Chahan Recipe – Okinawan Fried Rice

This version of Chahan is an Okinawan take on fried rice. Like many Okinawan dishes it is heavily influenced by Chinese cuisine. Modern Chahan also often has an American influence in the addition of spam as a low-cost protein. Below is a yet quick take on this Okinawan favorite. If you feel up to the challenge, try my Advanced Chahan recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3 servings cooked white rice
  • 1 piman (green pepper)
  • 1 tamanegi (onion)
  • 1 package frozen vegetables
  • 2 large eggs
  • 170g meat (sausage, pork, chicken, spam, whatever)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or no-stick cooking spray

Seasoning

  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp hachimitsu (honey)
  • 1 pkt dashi (5g)
  • 1 tbsp powdered or minced garlic
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sake (cooking, mirin, awamori, nihonshu, etc)

Directions

Wash 3 cups of white rice. Cook white rice per your rice cooker’s instructions, or on the stove. Tip: Add a little more rice vs water than you would for slightly drier rice. Its common to let rice soak for 10-20 minutes before steaming as well, but since you’ll be frying the rice later, you can skip that step.

Prep meat and vegetables by dicing finely. Mix seasoning ingredients in a small bowl and set aside (This amount of seasoning will yield a mild and subtle flavor. For a stronger punch add more dashi or top with bonito.) Using frozen vegetables makes this recipe a bit less gourmet but a lot easier. Feel free to substitute 300g of any other vegetable.

Add oil to a large non-stick skillet and set to medium heat before the rice is finished cooking (about 8-9 minutes). Saute meat and vegetables until the frozen vegetables are thawed. Add eggs and mix until eggs are cooked through. Reduce heat. Add cooked rice and mix well. Add seasoning and stir until everything is combined together well. Cook until everything is about the same consistency but not dry. Serve.

Optional: Chahan is often garnished with green onion or benito flakes. The benito flakes will dance in the steam off the rice. You can use any type of meat. In this instance I uses some sausage I had available. In Okinawa, the most common is spam.

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