Filipinos love rice; that is an undeniable truth. Our love affair with rice is deeply ingrained in our psyche, that wherever we go, and no matter where we are in the world, our palate will always look for steamed rice. Our dining experience is never complete without cooked white rice or fried rice: it doesn’t matter; as long as there’s rice, Filipinos will survive.
And because of our friendship with the Chinese people, we also fell in love with their love for fried rice. We can see that in our “silog” meals or fried rice paired with a fried egg and an assortment of breakfast options. But there is one rice dish that challenges our cooks, and they find it hard to nail the taste of this fried rice recipe.
But don’t worry because we got you covered. We already know how to replicate the savory and mouth-watering fried rice recipe of our Chinese friends. So let’s not prolong this, and let’s go straight to share with you the things you need to learn in cooking the Best Yang Chow for your loved ones.
What is Yang Chow
If there is one Chinese rice recipe that people worldwide are familiar with, this would be it. Yang Chow is the poster boy of the Chinese fried rice entries, and the Filipinos fell in love with it at the first spoonful.
At its core, Yang chow is a simple fried rice recipe with an assortment of ingredients, which makes it flavorful and hard to resist. You can add anything you like to this recipe, and it would still taste fantastic. Imagination is your only limit when it comes to this recipe.
The essential components of Yang Chow are cooked rice, aromatics, soy sauce, and your choice of protein: this can range from pork cutlets to seafood such as shrimps or squid. The cooking process is pretty simple and straightforward: heat the oil and toss in the ingredients to saute them and incorporate the flavors. Then throw in the rice and continue mixing and tossing them until the components are mixed together beautifully.
The name Yang chow is an adaptation of the dish’s original name, Yangzhou fried rice, the province’s name where the dish originated. Ever since its inception, this fried rice recipe has made its way all across the globe and continuously wins the heart of diners of all kinds.
It is also named after the person who invented the recipe, Yi Bingshou, a Yangzhou province’s magistrate.
Ways to Cook
The traditional and preferred method of cooking this recipe is still pan-frying. That is because chefs look for that smokey and somewhat charred taste that it brings. However, you can always venture and see if this other cooking method will suit your taste when cooking Yang Chow.
Check out this list, and see which one will work best for you.
Stovetop is the usual cooking method that Filipinos use when cooking. It is affordable and readily available. And most of us grew up watching our parents use this for home cooking. Up to now, the majority of Filipino households still use them: may it be the gas-powered or the more modern electric stovetop cooker.
Any type of cooking pan can be used; just be mindful that the pan must be able to hold a high amount of heat: fried rice is better when cooked at a constant high temperature. This is also to ensure that the ingredients will be cooked adequately.
For this method, make sure to use a heavy-duty cooking pan and heat it. Make sure that the surface of the pan is hot enough before you add in the oil. After that, saute the rest of the ingredients. Keep mixing until you’re confident that every rice grain is coated with the sauce and the seasoning.
In the event that you will be using the more modern stovetop like the induction cooker, remember to use the induction cooker-approved pans. Regular cooking pans will not work because they won’t conduct the heat coming from the cooker.
The instant pot is the updated version of our trusted pressure cooker. With its update comes the addition of other cooking functions such as steaming, sauteing, and few others to make you fall in love with this cooking equipment. But at the very core, the instant pot is still a pressure cooker.
This cooker works like its older cousin: it utilizes steam and pressure to cook food quickly. This happens because the steam cannot escape the cooker entirely, causing the liquid to go beyond the standard boiling point. This is what makes the cooking time faster.
For the instant pot Yang Chow, make sure to have all your ingredients ready. It is best to have your cooked rice chilled or use day-old rice. Then set the instant pot to saute and cook the rest of the ingredients and start from the toughest elements to the softest.
Once you’re done cooking the ingredients, set the instant pot to cook rice and allow it to do its magic.
Other Delicious Variants
As we have mentioned, Yang Chow is a very versatile dish. One is only limited by imagination regarding the variety that can be made for this recipe. You can use any kinds of meat that you may have at home.
But to give you an idea, let us share some of the well-known variants of this flavorful recipe that you can try at home.
Spam Yang Chow
This is the variant where the pride of the East meets the poster boy of the West. Spam is probably one of the most famous canned meats that everyone in the world knows about. The meaty and flavorful contents of this canned goodness make it a perfect protein for our fried rice.
For optimum flavor, make sure to dice your spam into small cubes. This ensures that the pieces of meat will incorporate well with the rest of the ingredients. Make sure to adjust the seasonings you will use since there are a few different Spam varieties in the market.
For this variant, simply follow the steps as the recipe dictates. You can opt-in to pre-fry the Spam beforehand and use the same pan for sauteing the rest of the ingredients. The upside of this is that the oil is now infused with the protein’s flavors, which will result in a more flavorful fried rice.
Yang Chow with Wok Aroma
Wok aroma or wok hei refers to the flavor resulting from the caramelization of the sugar, oil, and the high temperature, which produces that distinct smoky flavor to dishes. This is the trademark flair of many Chinese, specifically, Cantonese-style dishes. Something is magical about the way the ingredients float mid-air along with the flames and the steam.
To achieve this flavor, one needs to use a wok: the rounded, black pan with a long wooden handle. A cook must be mindful of heating the wok first before putting in the cold oil and never the opposite. The latter dilemma will cause the ingredients to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Simply follow the steps in cooking this variant, same with the original, making sure to stick to the recipe. Again, remember to heat the wok first before adding your oil, lest you want to have your meats and your rice sticking to the wok. The technique is to keep on tossing and mixing the ingredients.
With Char Siu
Char-siu is that reddish, succulent barbecue-like pork dish of Chinese cuisine. The literal meaning of it is fork roast, Char meaning fork, and Siu, meaning roast. We can see this dish in most Chinese restaurants and movies.
Cooking char siu needs some time and a bit of an expert. If you can cook this on your own, then that's a good thing, but if not, then you can simply purchase them in specialty stores. This meat dish is already flavorful on its own, so the dish itself does not need many seasonings.
Chop your char siu into tiny pieces and mix them in a while, sauteing your aromatics. Once sauteed adequately, add in the rice and keep mixing until you're sure that the rice grains are soaked in the sauce.
Or you can simply proceed with the usual Yang Chow and serve the Char Siu as the side dish.
Yang Chow is one of the most famous Chinese dishes to date. But compared to the other traditional dishes of Chinese cuisine, this recipe was invented just about 150 years ago. So we can say that it's relatively new, in contrast to noodles or meat buns.
We desire to help you become the great home cook that you can be. And cooking is one of the never-ending learning processes. So addition and revision of existing cooking techniques always happen. And we want you to be included in that process.
And part of that is giving you time-tested tips to cook this recipe with the best quality outputs every time.
In case that you encounter troubles cooking this recipe, no worries because we have the right remedies to apply to your kitchen dilemma. Simply follow these kitchen-tested troubleshooting steps.
- If the mixture came out sticky, cool it down and put it in the fridge for about half an hour. Then put them back in the pan and re-heat.
- Add oyster sauce if the fried rice is lackluster in flavor. This will add a hint of sweetness, and it will highlight the saltiness of the dish.
Best Serve With
Fried rice is best when paired with other savory and delectable dishes. So we have a list of dishes that you can try for a more enjoyable dining experience when eating Yang Chow.
This mouth-watering yet straightforward delight is a star of the breakfast table. The aroma is sure to wake you up in the morning. And our meaty fried rice goes well with this.
We can never go wrong with fried chicken, and when looking for the perfect pair for your Yang Chow, look no further because this crispy and good old chicken dish will never disappoint.
If you fancy an Asian-inspired dining experience, then this is the match that will surely fit your liking. The flavorful sauce and the tender chicken will make you crave more when paired with the fried rice.
Looks can be deceiving, as they say, and the same is true with food. Yang Chow may intimidate you at first, looking at how festive and hearty this fried rice recipe is. But with the right tips and information that we have given you, we know that you can nail this recipe.
Who knows, you might even be able to come up with your take on this traditional recipe. So keep exploring and keep learning. Until next time, happy cooking!
For more delicious recipe, please visit Eat Like Pinoy!
Best Yang Chow Recipe
- 4 cups Cooked rice for best result use day-old rice
- 1 cup Barbecue pork cooked and cut into small cubes
- 1 tablespoon Soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ cup Green peas
- ½ cup Shrimp shelled and cooked
- 2 pcs Eggs beaten
- ¼ cup Young onion chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic crushed into pieces
- 1 thumb Ginger crushed into pieces
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- ½ teaspoon Sugar
- Heat oil in a pan, saute garlic until golden brown, add ginger. Mix then pour the beaten egg into the pan, make a quick stir, so it won't form a whole egg.
- Toss in shrimp, then mix it well again.
- Now add the cooked rice. Season it with soy sauce, salt, sugar, and barbecue pork. Mix it again for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, add green peas and young onion. Now give the ingredients a stir fry and mix well.
- Serve hot and enjoy!