Chao Fan brings new life to left over, day-old rice by making it into delicious fried rice! Stir fried with beef, pork or chicken and a variety of vegetables for a complete and tasty meal.
This Filipino-Chinese fried rice dish is simply amazing. It’s a popular menu in one of Philippines’ restaurant chains serving Fil-Chinese food. It’s one of my daughter’s sought after meal when visiting the country. Good thing I have my own chao fan recipe ready in case my daughter craves for it. It’s a quick, easy and flavorful fried-rice recipe that we love and I’ll be sharing with you.
What is Chao Fan?
Also called Yangzhou chao fan, it’s basically a stir-fried rice dish using left-over rice. You can add any kind of protein you fancy like beef, pork or chicken. There is also no limit as to what vegetables you want to mix-in but the basic ingredients are carrots, spring onions and peas. Top it off with siomai, gyoza or lumpia and you’re in for a hearty meal.
Is it the same as Chow Fun?
One is a fried rice dish and Chow Fun is a stir-fry noodle dish using flat rice or glass noodles. It’s a well-loved dish in Southern China and some parts of South-East Asia. It’s a quick and easy recipe using thinly sliced beef and leafy green vegetables then seasoned with soy sauce.
Some tips for an amiable experience
This fried rice recipe is not only tasty but also budget-friendly since left-over rice don’t go to waste. These tips and tricks will help you make this flavorful dish in no time and less hassle.
Use day-old rice – Left-over rice kept in the refrigerator overnight works really great for this recipe. The reason behind is the day-old rice is dry which is a good thing because we’re adding ingredients and liquids that will add moisture back into the rice.
Cook the rice a day ahead – If you don’t have any day-old rice, plan ahead and cook the rice the day before you planning on making this dish.
Break up the rice – When you take out the day-old rice from the fridge, it’ll be like a block of rice. Use a ladle or spoon to break the cold rice and separate the grain for easier and even cooking of the grains. You can also use your hands dampened with water to do this.
Use a wok if possible – I know not every household have this so you can use deep pan instead. If you do have a wok, use it. It makes it easier to toss the rice and cook everything evenly.
The secret ingredient is always LOVE
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Chao Fan Recipe
- 3-4 cups day-old, left-over rice (kept in the refrigerator over night)
- 150 grams ground beef
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1 large carrots (cut into small cubes)
- 1 cup green peas
- ¼ cup spinach or kangkong (water spinach) (boiled and chopped)
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce (add more if needed)
- 3 tbsp light soy sauce (add more if needed)
- ¼ tsp salt (add more if needed)
- 1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
- 2 medium eggs (optional)
- Break up rice to separate the grains for easier cooking. Set aside.3-4 cups day-old, left-over rice
- In a wok or pan, heat oil over high heat. add ground beef until brown in color or approximately 2-3 minutes. Tip in chopped garlic and sauté until fragrant.150 grams ground beef, 3 tbsp cooking oil, 3 cloves garlic
- Add carrots, green peas and spinach. Cook until carrots are tender. Pour oyster sauce and light soy sauce and stir until incorporated.1 large carrots, 1 cup green peas, ¼ cup spinach or kangkong (water spinach), 2 tbsp oyster sauce, 3 tbsp light soy sauce
- Tip in rice then stir and toss until coated with sauce and ingredients are distributed evenly. Turn down heat to medium and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes. Taste and season with salt if needed.¼ tsp salt
- Make a well in the middle of the rice and add the 2 eggs. Scramble the eggs for a minute the stir-fry with the rice for a couple of seconds until eggs are evenly distributed. Add sesame oil and mix.2 medium eggs, 1 tsp sesame oil
- Remove wok or pan from heat and transfer chao fan in a large serving bowl. Serve and enjoy. Bon appetit!