Char siu fried rice is a popular dish in Chinese cuisine that combines the flavors of char siu, a barbecued pork, with fried rice. The history of char siu itself can be traced back to ancient China, with its roots in Cantonese cuisine.
Char siu, which means "fork roast," traditionally refers to marinated and roasted pork. It is believed to have originated in the Guangdong province of Southern China, where it was developed as a way to preserve and flavor meat. The pork is typically marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey or sugar, Chinese five-spice powder, and sometimes other ingredients like oyster sauce or fermented bean curd. It is then roasted until the exterior becomes caramelized and the meat is tender.
Fried rice, on the other hand, is a dish that was originally invented as a way to use up leftover rice. It is said to have originated in China around the Sui Dynasty (589-618 AD) and has since become a staple in Chinese cuisine. Fried rice is made by stir-frying cooked rice with various ingredients like vegetables, meat, seafood, and seasonings.
The combination of char siu and fried rice likely came about as a way to use leftover char siu, turning it into a flavorful and satisfying meal. The sweet and savory flavors of the char siu complement the rice and other ingredients, creating a delicious and complete dish.
Over time, char siu fried rice has become a popular and beloved dish in Chinese cuisine, both in China and abroad. It is often found in Cantonese-style restaurants and dim sum houses, where it is a favorite among diners. Variations of char siu fried rice can also be found in other Asian cuisines, such as Thai and Vietnamese, with their own unique twists and flavors.
Today, char siu fried rice is enjoyed by people around the world, as it combines the smoky and rich flavors of char siu with the comforting and versatile nature of fried rice. Whether served as a standalone dish or alongside other Chinese classics, char siu fried rice continues to be a crowd-pleaser that celebrates the culinary traditions of China.
To make char siu fried rice for 10 portions, you'll need the following ingredients:
- 4 cups of cooked rice (preferably day-old rice)
- 1 lb (450g) of char siu (barbecued pork), diced
- 1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, corn)
- 1 cup of diced onions
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
- 4 green onions, chopped (for garnish)
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil.
2. Add the diced onions and minced garlic to the hot oil and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until they become fragrant and slightly softened.
3. Add the diced char siu and frozen mixed vegetables to the wok and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are heated through.
4. Push the ingredients to one side of the wok and add the beaten eggs to the other side. Allow the eggs to cook slightly and then scramble them.
5. Once the eggs are scrambled, mix them with the other ingredients in the wok.
6. Add the cooked rice to the wok and use a spatula to break up any clumps, ensuring that the rice is evenly coated with the other ingredients.
7. Drizzle the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil over the rice. Stir-fry for another 3-4 minutes, or until the rice is heated through and well combined with the rest of the ingredients.
8. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
9. Remove from heat and garnish with chopped green onions.
10. Serve hot and enjoy your flavorful char siu fried rice!
Note: Feel free to add additional ingredients like diced bell peppers, bean sprouts, or shrimp for extra flavor and texture. Adjust the seasonings and sauces according to your taste preferences.