SECOND COURSE

RISO ALLA CANTONESE: A DISH THAT IS NOT FROM CANTON

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The "Riso alla Cantonese", which in Chinese is called 扬州炒饭, is one of the best-known Chinese fried rice over the world. It is a dish consists of stir-fried rice, eggs, hams, shrimps, carrots, peas, and other vegetables. Read this recipe and find out how to prepare it at your home in a few simple steps.

THE NAME 'RISO ALLA CANTONESE'

I was very confused when first time heard the Italian name of this dish: riso alla CANTONESE?! Because this dish was not from Canton (Guangdong) province. In fact it is called 扬州炒饭 in Chinese (Yangzhou fried rice), which states the origin of this dish. Yangzhou is a city in the province of Jiangsu. It is an antique center in the east China, where the cuisine belongs to Huaiyang cuisine.

Records can be traced back to thousand years ago that the fishmen on the Huaiyang Canal had been cooking fried rice on the boat. Their common practice was to stir-fry the left-over rice from lunch together with scramble eggs and ate it for dinner. When it arrived to the Qing Dynasty, a regional magistrate of Yangzhou added other ingredients into the fried rice to make it the prototype of today's Yangzhou fried rice (according to Baidu).

But due to the fact that nowadays the most popular Chinese restaurants overseas are with Cantonese style, such as Dim Sum restaurant, and almost all of them serve this dish, hence it is known as 'riso alla Cantonese'.

THE INGREDIENTS IN THE RISO ALLA CANTONESE

With the gaining of its popularity, the 'riso alla Cantonese' has been modified into various versions. Depending on where you eat this dish, the recipe could be different. However, there are certain staple ingredients that are un-replaceable in order to differentiate it from other fried rice: cooked rice, egg, ham (or pork), shrimps, vegetables such as carrots, peas, corn.

When prepare it at home, you could eliminate one of two elements, or adjust the portion of each ingredient. It is actually the beauty and fun part in making fried rice.

gli ingredienti per il piatto riso alla cantonese

HOW TO MAKE FLUFFY & GOLDEN FRIED RICE

Different from the Italian risotto, the Chinese fried rice is meant to be dry. In fact, the fluffy texture is a key character for a properly cooked fried rice. At the same time, it would be even better if each grain is wrapped with egg, which gives this dish a golden color.

USE THE LEFT-OVER RICE

It is recommended to use the over-night left-over Basmati rice rather than the freshly cooked one. It is because after left in the fridge for hours, the humidity inside the rice is reduced. For this reason, it will be less sticky and easier to handle when we stir-fry.

SCRAMBLE THE EGG WHITE SEPARATELY

I prefer to separate the egg yolk and the white, then cook them in different steps. I use the yolk as a tint to give the rice a golden color. For this reason I would mix the yolk with the rice before stir-frying it.

RISO ALLA CANTONESE 扬州炒饭

Recipe by Sasha WangCourse: SECOND COURSECuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Media
Servings

4

persons
Preparation

20

minutes
Cooking

20

minutes
Total Time

40

minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • Basmati rice (cooked): 350g

  • Shrimps: 100g

  • Peas: 75g

  • Ham: 100g

  • Carrots: 150g (around 2)

  • Eggs: 2

  • CONDIMENTS:
  • White pepper

  • Soy sauce

  • Oyster sauce

  • Salt

  • Sunflower oil

  • Chopped scallion

Preparation

  • Cut the shrimps to small pieces (skip it if you use small shrimps) and marinate them with 1 tbsp of soy sauce and 2g of white pepper.Taglia i gamberi a pezzettini e falli marinare con 1 cucchiaio di salsa di soia e 2g di pepe bianco
  • If you use frozen peas, remember to defrost in advance.
  • Peel the carrots and cut them into small cubes.Se utilizzi piselli surgelati ricordati anzitutto di scongelarli. Pela le carote e tagliale a dadini.
  • Cut the ham into small cubes. (You could replace ham by other cured meat, such as speck, salami, pancetta, sausage, etc.)gli ingredienti prosciutto crudo per riso alla cantoneseTaglia il prosciutto crudo a dadini. (Alternative al prosciutto crudo possono essere: prosciutto cotto, speck, salame, pancetta, maiale, etc.)
  • Break two eggs and separate the yolk and white. Mix the yolk with the rice evenly.Metti il riso cotto il giorno prima in una ciotola. Spacca due uova e separa il tuorlo dall'albume. Gira il tuorlo nel riso uniformemente.Metti il riso cotto il giorno prima in una ciotola. Spacca due uova e separa il tuorlo dall'albume. Gira il tuorlo nel riso uniformemente.Metti il riso cotto il giorno prima in una ciotola. Spacca due uova e separa il tuorlo dall'albume. Gira il tuorlo nel riso uniformemente.
  • Heat up a wok (or a skillet) with some sunflower oil. Scramble the egg white then take it out from the wok.Metti l'albume nel wok e appena cotto mettilo in un piatto. lo userai successivamente.Metti l'albume nel wok e appena cotto mettilo in un piatto. lo userai successivamente.
  • Add in more oil, add the ham into the wok and stir-fry it until the color turns white.
  • Add in the carrots, 2 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp of oyster sauce. Stir-fry until the carrots are almost cooked.
  • Add in the shrimps and peas. Keep stir-frying for 1 minute.
  • Add in the rice (which is evenly mixed with yolk). Stir-fry everything meanwhile mix well all ingredients.
  • When everything in the wok is cooked, put back the scrambled egg white and mix it well with everything.
  • Add some salt and sprinkle some chopped scallion. ENJOY IT!
    passi 7-12riso alla cantonese

NOTE

  • Portion of each ingredient can be adjusted according to personal preference. Don't be afraid to play with it by replacing or adding in other ingredients, such as corn, pine nuts, beans, zucchini, etc.

This is a good plate to prepare in order to finish the left-over rice and vegetables. Have fun preparing it by replacing the ingredients with your preferred ones, and come up a plate of fried rice your way!

riso alla cantonese

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4 Comments

  1. Alessandra Frison

    Ciao. In molti siti di cucina cinese ho trovato scritto che il riso basmati non va bene per questa preparazione, sia perché troppo profumato, sia perché non è un riso cinese. È vero? A dire il vero io lo uso qualche volta e non è male…

     
    • Ciao Alessandra,

      Molte grazie per il tuo commento!!!

      Condivido quello che scrivi. Il basmati non è male. Suggerisco di utilizzare il riso a grano lungo (quindi ad esempio il basmati o il jasmine) per fare il riso fritto perché tende ad appallottarsi meno quando cotto. Con questi tipi di riso solitamente ottengo una consistenza più soffice. Il loro profumo per me non è un aspetto negativo, anzi. Niente vieta che tu utilizzi altri tipi di riso, l’importante è che ti piaccia, cosa scontata ma che per me sempre valida. Fammi sapere se ti sono stata d’aiuto. Spero d’avvero di risentirti presto.:)

       
  2. Silvia Marchesi

    che bella ricettia curata nei dettagli, grazie Sasha! secondo te posso sostituire gamberi/prosciutto con il tofu per fare tutto veg? o consigli altri aggiustamenti?

     
    • Grazie Silvia. Certo che puoi! Tofu è un buon ingrediente. Ti consiglio tofu firm, che è un piu’ duro. Taglialo a fette grandi e fai saltare in padella. Poi taglia le fette saltate a dadini prima di saltarli con altri ingredienti. Anche il mais, pinoli, arachidi e fagiolini (tagliali in piccoli pezzi) sono buoni opzioni per fare un riso saltato vegetariano.

       

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