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Poh Ling Yeow’s Nyonya Fried Rice

Poh Ling Yeow’s Nyonya Fried Rice

What’s more comforting than a bowl of fried rice? Celebrity chef and Malaysia Kitchen Australia ambassador Poh Ling Yeow shares her Great Aunty Kim’s recipe for Malaysian fried rice – serve as part of a banquet or on its own for the ultimate comfort food!
Poh says: Nyonya Fried Rice is definitely a dish I associate with my Great Aunty Kim, one of my all time cooking heroes together with Mum and my Grandma Yeow. It’s very different from a Chinese style fried rice because of the distinctly Nyonya flavour combination of dried shrimp, shallots, garlic and dried chillies. I have many memories of her making this way too hot for me but still scarfing it down in spite of myself because it is just so delicious. The addition of crunchy, refreshing cucumber at the very end is quite unexpected but definitely inspired.

Ingredients – serves 4

3/4 cup dried shrimp soaked in boiling water, drained, blitzed in a food processor to a crumbly consistency

160 g peeled prawn flesh, deveined and diced

1 cup raw jasmine rice, washed, cooked and refrigerated

2 Tbs light soy

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

2 eggs beaten lightly

white pepper

1 medium continental cucumber quartered lengthways, seeds sliced off and discarded, sliced diagonally 2-3mm thickness

Rempah (wet spice paste)

8 dried long red chillies deseeded, soaked in boiling water until soft, drained and chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced

4-5 small red eschallots OR 1 large Spanish onion, peeled and sliced

1/3 cup vegetable oil


1. To prepare the rempah, blend rempah ingredients to a course paste.

2. Heat a wok or large non-stick frypan on a medium heat. Add rempah and, stirring continuously, saute the paste for about 7-10 minutes until fragrant and caramelised. You will know the paste is ready when very little steam rises from the wok and the colour will have deepened. Add pounded dried shrimp and stir fry for about a minute or until fragrant and slightly toasted.

3. Add prawns and stir fry until just cooked. Immediately add rice, soy, white pepper and sugar. Cook until rice has separated, and is tender. Make a well in the middle of the wok pushing rice to the sides. Tip the egg in and let it sit for a while so the bottom has a while to develop some colour. With the spatula flip egg to cook the other side, then chop it up to ensure all the egg is cooked. Add the cucumber and give it all a final toss so ingredients are evenly combined. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Poh’s tips: * The trick to cooking great fried rice is refrigerating the cooked rice first! It makes the grains keep separate and the dish from getting stodgy. Leftover rice which has been immediately refrigerated is perfect.

* To cook perfect rice, wash 2-3 times, drain then add 1 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. Bring to the boil, cook on medium heat with the lid ajar for 10 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated and there are big pits on the surface of the rice. Cover rice and cook for another 10 minutes on very low heat, then allow to rest for another 10. Fluff rice up with chopsticks or a fork.

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