Fried rice: Cook the egg before the rice? Or with the rice?

I was just on YouTube looking for some dinner ideas. Apparently I’ve been doing fried rice wrong. Because the videos I watched, they scrambled the egg first, took it out, then fried the rice and then added the egg back at the very end.

I’ve always just coat the rice with the egg and then fry the whole thing together.

I’m just currious how my fellow Dopers do it.

I’ve added the egg at the last minute, swirling it around with the rice and veg and meat.

My preferred method is to make an ‘omelette’ – a flat egg circle – and slice it up and then add it to the rice.

I add the egg at the last few minutes as well, stir-frying/sautéing it with the rice and ingredients. I like the way it coats the rice and cooks.

Fry the rice with the veggies and seasoning; while you’re stir-frying it, break an egg into it and keep things moving until the egg is cooked. That’s when it’s done and ready to serve.

I do the egg by itself and set aside. I can’t remember where I got this recipe, but here is how I do it

•3/4 cup finely chopped onion
•2 1/2 tablespoons oil
•1 egg, lightly beaten (or more eggs if you like)
•3 dropssoy sauce
•3 drops sesame oil
•8 ounces cooked lean boneless pork or 8 ounceschicken, chopped
•1/2 cup finely chopped carrot (very small)
•1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
•4 cups cold cooked rice, grains separated (preferably medium grain)
•4 green onions, chopped
•2 cupsbean sprouts
•2 tablespoonslight soy sauce (add more if you like)

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok; add chopped onions and stir-fry until onions turn a nice brown color, about 8-10 minutes; remove from wok.
  2. Allow wok to cool slightly.
  3. Mix egg with 3 drops of soy and 3 drops of sesame oil; set aside.
  4. Add 1/2 tbsp oil to wok, swirling to coat surfaces; add egg mixture; working quickly, swirl egg until egg sets against wok; when egg puffs, flip egg and cook other side briefly; remove from wok, and chop into small pieces.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok; add selected meat to wok, along with carrots, peas, and cooked onion; stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  6. Add rice, green onions, and bean sprouts, tossing to mix well; stir-fry for 3 minutes.
  7. Add 2 tbsp of light soy sauce and chopped egg to rice mixture and fold in; stir-fry for 1 minute more; serve.
  8. Set out additional soy sauce on the table, if desired.

I push my rice etc. to the edge of the pan/wok. Then break the egg into the space in the middle, scramble it slightly then stir it all together.

I fry the beat egg first, set aside, (fry onions, mushrooms, meat, then add rice and other veg and spices), then add back in as the very last thing!. The bright yellow of the egg adds a lot to the lovely look of it, in my opinion.

I learned this way from my Chinese roommate at uni. And she was quite strict that it be done just so. However we were once witness to an Aussie adding the liquid egg at the end, as mentioned above. While I was raising an eyebrow, she just shrugged and said, “Yeah, it’s done a lot of different ways!”

Traveling in SE Asia several times, I’ve always seen it served as I was taught, but further afield there are certainly variations.

I’ve done it both ways, but I think I prefer the cook the egg first method. You have bigger pieces of egg that way.

Coat the rice if using fresh rice.

Cook eggs separately first if using old rice. <-- preferred method

I’m not a big fan of fried rice, but it seems to me you’d want to crack the egg in at the last moment to avoid overcooking it.

At some of the Korean/Taiwanese restaurants in Seattle, I’ve actually seen various dishes served with an egg cracked onto the food after it’s done cooking, with the idea that you’re meant to stir it around a little and the heat from the food and the dish will cook the egg.

This is how Japanese people in Japan taught me to do it when I lived in Japan among Japanese people who taught he how things are done in Japan.

Or, alternately, scramble it separately and remove it, setting it aside to cook the rest of the ingredients and adding it back late.

My mom (Japanese) and my wife (cooking with a Filipino-style recipe) both do the “scramble, set aside, add back later” thing.

Also, in Japanese broth-based foods. Like good ramen, or nabemono – hot pot dishes like sukiyaki.

Since Japan and Japanese people aren’t one big monolithic bloc, the only thing you’ve proven is that the Japanese people of your acquaintance are weird. :smiley: Well, less inflammatorily, different from other every-bit-as-Japanese Japanese people in Japan cooking Japanese yakimeshi. Such as my mom, from Fukuoka. Maybe it’s regional variation?

If Americans can get into borderline-violence arguments over how to smoke meat, certainly an ancient culture with many historical inputs and significant regional identity can have some variation in how to fry rice.

I’ve seen soft-boiled eggs in the ramen restaurants up here, but not raw ones. I did go to a Taiwanese hot pot restaurant that cracked a raw egg into the broth right before serving.

I never use fresh rice; always at least a day old.
I stir-fry the vegetables first, then set them aside and fry the rice by itself.
When the rice is heated all through, then I make a space in the middle and crack the eggs into it and add turmeric.* Scramble them as they cook by themselves; when mostly cooked (this produces discrete nuggets of egg instead of evenly coating the rice, which is how I prefer it), mix the scrambled eggs in with the rice while stirring in the vegetables.
The ginger-garlic combo can be added at any point, as long as it too cooks in a space by itself first for a minute or so.
When everything is done cooking and assembled, add the soy sauce, and relatively little, because too much wet doesn’t help the texture of fried rice, which is why the vegetables & eggs need to cook separately from the rice.
Shutting off the heat, strew cilantro on top & serve immediately.

*Only because I put turmeric in everything; that’s just me.

In this I’m influenced mostly by the nasi goreng telur of Nyonya Malay cuisine.

I do it like this. I let the egg cook through a little at the bottom before stirring in so I get some recognizable shreds of egg in the final product. I think the dish will taste just as good with egg cooked before hand, or just stirred directly into the rice with no pre-cooking.

It probably varies from household to household just as much as things do in the States (or any other country).

I did a day course in chinese cooking, because I like fried rice and wanted to learn how to do it. This is the way uk egg fried rice works (chinese food tends to mutate from country to country, so can’t really comment on others):

Firstly, rice: You want american long grain rice, not basmati or others.

You want to undercook this rice by a few minutes so its cooking complete when fried. You want it dry, so set aside for a few hours. Chinese often use day old cooked rice, but I’ve found a good method of boiling about 4 double portions, and freezing them. Then when defrosting to use, put in a sieve and the a lot of water comes off leaving you with the dry rice.

I was taught to cook the egg separately, beat it like an omelette, cooking and then slice it, adding it at the end. However, this isn’t really convienent, so I tend to fire up the wok, add the oil and cook the egg in pieces at this point before adding the rice, tossing it around to achieve a broken up omelette.

When thats cooked, I add the rice. Then salt the rice (taught by professional cook, who season their food). Fry for about three minutes, tends to turn yellow at this point.

Then I add a fair bit of light soy sauce, and a few small bits of dark soy sauce. Add these to the edge of the wok, so that they hit the edge of the rice hot. Cook for a few more minutes.

Finally, turn off the heat, dribble a small amount of toasted sesame oil onto the rice, and stir to achieve the overall smell of fried rice. Serve.

Doesn’t that lead to way overcooked egg??

To my mind, the total wok-cooking time for the rice has to be longer than for the egg…

I always do it separate from the rice, either first into an omelet and chopped up and added towards the end, or near the end of cooking, scrambled in-pan on a clear section until cooked, then incorporated into the rice.