Yeung chow fried rice is a type of fried rice made in a wok. The ingredients can vary, but this dish usually includes rice with eggs, peas, and carrots that are flavored with a special style of barbecued pork. Many varieties of Yeung chow fried rice also come with an optional additional meat like shrimp or beef. This dish is one of the most popular fried rice dishes and can be found in Chinese restaurants and home kitchens all over the world. Yeung chow fried rice can also be called Yangzhou chaofan or Yeung chao fried rice.
Generally, preparing Yeung chow fried rice starts with browning garlic, ginger, and pork in the wok. The barbecued pork is normally diced. Any other meats, often shrimp, are also added at this point. Once the meat is fully cooked and the pork is nearly crispy, beaten eggs are added to the mixture and scrambled. Rice and vegetables, such as peas, carrots, and green onions, are poured in and cooked until the vegetables are tender but crisp. Sometimes, vegetables are roasted or steamed before they are added and only briefly cooked in the work before serving.
Like other types of fried rice, Yeung chow fried rice is best prepared with day-old rice. This helps ensure that the rice is firm and dry enough to keep it from going mushy when it is cooked in the wok. Rice that has been recently prepared is often too moist for fried rice, even if it is refrigerated until it is firm.
Yeung chow fried rice is most often eaten in restaurants, but it can also be made at home. Versions of this dish made in home kitchens are often more nutritious than those found at Chinese restaurants. the addition of extra sodium and monosodium glutamate (MSG), plus the high cooking temperatures commonly used in restaurant cooking can make restaurant versions of this dish less healthy than those that are prepared using home style methods.
The type of barbecued pork used in Yeung chow fried rice is called cha siu. It is made by roasting spiced pork that has been skewered and roasted on a spit over a hot fire. This means of preparing pork is somewhat similar to the adobada pork made in Mexico, which is seasoned meat piled on a vertical rotating spit next to a torch or heat source that roasts the meat at a high temperature. The result of both methods is generally a somewhat crispy and highly flavorful outer layer surrounding a more tenderly cooked inner pocket of meat. Since roasting on a spit requires special equipment, most home cooks buy pre-roasted pork or substitute a similarly seasoned pork that has been roasted on a barbecue or in an oven.