Full disclosure, the tips in this recipe are stolen from a recipe in an old Lucky Peach. As we remember the story, Chef Corey Lee was tired of people complaining that his tasting menu wasn’t filling enough and decided to end it with a course of all you can eat conpoy and egg white fried rice. We made this recipe once and our fried rice technique has never been the same.
A few principals:
You need a fat While Chef Corey Lee uses rice bran oil, we prefer olive oil. It adds a depth of flavor to the fried rice which we really like. You can also use twice cooked pork to up the umami / richness of any fried rice dish.
You need dry rice Ideally you have cold leftover rice in the fridge. If not, cook some rice using a ratio of 1:1 - dry rice:water. Once it's done, lay it out on a baking sheet to let it cool quickly. See our post on how to make great rice for more detail.
You want a sous chef Everything you are adding to the fried rice needs to be chopped and ready to go in advance of turning the wok on. The whole thing happens fast and you want to be ready. Mise en place people.
Don’t brown the rice! Fried rice isn’t really fried in the way that we typically think of frying something. You want the rice as hot as possible without it actually browning.
Be ready to eat! You don’t want to let the fried rice sit when it comes out of the wok. Ideally your guests are sitting and waiting for the rice.
Heat your fat in the wok over medium heat for a minute or two, add the egg and stir to form egg curds. Add your cooked rice and whatever else is going into your rice (broccoli, peas and carrots, beef jerky/onion/mushrooms). Stir gently but consistently. Add salt to taste. Add a little sugar if you want it slightly sweet. Add more fat if rice is sticking at all. Once the first grain of rice starts to brown remove the fried rice immediately, top with chopped scallions and serve.
Conpoy Egg White Fried Rice (our favorite fried rice)
Egg whites 4
Scallions ½ bunch sliced
Chinese broccoli stems 1 bunch of stems sliced into 1 cm coins
White Rice 200 grams dried rive equivalent (this is 200grams of dried rice then turned into cooked rice) ~2 cups of cooked rice
Soy Sauce None, fried rice is better without soy sauce in our opinion...
You can use fresh scallops but dried scallops (conpoy) will be richer in flavor. Soak the conpoy for 12 hours or overnight. Drain soaking water and steam on low to medium heat until tender and the scallop fibers easily fall apart (~8 minutes). Once cooked, gently break apart fibers with a fork.
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a wok on medium heat until it reaches smoke point. Add in egg whites and stir around quickly with a wok spatula to create curds.
Turn flame on highest setting, add in Chinese broccoli stems, cooked rice and conpoy and toss around to combine. You may need to add a little more oil to the wok to prevent the rice from sticking. Continue stirring until the rice is absolutely as hot as possible before it starts to brown.
Make sure you have no clumps of rice, they should be distinct grains. Salt to taste and give it a final quick toss to mix through. Garnish with chopped scallions and serve immediately.