Saturday, January 24, 2009

Schezwan Fried Rice – Best served on a ‘Chilli’ day

This spicy rice originates from the Sichuan district of China. My cousin’s husband was in China on work for a few months and he had then been to Sichuan. He says the real fried rice they serve there is beyond one’s capability to tolerate spice unless they’re used to it. I’m sure that’s what I would love!

Unless S and I visit China, we’re never going to know what this authentic dish tastes like. The Chinese food, or as a matter of fact any specialty cuisine we eat, is not authentic and sometimes watered down to a low-spice-tolerant palate. The Chinese food in India is especially largely Indo Chinese. So without having anything to compare against (Unless we visit China), I made our Schezwan Fried Rice once I got here and S seemed to love it. I’m sure it’s not completely authentic, but I hope to get there someday.

The Chinese Rice is also cooked differently. This is considered healthier because the water is drained out at the end, and so is starch-free and not sticky. Anytime you want non-sticky and unbroken grains of rice, this is how you do it.

Here’s what you’ll need:
1. Schezwan Sauce – I generally add it based on all the vegetables and quantity of rice. Somewhere between 2-3 tablespoons should do fine.

2. 2 ½ cups Basmati Rice – presoaked for 30 minutes.

3. Vegetables – anything you can get your hands on – I used some cabbage, capsicum, potato, carrot, green peas, onion and beans. Usually Bok Choy, Spring Onions and Chinese Cabbage makes it better.

4. Oil, salt, ajinomoto, 4-5 chopped green chillis

Here’s how you dish it up:
1. In a large vessel, bring about 10 cups of water to boil. Drain the soaked rice after 30 minutes, and add it to the boiling water with the green chillis. This ensures that the spice seeps into the rice while cooking. Make sure you handle the soaked rice delicately as it will have a tendency to break.

2. Gently stir the rice to make sure it doesn’t catch on to the bottom of your vessel, making sure it doesn’t break. When the rice is about 95 percent cooked, turn off the heat and drain it in a colander. Run some cold water on it to prevent further cooking and spread it out on a large plate. Add a few drops of oil to make sure it doesn’t get sticky. You don’t want to cook the rice completely else it’ll get mushy.

3. In the same vessel, heat a little bit of oil (about half a teaspoon) and toss in the vegetables, stir frying them with some Schezwan Sauce and salt.

4. When they are close to being done, bring the heat down to the lowest possible and add the rice slowly, making sure you don’t break up the grains.

5. Mix it up gently by folding your spatula and add the sauce, salt and ajinomoto as needed. Garnish with spring onion leaves, if you have them.

I sometimes scramble some egg and add it to this. Tonight, it has been completely vegetarian. This measure serves 4-5 adults, depending upon your appetite.


  1. `wow rumsie kalakare po:) Sounds ,looks yummy. I wish patti can read all these cos she will be so proud of you:). i will show her all these when she visits us next time. The photoes look really inviting as rupam says. lets hope these photoes as vidya wrote will inspire pple like uma to start cooking.
    U 2 rock girls, and keep up the tastywork:):)

  2. hey the blog looks very good...I did not know this aspect of u...Well written and tempted me (cooking is not my cup of tea) to enter the kitchen and try out my fav Thakkali rasam ..maybe I will one day !!

    I saw this scrap in rumsie's orkut and this is exactly what they (vidya and rums) are hoping for right rums???:) But when the need arises everybody starts doing things that they thought they may never like to do, thats the tenacity of humanrace.

  3. This is kewl, will try it soon. A always asks for shezwan fried rice but doesnt want it spicy :P.

  4. Mum, everyone will start cooking one day. Prabha is an example right :) I am too. My Schezwan Fried Rice always turns out amazing - you remember the mail S sent you after trying it for the first time? :)

    V, you need to add lesser chillis while making the sauce. In that case, add in 10-15 chillis and increase the sugar by a spoon. Should be ok to your taste.