been dealt with, Uncle Roger then went to town on Jamie Oliver who had managed to find something called chilli jam, and proceeded to cook his Chinese rice dish in Italian olive oil. Uncle Roger was not pleased.
“Olive oil is white person’s oil.”
When The Nosey Chef came to make egg fried rice, there was no way I was going to take my cues from a European cook. Instead, I watched about 20 videos from Oriental cooks, and read almost as many authentic recipes. While variations exist, the most common method is the one given here where leftover rice is fried in groundnut oil, eggs are scrambled in the wok, and soy is used for flavour
To make egg fried rice, it is essential to use rice that has been cooked properly (see notes on our Little Black Book page) and chilled overnight to remove excess moisture. If the rice is fresh, you will get a sticky mess. If the the rice is left too long, you risk death by food poisoning. As Uncle Roger says:
“You fucked up.”
The method given here is the fundamental, basic way to cook egg fried rice properly. I added monosodium glutamate (MSG) as a flavour enhancer, but I acknowledge that this is not for everyone. Miss it out if you prefer, but understand that so-called ‘Chinese Restaurant Syndrome’ is a bollocks, racist construct that makes a mockery of people who moan about MSG, but will happily eat Doritos or a KFC. Egg fried rice is all the better for a dash of MSG.
Basic egg fried rice
- 150g medium or long-grain rice, cooked and chilled overnight (rice weight is the dry, uncooked weight)
- 1 tbsp groundnut oil
- 2 eggs beaten
- Large pinch of MSG (optional)
- Decent splash of soy sauce
- 2 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal
Heat the oil in a wok until dangerously hot. Add the rice. Stir with chopsticks and toss to coat the rice and cook for 2–3 mins.
Clear the central area of the wok of rice and add the eggs into the crater. Scramble the eggs with a pair of chopsticks until just cooked.
Fold the eggs and rice together and toss. Sprinkle over with MSG. Add a large splash of soy sauce and sizzle it for a moment, mixing through the rice with more tossing.
Chuck in the spring onions, mix and serve immediately.
Eat with a spoon (not a fork or chopsticks).
To cook rice correctly, per my friend who grew up playing in rice paddies (and therefore knows what she is talking about), wash medium or long-grain (e.g. Basmati or Wuchang) rice in a small pan three times with fresh water, ticking with your fingers and draining by holding the rice back with your hand (no sieve). Add water using the 'first-knuckle' method whereby a fingertip touched to the rice is covered with water to the first joint of your finger. Bring to boil and cook on low with a loose lid (~70% covered) for 15 mins. Remove from heat, lid fully, and rest for 10 mins. Any other method is bullshit. For EFR, the rice is spread on a tray and chilled overnight to strip out the excess moisture.