Nigerian fried rice recipe
This is a simple, basic Nigerian fried rice recipe. There are so many ways of creating this delectable dish that is so commonly eaten all over the world. It almost always partners the Nigerian jollof rice in Nigerian parties, at fast food restaurants etc. like a fraternal twin with the attendant love/rivalry typical of siblings.
When I was growing up, whenever we saw carrots, green pepper, green beans (french beans) etc. being chopped, everybody got excited around the house knowing fried rice was in the making and it was always, always accompanied by fried chicken and Nigerian vegetable salad.
This method of cooking fried rice is what I grew up with, and for a long time I cooked it this way, in fact, my son no. 1 still cooks his fried rice like this even though I have taught him so many other methods. He says this is nostalgic and ‘home’ to him. I call it the Old school Nigerian fried rice.
When making the fried rice, strain your meat stock using a fine sieve before adding it to the rice so as to remove bits of meat and bone which makes the dish look untidy, this way, you produce a prettier dish. You can use store bought chicken stock or stock cubes if you are not boiling your meat. The only tedious thing about making fried rice is chopping the vegetables, so you can use frozen vegetables. I have explained how to at the end of the page*.
As a home cook/pretend chef, you can add other vegetables and proteins of your choice but do not over laden your fried rice with these add ons, it is a rice dish with vegetables added after all. Chopped green beans, which goes into the pot with the carrots, is widely used, we also love to add shredded cabbage right at the end so it retains some of its crunchiness and sweetness. You can add fried diced liver, if you add plain boiled liver, the fried rice will spoil quickly. Alternatively, use shredded cooked chicken, beef or pork, even diced cooked hotdog or sausage. Shrimps and prawns are also really delish with this easy Nigerian fried rice.
To get your fried rice to be really yellow, add turmeric, because the amount of curry powder you will need to get that sunny yellow colour will be so much making the taste overbearing. You also try out the Chinese Stir Fried rice, Nigerian stir fried rice and easy one pot fried rice.
To make the Nigerian fried rice recipe:
2 cups rice 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1/2 cup chopped onions 2 cloves garlic (1 teaspoon) 1/2 cup cubed carrot 1/4 cup fresh peas 2 teaspoons curry 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme 3 seasoning cubes 1/2 - 1 teaspoon turmeric salt 1 finely chopped scotch bonnet dry chili powder 2 cups stock + water 1/4 cup cubed green bell pepper 1/4 cup chopped spring onions (scallions) 1/2 cup sweet corn finely shredded cabbage
Season and boil meat. Drain stock and pass through a fine sieve. This is very important so as to have a clean looking pot of rice. You can use store bought chicken stock.
Wash rice and place in a clean pot, add 2 1/2 cups of water, boil till it has softened but not fully cooked. Drain and rinse in several changes of cold water, to stop the cooking and cool it down in a sieve.
In a clean dry pot, put vegetable oil, when hot, add onions and fry till it has softened, try not to colour it.
Add garlic, fry till you can smell it, stir and pour in the drained and cooled rice. Fry the rice for about 2 minutes.
Add carrot, peas, thyme, curry, seasoning cubes, turmeric, salt, scotch bonnet and chili powder.
Stir well, and add stock and water. Cover and cook.
When rice is cooked, add green pepper, spring onions and sweet corn. Leave to stand, stir and serve.
Note: If the rice was almost fully cooked before frying, you might not need 2 cups of stock. So the quantity of liquid depends on how soft the rice is. It is better to err on the side of caution and add too little liquid and if the rice is still too hard, sprinkle in a little more water and turn down the heat to very low, cover till rice is cooked. There is nothing as off putting as soggy or mushy fried rice, it should be soft but firm, and not clumping together.
Nigerian fried rice can be enjoyed as is, you can serve with moimoi, Nigerian jollof rice, coleslaw and a cold drink. You can also try easy one pot Nigerian fried rice or the basic chinese fried rice.
*To use frozen vegetables, place a dry frying pan over very high heat. Add some vegetable oil, when it is very hot, add your frozen vegetables, do not thaw. Stir for about 1 minute, till it has heated through. Take off the heat and stir into already cooked fried rice.
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