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Yangzhou, or yeung chow, fried rice is a simple homestyle dish that’s commonly served as the final course before dessert at Chinese holiday and festival meals. This is an easy recipe to add to your holiday menu, as well as a good single dish meal to add to your weekly family dinner repertoire.
Rice is the original Chinese staple food, the ultimate symbol of a household’s wealth and prosperity. Chinese children learn at an early age to eat every grain of rice in their bowls, lest they go wanting at future meals.
Within the rhythm of a Chinese holiday meal, fried rice is always the last dish served (if you’re a guest, this is a good sign the meal is near its end). Serving fried rice during the holidays bestows good fortune on the diners and ensures that no one leaves the table hungry.
There are countless varieties of Yangzhou fried rice, incorporating many types of vegetables and meats. The only common denominators are scrambled eggs, day old rice and a hot wok. The Shaoxing rice wine and chicken stock in this version of Yangzhou fried rice produce a deep, rich flavor that’s full of body.
Here’s how to make Yangzhou Fried Rice, step-by-step. The detailed tutorial with pictures and directions is at the bottom of the page.
Your turn! What tips can you share from your family’s recipe? Want to ask a question before you start cooking? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!
Yangzhou Fried Rice Recipe
Makes: 4 Servings | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 5 Minutes
4 cups cold cooked rice
1 tablespoon oil
2 green onions, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
4 ounces shrimp, peeled, deveined and halved
1 cup peas, blanched for 3 minutes
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon Shaoxing rice wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
cilantro, to garnish
1. Place the rice in a large bowl and break up any clumps.
2. Heat the oil in a wok over high heat until smoking. Stir fry the spring onion and ginger for 15-30 seconds until fragrant. Add the shrimp and peas and stir fry until the shrimp turn pink. Reduce the heat to medium, add the eggs and scramble lightly.
3. Before the eggs are completely set, add the cooked rice. Return the heat to high and turn the rice quickly with a spatula until the rice is heated through, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the rice wine, soy sauce, salt and pepper and mix until well blended. Add half the chicken stock and stir fry for 30 seconds. Repeat with the remaining chicken stock.
4. Remove from the heat, add the sesame oil and toss well.
5. Transfer the fried rice to a serving plate, garnish with cilantro leaves and serve immediately.
Because fried rice is cooked so quickly, it’s really important to prepare all of the ingredients in advance. Use leftover rice (or make a pot of rice earlier in the day and allow to fully cool), peel, devein and halve the shrimp, mince the ginger and green onions, blanch the peas and combine the sauce ingredients.
Once you’re ready to cook, heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Stir fry the ginger and green onions until fragrant.
Add the shrimp and peas to the pan and stir fry until the shrimp pink up.
Reduce the heat to medium and then add the beaten eggs to the pan. Combine all the ingredients until the eggs begin to firm up.
Return the heat to high and dump in the rice. Turn the ingredients quickly in the pan until they’re combined well and heated through.
Add the rice wine, soy sauce, salt and pepper and combine. Finally, add 1/2 of the chicken stock and stir fry for 30 seconds, before repeating with the remainder of the chicken stock.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the sesame oil and mix one last time. Transfer the fried rice to a serving plate, garnish with cilantro leaves and serve immediately.
HT: Recipe adapted from Chinese Feasts & Festivals: A Cookbook.