Stir-frying is an art form and often people overcook the meat, under cook the vegetables and add oil rather than water if the food sticks to the wok.
Stir-frying, as its name suggests, is stirring and frying and that is what you need to continually do with this method of cooking. It’s so quick that all the ingredients must be prepared before you even start to cook. If you take the time to do that, you will have a perfect stir-fry every time. Try this egg fried rice with chicken and prawns and enjoy.
- 200g pure basmati rice, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 and a 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 1 free-range chicken breast, cut into 2cm cubes
- 130g raw peeled king prawns
- 50g mange tout, cut in half
- 1/2 red pepper, sliced
- 3 spring onions, sliced
- 1 large clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 20g knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 large free-range eggs, beaten
- 2 handfuls of roughly chopped coriander
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add the basmati rice, stir once, and bring back to the boil.
- When the rice comes to the boil, it will appear to be ‘dancing in the water’ and this is when the timer should be started and the rice boiled for eight minutes or until tender.
- Place the rice in a sieve, cover with a sheet of kitchen towel and allow to stand for five minutes to absorb any excess water.
- Meanwhile, mix the sweet chilli sauce together with the soy sauce and the toasted sesame oil and set aside.
- Heat a wok over a high heat until nearly smoking. Add the sesame seeds and stir-fry for 30 seconds until browned, then remove.
- Add the oil and swirl around the wok to heat through. Stir-fry the chicken for one minute before adding the prawns and cooking for another 1 and a 1/2 minutes. Remove and place in another sieve for any excess oil to drain away.
- To the wok, add the mange tout and red pepper with two tablespoons of water, and stir-fry for 1 and a 1/2 minutes with a lid on if you have one.
- Add the basmati rice, spring onion, garlic and ginger and stir-fry for a further two minutes.
- Move the rice to the side of the wok and pour the egg onto the base of the wok. The egg should be in quite large pieces, so resist the temptation to mix it in too soon.
- Leave for 30 seconds to set a little before stirring through the rice with the chicken, prawns, two-thirds of the coriander, the sauce and the sesame seeds.
- Toss to mix everything thoroughly and serve immediately. Sprinkle with the remaining coriander.
It is worth spending the money on pure basmati rice because often there are fewer broken grains in the pack.
This means there is less starch in the water when you cook it, so the grains are less likely to stick together.
If you then soak the rice for at least 20 minutes before cooking, the cooking time is reduced by about two minutes and the rice will be even more light and fluffy.