Friday, February 20, 2009

Schezuan Fried Rice

Are you one of those persons that tear up at the mere thought of cutting onions, if yes, you may find this post interesting. I have seen people at both ends of the spectrum, some who do not shed one tear while cutting onions and some who tear up when others are cutting onions across the room.  I consider myself to be somewhere in the middle,  I tear up when I am cutting onions and if I am standing close to the person cutting onions.   And when I tear up I really do,   I never shed dainty tears the way some do,  I tear up to the point where my eyes look like I have been bawling for an hour :-)  

So when I came across a tip that may reduce tears when cutting onions I was obviously interested. The tip is to place the onion you are planning to cut,  in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes before starting to cut it. So the last time I was using onions,  I first placed one onion in a plastic cover (like the zip loc covers) zipped it closed and placed it in the freezer while I was doing the prep work for the rest of the dish. About 20 minutes later I removed the onion from the freezer and cut it and sure enough, I cut the entire onion without a single tear....Yea I am always happy with tips that make my life easier in the kitchen:-)   My only suggestion when you try this tip is to make sure that your onion is in a tightly sealed plastic bag so that the onion smell does not get into your freezer.

Moving on,  R loves Indo-Chinese cuisine, and would love to have it more than once a week if possible. But we do not have it as much as we used to, buying Indo- chinese from restaurants got complicated when I started learning about MSG and how it is not good for us. Making this cuisine at home does not happen as regularly as R would like it. So when I came across this recipe  on Chitra's site for Schezuan rice, I thought this might be something R would like and decided to surprise him with it. This was a simple and spicy dish that was much appreciated by both of us. I made it using brown basmati and loved the taste of it. The convenience of using brown rice in this is that brown rice holds its shape and texture more easily, so I do not have to wait for the rice to cool down thoroughly as I would if using white rice.





Ingredients and Method to make Schezuan Fried Rice 

1 1/4 cup brown basmati rice soaked in 2 cups of water for about 1/2 an hour and cooked until done
I cooked this in a rice cooker but you can use a pressure cooker for this too.

1 yellow onion cut fine
2 cups cabbage cut fine
3 cups of other veggies ( I used cauliflower florets+ peas+ carrots)
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp schezuan sauce (recipe below)
1 tbsp soy sauce
salt to taste

Soak basmati rice for about 1/2 an hour and cook it either in a rice cooker or pressure cooker until done.

Spread it out on a plate to cool 

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add onion to it and saute until transparent.

Add cabbage and all other vegetables and saute until cooked and still crisp (Do not add any water in the process of cooking vegetables)

Add the schezuan sauce, soy sauce and mix well with vegetables.

Add cooled rice and salt to taste and mix well and heat on a low to medium heat until ready to serve.

Serve with steamed vegetables  or any other chinese style veggie preparation. This one was hearty enough to be had on its own too.

Serves approximately 3-4 

Schezuan sauce
Soak 12 dry red chillies in warm water for 15 minutes. Remove from water and drain
2 tsp minced garlic, 
3 tbsp white vinegar 
2 tsp sugar 
1 tsp salt 
1 tbsp sesame oil

Grind the drained red chillies with all of the above ingredients EXCEPT  sesame oil and keep aside.
Heat sesame oil to smoking point and pour over the ground mixture and mix well.
Keep in an airtight container and refrigerate and use as required. For the quantity of schezuan rice I made this sauce lasted for two rounds of use.

Notes 
If using white rice, cook it earlier and cool thoroughly before using in this dish.

Mix very gently with white rice since it tends to break faster.

If using white rice, short grain rice may be more effective than basmati.

Also if using white rice you may need to use lesser amount of sauce.

51 comments :

Happy cook said...

I love fried rice and this looks so yummt delicious.

Malar Gandhi said...

Sounds different and nice.

Asha said...

I heard that cutting onion while it's under water is a solution too but can't imagine doing that! :D

Schezuan sauce sounds great, love this dish Kung Pao. Enjoy! :)

Deepa Hari said...

Like your recipe...sounds good...Thanks for the wonderful tip about onions Usha.

Mangala Bhat said...

wow ..nice recipe .sounds great .and thanks for the wonderful tips ...Thanks :)

indosungod said...

True, unused portion of the onion sitting in the fridge when used up the next day never cause a tear.

I am game for fried rice of any kind, will have to try this with schezuan sauce.

miss v said...

looks awesome! i really like your schezuan sauce recipe - simple and easy to make!

Laavanya said...

Onions don't bother me as much.. there are a few pungent ones but get me teary-eyed but it's not bad. I've made the same observation mentioned by indo... so am sure your freezer tip works like a charm.
The schezuan flavoring must give the rice a nice, spicy kick.

Indhu said...

nice tip abt the onions... If I am wearing my contacts when I cut onions, I don't cry... If I am wearing my glasses, its a full-blown emotional tear jerker episode :)
lovely recipe... am going to buy brown rice once my current rice stock gets over... will try this one!

Dershana said...

hey, thanks for the schezuan sauce recipe :-) some onions make me cry and some don't! still haven't figured out why!!!

Lavanya said...

Thank you for the useful tips!!This rice is simple and easy to prepare..I like it..thanks for the recipe!!

AnuSriram said...

Looks delicious! yummy! Nice tip about onions.

Superchef said...

the rice looks very delicious..!!

when you cut onions they release enzymes which produce a gas, which irritates your eye..when you keep the onion in the freezer the cold temperature slows down the release of enzymes..thats why you dont cry :)

Madhu said...

Keeping onions in fridge works very well.
I am big fan of chinese noodles. Rice looks wonderful. Like the sauce recipe..

Cham said...

I don't cry for cutting onion may be if I cut my finger! Just kidding, my mom uses to cut in off and drop in water for few min! That should help I guess.... The fried rice is simply delicous!

Ashwini said...

Ya, keeping onion in the fridge and then cutting really works..
Always ready for any kind of fried rice..Schezuan with brown rice looks yumm

Varsha Vipins said...

Luckily I dont get tears at all..:)
Thats a nice tip Usha..n loved the friedrice..:)

Anu said...

Nice recipe... will give it a shot sometime...

I learned a trick from food network for cutting onions... if you turn on the stove and stand next to it while cutting onions, you won't shed even a single drop of tear :-)

Sumathi said...

Fried rice looks yummy.. Nice tip too Usha..

priar's, said...

I am on the first category of cutting onions:))
Hmmm... rice looks yum..

simplyspices said...

like your different recipe.

Trupti said...

fried rice with brown rice looks very delicious Usha

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Very different recipe with brown rice. Looks so good. YUM!

Priya Sriram said...

Schezuan fried rice is the only thing I order whenever we go to Chinese restaurant. I love it so much! Thanks for the wonderful recipe Usha... Will definitely try out!

Nithya Praveen said...

Never tried using Brown Basmati rice,this one is to try:).I have the same prob like u while cutting onions.After cutting the onions into half i immerse it in water for a second and cut them,this helps too.My granny used to ask me to keep a small piece of the onion skin on my head while chopping,i believe those days this was one of the technique,but trust me it never worked.The idea of storing it in ziplock bags for few minutes is a gud idea.Will try that,thanks for the info.

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

nice... never tried this.. but love it when i have it at restaurant.. looks good.

Sara said...

I love fried rice, your version looks delicious.

Sunshinemom said...

I am lucky. I cut onions real fine and don't shed a tear:) The tears start dripping only when I start frying! I haven't added cabbage in my rice till date, and found that brown basmati is extremely high end here!!

Sharmila said...

I just switch on the fan when cutting onions ... no tears at all. :-) And I too love Indian Chinese. :-) Lovely looking fried rice Usha.

Jaishree said...

Fried rice looks yummy.. Nice tip too Usha.My kids love this Schezuan rice. But I never tried at home after seeing your recipe I will make a try.thanks for the schezuan sauce recipe :-)

srikars kitchen said...

My hubbys fav.. looks perfect & delicious..

Valarmathi said...

Lovely recipe and thanks for the wonderful tip.

Chitra said...

hi usha,i cry sometimes while cutting onions.thanx for the tip..will try..thanx for trying this recipe from mine:)iam very happy dear...last week i did the same for the second time..hope u & R liked it :)

A_and_N said...

I heart Schezwan rice. This is surely going to be made :)

Navita said...

Usha thats my fav rice..order it all the time here..lol.

Ann said...

Awesome Usha...Looks like the rice calling me..what a delcious and unique rice !

karuna said...

wowowo, looks so tempeting.

Preety said...

after marriage my hubby told me about the onion trick but i don't use it very often as i always forget to put in the freezer b4 using so i usually end up crying while cutting...rice looks good ..i will try to make the sauce like the recipe

Adlak's tiny world said...

should give a try in my kitchen. so far not. tempting one. thanks for sharing.

Maya said...

Am a fried rice lover! Your recipe here looks very good, thanx for sharing!

DEESHA said...

I love that rice ... looks delicious .. as far as cutting onions, I dont like it sooo much .. I switch the fan on while cutting them * i dont get any tears at all

Swapna Pravin said...

Never tried with brown rice. Sounds interesting & looks yum!

Vishali said...

Very nice entry Usha....and who doesn't love Indo Chinese..I am looking forward to try this recipe...

Vidhya said...

sounds interesting... never tried this one before.. and thanks for the sauce recipe too. will try it

Suma Rajesh said...

love this fried rice..looks tempting

Shama Nagarajan said...

yummy recipe

Bharti said...

I like the use of brown rice for your recipe. And I never have probs cutting an onion if I'm wearing my contacts. If I take them off though, it's quite another story.

Indhu said...

Hi Usha,

I have something for you on my blog. Please do collect it :)

Jan said...

A lovley recipe - I would LOVE that rice. I like the sound of the Schezuan sauce!
Next time I make rice I will give this a go - thanks for sharing.

Vani said...

That's a neat tip with the onions, Usha! Will try that out. The fried rice sounds delicious and using brown rice makes it more nutritious too. Nice one!

Ana Powell said...

Hi Usha
This rice recipe sounds absolutely yummy.
Excellent
Have a great weekend x

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