Kid-friendly Fantastic Filipino Fried Rice Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Fantastic Filipino Fried Rice

Recipe: Fantastic Filipino Fried Rice

Fantastic Filipino Fried Rice

by Erin Fletter
Photo by Doraiplopez/Shutterstock.com
prep time
5 minutes
cook time
5 minutes
makes
4-6 servings

Equipment Checklist

  • Medium skillet
  • Measuring spoons
  • Liquid measuring cup
scale
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Ingredients

Fantastic Filipino Fried Rice

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 8-oz pkg precooked white or brown rice
  • 1 big pinch salt

Instructions

Fantastic Filipino Fried Rice

1.
add + sauté + salt

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a medium skillet. Then add 1 package of precooked rice. Add 1 big pinch of salt and sauté until rice is golden brown in spots. Serve with Fabulous Filipino Eggplant "Adobo" (see recipe)!

Surprise Ingredient: Rice!

back to recipe
Photo by Elizaveta Galitckaia/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I’m Rice!

"I'm just a little grass seed but loved the world over! I'm Rice! I'm an essential part of the diets of almost every culture! You may have eaten me with Mexican tacos, Korean bibimbap, Indian curries, Mongolian fried rice, Southern Creole gumbo, Filipino adobo, Hawaiian poke, or Japanese sushi, just to name a few!"

History & Etymology

  • Rice is a grain or grass, like wheat, millet, or barley. It was first cultivated in China somewhere between 6,000 and 9,000 years ago.
  • Rice is a seed from a grass species, usually Oryza sativa or Asian rice. The other domesticated rice species is Oryza glaberrima or African rice. African rice has been grown for 3,000 years and is hardier, more pest-resistant, and nuttier tasting rice than Asian rice. 
  • Rice is a staple food and supplies as much as half of the daily calories for half the world's population. In many countries, they eat rice at every meal. No wonder a few Asian countries value rice so highly that some of their translations of the word "eat" or "meal" also mean "rice."
  • China consumes the most rice worldwide. Annually, Asians eat over 300 pounds of rice per person, and Americans eat about 26 pounds per person.
  • Rice is the second-highest worldwide crop produced after maize (corn). However, since maize is mainly grown for purposes other than human consumption, rice is the most important grain for human consumption. 
  • The English word "rice" comes from Middle English which comes from the Old French "ris," from the Italian "riso," and finally, from the Greek "oruza."

Anatomy

  • Most types of rice are annual plants, meaning they live only one year. But several types of rice can survive and produce grains for up to 30 years. 
  • Rice is often categorized by its size—either short, medium, or long grain. Short grain, or japonica rice, has the highest starch content and makes the stickiest rice, while the long grain, or indica variety, is lighter and tends to remain separate when cooked. 
  • In addition to japonica and indica, there are two other categories: aromatic and glutinous. Aromatic is a medium to long-grained rice that generally results in a light and fluffy texture. Varieties in this category include Basmati and Jasmine, which you can find in grocery stores (more about these below). Glutinous rice (also called sticky, sweet, or waxy rice) has very low amylose (starch component) content, making it very sticky when cooked. 
  • Rice is also classified by its milling process. White rice has been milled the most, having had its hull (or husk), bran, and germ layers removed. Brown or whole grain rice has been milled to remove its hull, and rough or paddy rice has not been milled at all and cannot be consumed.
  • There is an abundance of different kinds of rice—globally, over 120,000 varieties. 
  • Rice cultivation is suited for countries with low labor costs and high rainfall as it is very labor-intensive and needs large amounts of water to grow. 

How to Pick, Buy & Eat

  • Brown rice is 100 percent whole grain and, therefore, the most nutritional of the many different forms. Brown rice retains the bran and germ because it is not milled as much as white rice, which loses a lot of nutrients in the milling process. However, brown rice takes longer to cook, about 45 minutes, compared to white rice, which takes 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Aromatic rices, named because they have distinct flavors and aromas (especially while cooking), include Basmati and Jasmine. Basmati is long-grained rice from India. It contains a compound also present in freshly baked bread and pandan spice and has nutty, spicy, and floral flavors. Jasmine rice is long-grained rice from Thailand and Cambodia. It also has the same compound found in Basmati rice and is similar but perhaps adds more of a grassy floral and slightly sweeter fragrance to a meal. Some people describe its flavor as close to popcorn. Jasmine is also stickier. 
  • Arborio is short-grained rice from Italy. Its grains remain firm when cooked and are chewy and creamy. Arborio rice is often used in making risotto and rice pudding because of its creamy texture and starchy taste that goes well with other flavors.
  • Rice is truly an international food, found in the cuisines of just about every country. It is often served as a side dish but can also be a vital component of main dishes and desserts.
  • Rice flour is made from finely ground rice. It is a thickening agent that prevents liquids from separating in refrigerated and frozen foods. Rice noodles used in many Asian dishes are made with rice flour, and you can also find it in desserts, like "mochi" and other rice cakes. It is a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour.

Nutrition

  • Rice is a complex carbohydrate with very little sodium or fat, and it supplies 20 percent of the world's food energy.
  • Rice contains several B vitamins and manganese. Brown or whole grain rice is more nutritious than white rice, but white rice is often enriched by adding some B vitamins and iron back in. Brown rice is also high in magnesium, phosphorus, protein, and fiber.

 

History of Fried Rice!

Photo by Creative Family/Shutterstock.com
  • Fried Rice is a main or side dish of cooked rice with a variety of added ingredients, like scrambled eggs, veggies, seafood, or meat. The rice mixture is then stir-fried, using a small amount of oil, in a skillet or wok. It is seasoned with salt, garlic, or other spices, and soy sauce or oyster sauce may be added. You can make it at home using either available leftovers or fresh foods. 
  • The earliest mention of fried rice is from China during the Sui Dynasty (589-619 CE). It is believed to have developed as a way to use leftovers to avoid the Chinese taboo on wasting food.
  • Although the dish began in China, several other Asian countries later adopted their own variations of Chinese fried rice using one or more unique ingredients. For example, in Indonesia, fried rice is considered one of their national dishes called "nasi goreng," and it includes sweet soy sauce and ground shrimp paste. 
  • Fried rice isn't eaten only in Asia, however. Variations found elsewhere in the world include Portugal's "arroz chau-chau" and Peru's "arroz chaufa." In Africa, there is "Nigerian fried rice," and Puerto Rico has "arroz mamposteao." There are many, many more. Often, versions found on other continents began with the fried rice made by Chinese immigrants that were modified by their adopted countries using local foods and cooking methods.  
  • Whichever version you eat and whatever ingredients you add, fried rice is delicious comfort food and a great way to use up leftovers!

Let's Learn About the Philippines!

Photo by Reynante Lacbain
  • The official name of the country is "The Republic of The Philippines." A person from the Philippines is a "Filipino."
  • The Philippines is an archipelago or a collection of islands. In this case, the collection is vast, spanning over 7,000 islands total!
  • The history of language in the Philippines is rich and a little complicated! The official languages of the nation are Filipino and English. Filipino comes from Tagalog and is the standardized version. Filipinos speak the language primarily in Manila, the capital, and neighboring provinces. People who speak both languages can understand each other.
  • During Spanish rule, the official language of the Philippines was Spanish. There are about 182 languages and dialects throughout the islands of the Philippines. 
  • Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the Philippines in the 1500s and claimed the archipelago for Spain. As a result, the Philippines were under Spanish rule for 300 years until 1898. At the end of the short-lived Spanish-American War, at the Treaty of Paris, Spain handed over the Philippines to the United States. The US had control until 1946, when the Philippines officially regained its independence.
  • Rice is a staple, and Filipinos eat it in some form at every meal. "Kamayan" is a family or community buffet of Filipino food. Hosts lay banana leaves on a table and then serve seafood, grilled meats, vegetables, and rice on top. In Tagalog, kamay means "hand," so a kamayan feast indicates how you eat the food. First, you put a mound of rice into the palm of your hand,  then add lechon (roasted pig), seafood, or other meat, and stir-fried veggies, and bring it all to your mouth to eat. Guests stand side-by-side to eat together at the long table. 
  • Although a version of the yo-yo has been around since Ancient Greece, a Filipino immigrant who came to the US in 1915 popularized it and started the first yo-yo company. He strung his yo-yos differently, using a loop around the axle rather than a knot, allowing tricks like "sleeping," etc.
  • The world's longest snake comes from the Philippines. It's called the Reticulated Python, and it can grow to almost 29 feet in length! Yikes!
  • In the Tojoman Lagoon, there are millions of "stingless" jellyfish! The lagoon is located in Sohoton Cove on Bucas Grande Island in the province of Surigao del Norte. The jellyfish aren't technically stingless, but their sting often doesn't penetrate skin or cause a reaction.
  • Filipino/Tagalog for "Hello": "Kamusta" (pronounced "kah-moo-STAH").
  • Filipino/Tagalog for "Thank you": "Salamat" (pronounced "sah-lah-MAHT").

What's It Like to Be a Kid in The Philippines?

  • Kids play basketball, which is the country's most popular sport. They also play soccer and badminton. Kids may participate in the national martial art called Arnis or Eskrima, which uses blunt, wooden sticks.
  • The school year is from June to April, and school hours are usually from 7:30 am to 4 or 5 pm. In some areas, schools may not have cafeterias, so students go home for lunch or eat outside in the schoolyard under the shade of trees. Their lunch may consist of dried fish and rice wrapped in banana leaves.
  • One of the sweets Filipino kids eat is "leche flan." It is similar to crème caramel, but sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk are used instead of cream. "Tsokolate" (Cho-co-lah-TAY) is a drink that is popular with kids. The word means "chocolate," and the drink is thick hot cocoa made from tablets of ground roasted cacao beans, dissolved in water and milk. It is common to drink "tsokolate" with breakfast and at Christmastime.

THYME for a Laugh

What did one rice say to the other rice? 

"I hope I see you a-grain!"

Lettuce Joke Around

Did you hear the tall tale about rice? 

There wasn’t a grain of truth behind it!

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