Fried rice is a universal favourite. It always pays to cook extra rice to make this delicious Malaysian fried rice. Living on Labuan island off the coast of Malaysia we would often go to the outdoor markets for a bowl of Malaysian fried rice. Our favourite store was run by a couple we called Ma and Pa. Their small store served up this rice dish that because of the language barrier I had to ‘visually get the recipeʼ.
This is a recipe that delivers on flavour big time. If your idea of fried rice has frozen vegetables and tomato ketchup, keep moving.
Aromatics form the base of this fried rice. Lemongrass, ginger, garlic, chilli, kaffir lime leaves mixed with deep amber caramelised, almost blackened onions are the key notes to this dish. Lup Chong and ikan bilis are the stars of this fried rice. Both are widely available in supermarkets.
Lup Chong sausage with its sweet, porky almost candied texture, along with bacon deliver deep flavours.
Crispy little matchstick sized dried anchovies or Ikan Bilis are worth seeking out. Their flavour is a umami of saltiness and crunchiness which adds a punchy flavoursome bite.
The rice is very important in making this fried rice. It must be day old cold cooked rice
that has dried out a bit. Wet rice will be soggy and never work, no matter how long you stir fry it for.
Thin little strips of egg omelette add yet another dimension.
Lastly seasoned with a light soy sauce that tops off this dish that everyone loves.
This is the perfect dish to make when you have time to chop and stir fry to deliver a flavoursome, cheap and delicious fried rice.
Have you ever tried lup Chong or ikan bilis in your fried rice?
- 2 large brown onions, halved, then thinly sliced
- 4 rashers bacon sliced 1/4 inch (1/2 cm)
- 4 lup chong sausages thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 3 whole eggs beaten lightly with salt and fine white pepper
- 1 cup dried ikan bilis
- 1/3 cup ginger finely sliced into matchsticks
- 3 lemongrass, finely sliced (white part only)
- 6 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 8 kaffir lime leaves , vein removed and very finely shredded
- 1 – 2 chillies finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon fine white pepper
- peanut oil for frying
- heat wok on medium to high heat with one tablespoon peanut oil and add 1/3 of egg mix
- tilt wok and cook until omelette is very thin and lightly golden, no need to flip, remove from wok and repeat twice more
- roll omelettes and slice thinly – put to one side
- heat 2-3 tablespoons peanut oil in wok till hot and quickly add lemongrass, ginger, garlic and chilli
- stir fry for 2-3 minutes then place into a bowl with cooked eggs
- add 3-4 tablespoons peanut oil in pan and when hot add the onions stirring from time to time over medium to high heat.
- onions need to take on a very dark golden brown almost blackish tinged colour which will take around 20 minutes – the aim is to cook the onions to bring out the sweetness in them not burn them.
Watch the onions carefully
- as they cook because they soak up the oil, you may need to add a little more during the cook. see notes
- when onions are finished tip into bowl with lemongrass, ginger, garlic, chilli and eggs put to one side
- heat pan till hot and add bacon stirring constantly till golden and crispy, then add to onion etc bowl
- heat 3/4 cup oil till hot and add ikan bilis moving them around wok till crispy ( about 1 minute) – remove and place on plate with hand towel to drain
- discard ikan oil in wok
- reheat wok with 1 tablespoon oil and add lup chong and cook until crispy and the fat has rendered (2-3 minutes) then add to cooked ingredients bowl
- after rice has been chilled it can form a hard lump, before cooking I usually break up the lumps with my fingers
- wipe wok out and add 2-3 tablespoons fresh oil heated on high then add cold cooked rice and stir constantly for a minute or so till heated through
- add soy sauce to rice and toss through
- add onions, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, chillies, bacon, lup chong , omelette, kaffir leaves and pepper
- stir all ingredients evenly through rice and serve
- the onions are an integral part of this dish. They may look ‘burnt’ but you need to take them to this colour for the flavour which adds a unique depth to the fried rice.
Lup chong or Lap cheong are a cured, dried, sweet, fatty Chinese sausage that when cooked tastes a little like candied bacon, adding a sweet pork flavour to the rice. Little pockets of fat render as they cook adding a delicious flavour. They need to be cooked before eating.
Ikan bilis or dried anchovies add a delicious crunch and great flavour to the fried rice. Fried in hot oil they cook in seconds.
- Category: Asian
- Method: Stir fried
- Cuisine: Malaysian