Yangchow fried rice

Yangchow, or Yangzhou, cuisine of the Yangtze River delta occupies a particularly important position in the development of Chinese cookery. Apart from the well known Lions’ heads and many noodle dishes, several of the Cantonese dim sums, such as ‘Shaomai’ and steamed dumplings, are all of Yangzhou origin.

As you can well imagine, there are several versions of this recipe. The one given below is only a basic one from which you should be able to substitute or vary the ingredients as you wish.

4 cups cooked rice
1/4 lb (100 g) peeled prawns
1/4 lb (100 g) cooked pork or ham
1/4 lb (100 g) green peas
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 spring onions
4 tbsp oil
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp rice wine or sherry


The rice to be used for this recipe should be neither too hard nor too soft: each grain should be separate. Use peeled and cooked prawns, and make sure they are thoroughly defrosted and dry. Dice the meat into small cubes the size of peas and finely chop the spring onions.

Heat a wok over high heat until hot, add about 2 tablespoons oil, and stir-fry the prawns, meat and peas. Add a pinch of salt and the wine, cook for about 1 minute, then set aside in a bowl.

Heat the remaining oil and lightly scramble the eggs. Add the cooked rice, spring onions and salt, stir to make sure that each grain of rice is separated, then add the prawns, meat and peas. Continue stirring for about 1 more minute or until everything is well blended together. Serve hot.

© Deh-Ta Hsiung and reproduced with his kind permission.