[Updated 13 October 2020]
The smoky, charred aftertaste. The delightful harmony of all our favourite ingredients in one plate. Oh, and an easy, foolproof way to clear out leftovers! These are simply a few reasons we love a good plate of fried rice. It's a staple in every Asian household, thanks to its easy preparation steps ?
However, do you know that fried rice variation is not exclusive to Asian countries? This well-loved dish is enjoyed by many different cultures all over the world with different adaptations. Scroll away and you’ll find out what they are!
1. Nasi Goreng Kampung
Starting with a Malaysian classic, Nasi Goreng Kampung literally translates to village-style fried rice. This Malay style dish is essentially day-old rice fried with anchovies, eggs, dried prawns and kangkung (water spinach). Either served with prawn crackers, satay and cucumber slices or just on its own, this is a can’t-go-wrong cuisine you can tweak with any extra ingredient you prefer.
Complete with a YouTube tutorial, this recipe by Huang Kitchen is a good guide for those who have never made Nasi Goreng Kampung before. Did you know that shrimp paste (belacan) used here is key to enhance the complexity of the fried rice flavour? It also adds to the aroma that makes the dish what it is, not to mention the huge boost of umami that it gives ?
Psst... If you have an air fryer at home or thinking of getting one, check out our article on 8 Simple Recipes You Can Make With An Air Fryer here ?
2. Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)
This Javanese rendition of fried rice is a must-try for those who love hefty chilli kick in their spoonfuls. Known for its dark brown, caramelised appearance, Nasi Goreng is actually not that hard to make ? Nagi shared this recipe on her site, Recipe Tin Eats, using just 6 ingredients! The key ingredient is, of course, the sweet soy sauce or fondly known as 'kicap manis' amongst Bahasa Indonesia speakers.
If like many Indonesians, you prefer your Nasi Goreng hot and spicy, this recipe by Taste Cooking should do the trick! Top it all with a sunny side up, and your meal is fixed ?
P.S. Indonesians and living abroad? You'd love this article feature on 10 Local Indonesian Snacks That Reminds You of Your Hometown-- and how you can buy them online!
3. Yangzhou Fried Rice
*This recipe uses Chinese ham, which can be substituted with beef/chicken sausage or any other protein of your choice!
You may know this simply as Chinese fried rice, especially when ordering at our everyday hawker stalls. Even though it's the simplest (and most colourful!) fried rice variation to have ever exist, it is still a comfort food for many of us who grew up eating quick-fried meals. We're sure you can ace this without the recipe, but we'll share it anyway ?
This extensive yet easy-to-follow guide on China Sichuan Food gives a little background on this all-time favourite. The mixed vegetables and diced sausages make this dish quite a 'playful' one, so enjoy your time crafting this delicacy.
#HHWT Tip: Resorting to butter as your fat option in this recipe helps greatly with the ‘buttery fragrance’ and colour to your final product, but if you’re eating clean, feel free to substitute it with olive oil or other healthier alternatives!
P.S. Can't get enough of local food? Here are 8 Easy Singaporean & Malaysian Recipes You Should Try At Home ?
4. Khao Pad Sapparod (Thai Pineapple Fried Rice)
Does this photo scream tropical or what?? While it's arguable that having pineapple fried rice in a pineapple in the greatest thing since sliced bread, one thing we can all agree on is how tempting this fried rice variation is. It's a no-brainer how the combination of sweet and savoury elements in Khao Pad Sapparod makes it a sought after cuisine for both locals and tourists in Thailand.
In Thai, Khao means 'rice', Pad means 'to stir fry', and Sapparod means 'pineapple'. Straightforward, just like this recipe by What To Cook Today. It includes the staple ingredients in Thai cuisines i.e fish sauce and peanuts so you can perfect the art of making this dish without taking a trip to the Thai restaurant ?
5. Omurice (Japanese Omelette Fried Rice)
The delicate art of making presentable Japanese food always awes me, and I'm sure some of you too. When the recipe for this famous Tokyo cheesecake was recently revealed, it became apparent why it's such a treasure for cheesecake lovers!
Now, we know you’ve seen this on the ‘Gram at some point: a dreamy soft-centred omelette delicately placed on a serving of ketchup fried rice. Slit the ‘pillow’ open, and you will witness the creamiest egg flow, ever. When done right, of course!
Michael Turkell of Food 52 wrote extensively on his encounters with the dish as a New Yorker frequenting Japanese diners. As most Japanese cuisines are, the ingredients for Omurice are very few and can be easily found in every kitchen. This is a must-try at home, especially if you appreciate the delightful balance between tangy ketchup and sweet omelette in a spoonful ??
#HHWT Tip: The star of the show is always the omelette and how well it’s done. To help you ace this bit, check out Munchies' 6-min guide on YouTube to make the fluffiest omelette for your Omurice.
P.S. Does all that creamy egg remind you of cheesy food? Go ahead and check out 12 Cheesy Comfort Food Recipes For An Amazing Treat in case you've got the cravings ?
6. Arroz Chaufa de Polo (Peruvian Fried Rice)
If there’s anything the history of food proves, it is the beauty of migration. Notice how “chaufa” and “chaofan (炒饭)” are 2 very similar words? This fusion cuisine was introduced to the Peruvians by Chinese contract workers who immigrated to South America and eventually settled there. When cultures morph together in one plate, only good things happen here on!
As you go along this easy Arroz Chaufa recipe by Eat Peru, you’d be pleasantly surprised to find them incorporating soy sauce and ginger-- two staples in Asian cooking-- in South American dish! It’s safe to say that if you ever find yourself touring this region of the world, you won’t feel so homesick after all.
P.S. Love a good quick dessert after a hefty fried rice lunch? We've got you covered with this Easy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe! Go on, don't be shy to snack once in a while ?
7. Fujian Fried Rice
*This recipe uses char siew (BBQ pork), which can be omitted entirely OR substituted with BBQ chicken (to replicate the sweetness).
If you like gravy to go with your rice dish every time and the ‘dry’ fried rice versions just won’t do, then Fujian fried rice is the next best thing to try!
Also known as Hokkien fried rice, this is essentially fried rice served with rich oyster sauce gravy. Nothing too complicated, yet the taste is uncompromised. To Food With Love featured this simple recipe on their site, whereby diced shiitake mushrooms are used to add texture to the robust gravy. You bet that this is the perfect meal to have if you need a comforting quick meal on a rainy day!
P.S. Feel like making a sweet treat but you have no oven at home? Check out these 8 Amazing No-Bake Dessert Recipes we've listed to save your day ?
*These recipes use Spanish chorizo (spiced pork sausages), which can be omitted entirely OR substituted with other protein marinated with thyme, paprika and oregano to give similar flavour.
Hailing from the Valencia region, Paella is a vibrant Spanish household rice-based classic that’s wholesome and unpretentious; you serve it how you cook it. Now, the best rice to use for this dish is short-grain rice i.e Arborio. If you don’t have it, fret not as other types would do as well.
New to making paella? My Recipes featured a comprehensive video tutorial to guide you along with its detailed recipe, so you don’t have to worry about making a rookie mistake. Naturally, making a large serving size paella can be time-consuming, so we’ve got you covered with an alternative: Paella fried rice recipe by Epicurious. You’re welcome!
That's all for this article, guys! We hope you find it useful for your upcoming kitchen 'adventure' ?