prawn and pork fried rice

So we had a friend over for dinner the night I cooked my pork & prawn fried rice. He’s an English guy, born and bred, about five heads taller than me and clearly far more intelligent. Because here I am cooking away, he pokes his head around the kitchen door and says “hey what’s for dinner?” to which I reply “oh, just fried rice… it’s got pork and prawns in it.. and egg.” and then he goes “oh right, yong chow fun”  with a totally straight face.

What?? Is that what it’s called? 

I would have keeled over laughing at his geniusness if I wasn’t so appalled by the abomination that I am – a completely useless Chinese person.

It might be a little difficult to believe but I actually love my Malaysian Chinese heritage. I may only be able to hold a conversation in Mandarin with a two year old, but the handful of years we spent growing up in Penang set in stone my appreciation of culture, food, second-world living and food. And yes, I totally meant to say that twice. 

Southeast Asian food, especially in Malaysia, is always so packed with spices that a mere whiff is an assault to your senses like no other. Chillies, curries, tamarind (assam*… drool), herbs, spices ~ nothing does fragrance like Nonya does, a culmination of Malay, Indian and Chinese cuisines in the crucible that is Malaysia.

So anyway, I grew up with these incredibly in-your-face flavours, nothing, nothing was ever bland and clean food was considered… well, bland. And if someone did make something bland.. well heck that’s cool, we’ll just add a few chillies and five handfuls of spices and yes, there we go. Un-blanded.

My love for flavoursome ‘dirty’ food has grown with me and into my cooking. Nothing is ever bland, but I do have to keep an eye on my spice-happy hands to make sure I don’t kill the actual taste of the food.

I’ve even gotta watch my fried rice – rice! the plain of all plainness – but I dress it up with soy, sweet soy, oyster sauce, chilli flakes, pepper and the mysterious goodness that is char siu sauce. But I love it, and I try to spread the flavour-love as often as I can.

Hence inviting our said very clever English friend over for dinner.

And also sharing the fried rice with Danny for his Where’s My Porkchop project. For those of you who’ve never heard of Danny, drop by his website and check it out. Devillishly clever idea to coerce people into cooking for him, you’ll wish you thought of it first.

* Speaking of assam, does anyone know where I can get good assam laksa in London?

Pork & prawn egg fried rice (yong chow fun)
3 cups of jasmine rice
4 eggs
1 takeaway box of BBQ pork with sauce
400 grams prawns, peeled
200 green beans, diced
1 large onion, diced
Oyster sauce
Light soy sauce
Chilli flakes to taste
Cracked pepper to taste
Olive oil
  1. Cook the rice and refrigerate overnight (fried rice cooks best with dry, cooked rice – you can try it with rice you’ve just cooked but it may turn out a little gooey).
  2. Beat the eggs in a bowl, add a touch of soy sauce and cracked pepper. Separate into two bowls.
  3. Heat some olive oil in a pan and when very hot, add a small amount of egg from one bowl to make a thin film. As it cooks (and it only takes seconds) flip over and lightly cook the other side. Remove from heat. Repeat until egg from one bowl is all used up. Cut the thin egg sheets into strips and set aside – this is for the egg ‘strips’ which top off the fried rice.
  4. Heat some more olive oil and add the other bowl of egg. Lightly fry on each side and using the spatula/wooden spoon/whatever you cook with, shred the egg into small pieces. Remove from heat and put aside – this is to mix with the fried rice in step 9.
  5. Heat the pan again with olive oil, and add onions. Fry until they are just starting to brown then add the beans.
  6. Fry until beans are starting to soften, then add the prawns.
  7. Once the prawns are cooked, add the rice. Add a decent dollop(s) of oyster sauce and a good dash of soy, and stir stir stir!
  8. On a low heat, keep stirring and frying, making sure you have no ‘white rice’. Everything should be saucy 😉
  9. Add the BBQ pork (and all its sauce) and the egg (not the strips), continue stirring.
  10. Add cracked pepper and chilli flakes to taste.
  11. Once cooked, top with strips of egg and serve immediately.
Serves 4.

9 Thoughts on “yong chow fun? is that what it’s called?!

  1. I love the strips of egg on top of the fried rice. I can almost smell it!

  2. Can you give tips on how to cook the rice. I have no rice cooker ATM and I always mess it up. I iwll try to do Goulash for you as soon as an opportunity arises.

  3. I think it’s chow faan rather than fun – fun is noodles, as in ho fun. Chow is fried, faan is rice 🙂

    Interesting that you serve the egg on top separately – I usually mix it all in there so that it coats the grains of rice.

  4. penny: thanks! yeh I love egg, especially fried thin omelette style, so this is kind of a variation of that 🙂

    Rob: goulash! any time just let us know 🙂

    Lizzie: Ah. See I’m a crap Chinese person 🙂 I did have egg through the rice too, I made two batches of egg, one for the strips on top and one to cook in the rice. Can’t see much of it though I guess.

  5. Jenny H on September 6, 2009 at 2:23 pm said:

    He probably was referring to yong chow chow fan; which is a a common fried rice in chinese restaurant with mixture of ingredients (typically shrimp and char siu).

  6. Jenny H: ahhh is that what it’s really called? Well he still knew that better than me… shame on me!

  7. dude, there are actual names for certain fried rice? it’s not just plain fried rice cus that’s what i call it!

    i like to coat my rice with eggs and then fry it up.. my mother cooks the egg separately… either is delish and the the more spice laden it is, the better.

  8. Lan: fried rice is one of those beauties that taste great no matter what 🙂 Oh, except when it’s just too plain then blergh!

  9. Hey i have made this recipe and found very tasty & delicious .. Thanks a lot for the recipe.. I always like rice covered food.

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