Vegetarian Fried Rice
2 1/2 cups of basmati rice
2 cups vegetable stock
6 large size dried Shitake mushrooms
1 medium carrot
1 small fennel
1/4 of small cabbage
125 grams frozen baby peas
300 grams corn kernels
3-4 tablespoons of light soy sauce
1-2 teaspoon(s) sesame oil
1 tablespoon freshly crushed garlic
1 tablespoon of finely chopped ginger
4 spring onions finely chopped
1 large mild red chilli (optional)
1 large mild green chilli (optional)
3 1/2 cups of water
Peanut oil for cooking (recommended as it does not burn easily)
Cook the rice and soak the Shitake mushrooms in advance.
(Note: You can cook in two batches (use half quantities). Then mix the two batches together before serving. It makes it easier to handle.)
Soak the dried Shitake mushrooms in warm water overnight, using a teacup saucer to keep the dried mushrooms immersed.
Wash the rice in running water, at least three times until the water runs clear. Cook the rice in 3 1/2 cups of water, until the water is fully absorbed. Make sure the rice is cooked and not hard. Add a little more hot water and cook for a few minutes more if necessary. Allow to cool, place in an open dish/plate and fluff gently until the cooked grains of rice are separated. Leave rice to dry up a bit in an open space. For more details (Click here).
Wash the Shitake mushrooms and gently hand press the mushrooms to expel the absorbed water within the mushrooms. Cut into thin slices, taking care to remove any hard stems that have not softened. Put aside.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel off the carrot skin. Using the peeler, shave off thin strips from the carrot, turning the carrot around to uniformly shave off the thin strips. Shave off as much of the carrot as you can comfortably. Position all the shaved strips lengthwise and cut into 4-5 cm lengths. Put aside.
Wash the fennel. Cut off the stems and the hard bottom. Cut fennel in halves and finely slice into thin strips. Chop the slices again into 4-5 cm lengths.
Wash the cabbage. Cut off 1/4 of the cabbage. Remove the hard part at the bottom. Slice the cabbage into thin slices. Then, cut the slices again into 4-5 cm lengths. Remove any hard bits. Put aside.
Optional. Wash the chillies. Thinly slice at at an angle to obtain delicately angled pieces of the red and green chillies. Put aside.
Clean spring onions and cut into into thin slices with a sharp knife. Put aside.
Heat up your wok or other similar pan over medium high heat, until the wok starts smoking. Put 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil into the wok. Swirl the oil around the wok using a wok spatula.
Add the crushed garlic and ginger. Swirl around in the wok. Allow to cook until the mixture just starting burning.
Add the mushroom pieces. Stir fry with a tablespoon of light soy sauce. Add the fennel pieces and stir fry until the mushroom pieces are just cooked. Add some vegetable stock if the mushroom and fennel pieces start drying up. Add the carrot shavings and stir fry until just cooked. Remove the stir fried mushroom, fennel and carrot slices from the wok and put aside.
Add two tablespoons of vegetable oil into the wok over medium to high heat. Add the fluffed rice into the wok (if your wok is small, you can cook in half batches). Stir fry the rice and add some of the vegetable stock to stop the rice from sticking to the wok, followed with 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce. You can adjust the addition of the soy sauce to suit your preference. Stir fry and mix the rice into the soy sauce and vegetable stock. Add the mushroom, fennel and carrot slices to the rice. Gently incorporate into the rice without crushing the ingredients.
Allow to cook until the rice absorbs the soy sauce, vegetable stock and integrates with the mushroom, fennel and carrot slices. Be careful not to add too much of the vegetable stock. Only add in small amounts to stop the rice from sticking to the wok and to flavour the rice.
Add the sliced cabbage into the rice and gently stir into the mix. Allow to cook and stir the contents at intervals to ensure uniform cooking. Add some vegetable stock if necessary.
Add the corn kernels and gently integrate into the rice and vegetable mix. Add 1-2 teaspoons of sesame oil and gently stir into the rice. Add the chilli slices and gently stir into the rice. Add some more vegetable stock if necessary.
Add the frozen baby peas and gently stir into rice without crushing the peas. The peas will soften very quickly.
Add half of the finely sliced onions and gently stir into the rice. Switch off the heat or remove wok from stove.
Transfer the vegetable fried rice into a warm serving dish. Sprinkle the remainder of the finely sliced spring onions over the rice.
Serve hot with chilli sauce, a tomato chutney with chillies and garlic sauce.
Enjoy. Bon Appetit.
Madeleine's recipe : Vegetarian Fried rice
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