YES! FINALLY I MADE EGG FRIED RICE proper. There are two ways of doing this and I tried both.
You must boil basmati rice properly and according to the instructions. ie use boil-in-bag as I did or the 1 cup/2 cup method (twice the volume of water to rice). If you overcook the rice it will be too mushy and sticky.
Drain and heap out the cooked rice into an uncovered bowl. Refrigerate 30 mins to 1 hr (or overnight if required but beware; keeping cooked rice for days on end can breed a foodpoisoning fungus all over it!)
Method 1: Separate egg. Crack egg into a glass. Whisk with fork until thoroughly yellow. Heat ring medium-high. Blob butter/oil into pan. Bring to heat. Pour on egg. Within 30 seconds it's cooking. Scramble it. Literally 1 min later it is done. You add this egg midway or towards the end of rice-frying (too early and it gets so mixed in you merely have yellow rice without visible eggy bits).
Method 2: you chuck rice into pan or wok. If doing mixed vegetable fried rice fry these first THEN add rice. When rice has been fried for a minute or two: make a hollow in the middle of the rice. Crack an egg right into this. Immediately bash it up with chopsticks or a fork. Allow the egg to half-cook, then quickly stir into the rice.
I think the second method works better - it looks more like the way the takeaway does it.
As for monosodium glutamate (MSG) - this is a fine crystalline powder - like salt. The flavour is slightly salty, but warmer. They say that MSG "intensifies" flavours. I would say it smooths them over, like a magic factor-x. Making things like fried rice less bland. (It doesn't go nearly so well with boiled rice.) I added one pinch to the rice-water before boiling (so it was right spread throughout). And two pinches to rice just before frying. Lots of people say MSG is bad for you. But on the plus side it does give egg fried rice that "direct from the takeaway" buzz.
The Szechuan chicken was just plain chicken stir fry with Morrison's own Szechuan sauce piled on. I wasn't too impressed by the quality of this sauce. It had needlessly demoralized vegetable traces in it. And more to the point I found out that "szechuan" was the horrible spicy yet sweet and sour stuff I got fobbed off with by the takeaway the other day when I'd ordered Thai chicken with babycorn. I love spicy but loathe sweet and sour. Urgh.
I want to learn my own saucemaking.
Tomorrow: egg-sucking for the experienced cook.
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