The biggest secret for good fried rice is to either use rice from a previous meal or cook your rice the day before. It must be refrigerated and don't cover it. This allows it to partially dry and prevents ending up with a mushy concoction that resembles mashed potatoes instead of fried rice.
If you're making fried rice as a side dish, use 3-4 cups of rice. If the rice is going to be your meal, use 8 cups of cooked rice.
BASIC FRIED RICE
If you're using 3 to 4 cups of rice - put 2 tablespoons oil in a nonstick skillet or a wok. I use a skillet.
If you're using 8 cups cooke rice - use 4-5 tablespoons oil.
Heat oil and quickly add cooked rice. Stir fry until rice is hot. Scoop rice back around the pan until a well is formed in the center of rice. Add 1 or 2 lightly beaten eggs into the well, stirring until egg begins to thicken. Then mix through the rice. Add 2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste. Just remember you can always put more soy sauce on it but you can't remove it if you get too much. Put finely chopped green onions on top and serve.
FRIED RICE VARIATIONS FOR A MEAL
Fried rice is a great way to use up leftover vegetables or meat. You can use almost anything in it.
Start by chopping your meat and quickly frying. Remove meat and fry your vegetables the same way, removing from pan.
NOW fry your rice in the same oil that will have juices from the meat in it. Stir thoroughly and proceed with the eggs. Add your soy sauce, vegetable and meat. Mix well. Add finely chopped green onions on top.
My family and friends prefer shrimp fried rice. I get frozen cooked shrimp from Schwan's. Much easier than having to cook, and devein uncooked shrimp.
Make sure you chop vegetables into small pieces. Vegetables you can use:
broccoli, peas, baby corn on the cob, asparagus, carrots, snow peas. If you like dried shiitake mushrooms, soak first. If you don't have green onions on hand, chop up a little regular onion and stir fry it with your other vegetables. Use your imagination. The chinese use whatever happens to be in season.
TIP: Always use fresh or frozen vegetables. Never use canned.
Meats are the same way. Just chop in small pieces. You can use shrimp, beef, pork, chinese sausage, ham. Use any combination of them. Use all of them. Whatever works for you. Don't eat meat? Chop tofu into inch pieces and fry that.
Chinese fried rice is versatile, quick to make, and will be a big hit!