Hey there, guys! I have a special of Chinese fried rice or better known as Chao Fan ready for you to enjoy. But first, you better subscribe to my Youtube Channel, Friah’s Kitchen, and don’t forget to click on that notification button so you’ll get notified whenever I upload a fun new recipe you can recreate at home just like this one.
For Filipinos, what’s the first thing that you think of when you hear the words Chao Fan? Chowking’s delicious bowl of Chinese fried rice, right? Chowking is a Chinese chain restaurant scattered all over the Philippines that has a monopoly on serving Chinese cuisine to the Filipino people. It should not be understated that Chowking plays a huge role in molding the image and flavor palate of the general Filipino public when it comes to Chinese dishes.
Chowking is the go-to Chinese restaurant whenever Filipinos want to grab a bowl of Chao Fan or other Chinese dishes for that matter.
Chowking’s Chao Fan was definitely the first Chinese fried rice with fried siomai or shumai on top. I used to frequent Chowking on a weekly basis during my college years and I got to try most of their menu items but their Chao Fan bowl and its several variations are definitely my go-to meal.
I always thought that it was a great well-rounded and healthy meal to eat because of the different chopped greens, protein, and rice. But in hindsight, I learned that Chinese dishes are packed with salt, and eating too much of it can cause problems.
But with this recipe that you can easily make at home, you can control the amount of salt you can put in your Chao Fan. Plus, this can lessen your fast food expenses because you won’t have to go to Chowking or have it delivered at your door wherever you’re craving a bowl of delicious Chinese fried rice.
What is Chao Fan?
Sorry to sound like a broken record, but I was first introduced to Chow Fan when I first entered Chowking and everything else is history. So as a teenager, I always thought that Choa Fan was an original of Chowking’s and it can’t be found anywhere else.
Oh, how wrong I was. Now that I got more into cooking at home and eventually creating this cooking blog and my Youtube cooking channel, I got to expound on my knowledge of different foods from around the world.
I learned through some research that Chao Fan isn’t a unique menu item in Chowking but it’s an umbrella term for Chinese fried rice with a huge number of versions all around China and all around the world.
Fried rice originated in China and they call it Chao Fan. China has a diverse selection of versions of Chao Fan all throughout the country and overseas. Chowking’s Chao Fan is just one amongst the hundreds of recipes out there, although it’s definitely one of my favorites.
The basic and foundational ingredients of Chao Fan is cooked rice and preferably leftover rice that should be a day’s old. So this recipe is a useful thing to learn if you constantly find your rice cooker to have some leftover rice every morning. But you can definitely prepare this recipe for any meal of the day.
Aside from rice, Chao Fan also requires a selection of vegetables and protein which can be totally up to your preferences. There are certainly no rules in choosing your ingredients when it comes to fried rice. If you prefer to go to the traditional Chinese route of cooking Chao Fan, you ought to not forget adding in eggs and chopped scallions or leek leaves.
These three ingredients, leftover rice, eggs, and chopped scallions or leek leaves (technically four), are the foundational ingredients of Chinese fried rice. Once you have that foundation, you can pretty much add anything you want to the dish. It’s all up to your preference.
Soy sauce is a common option which I believe is the biggest contribution of salt in a lot of Chinese dishes. Other common ingredients are ground beef and pork as well as chopped vegetables.
Chowking’s Chao Fan
We’ve already discussed Chowking and its addictingly delicious dishes but let’s dive into its Chow Fan a little bit more. Chowking have this staple menu item called Chow Fan, a versatile dish that gives customers the option to choose between beef or pork, with siomai toppings or without, and if customers chose to have siomai for topping, they also have the option between fried or steamed siomai. I always go with fried.
It’s an ingenious way of letting the customers feel like the menu item is made specially for them. Chowking’s Chao Fan, if ordered with siomai, also comes with dipping sauce that customers prepare themselves. The dipping sauce consists of soy sauce, calamansi juice, and chili oil.
Chowking’s Chao Fan is packed with ingredients and little surprises. They mostly use ground meat, rice with a tinge of soy sauce, eggs, chopped scallions, and I would occasionally find little shrimps in my bowl of Chao Fan. It’s also quite filling.
Different Varieties of Fried Rice All Over the World
The concept of fried rice originated in China with the earliest record of this method of cooking dating back to the Sui Dynasty in 589-618 CE. It’s believed that its done as an effort not to waste valuable food. The leftover rice is usually fried in a wok, a traditional Chinese cooking pot, along with other aromatic ingredients and ground meat to give it more flavors.
Through years of trading within China and beyond, fried rice is said to have been introduced to the rest of Asia and eventually throughout the rest of the world. Let’s take a look at just a few of these fried rice varieties in and outside of China.
- Yangzhao Fried Rice – the most popular version of fried rice in China and across the world. This is probably the inspiration of Chowking’s Chao Fan. Yangzhao fried rice originated in the city of Yangzhao. It’s ingredients include leftover rice, diced pork, scallions, fresh vegetables, and egg. Other ingredient options are soy sauce, sea cucumber, crab meat, and chicken.
- Hokkien Fried Rice – a Cantonese recipe that originated in Taiwan, Hokkien fried rice is a popular dish to serve to customers and many Chinese restaurants from around the world. The dish uses rice, egg, and is poured over with a thick sauce with mushrooms, meat, and vegetables.
- Omurice – one of the fried rice in the world that I’m anticipating to try the most. Originating in Japan, omurice is basically fried rice wrapped by scrambled egg then topped with sauce or ketchup. This dish needs a mastery of cooking fried rice and scrambled eggs to recreate.
- Nasi Goreng – literally translates to “fried rice” in the Indonesian and Malay language, nasi goreng is amongst some of the most flavorful fried rice varieties. The fried rice is flavored with spices like sweet soy sauce, garlic, shrimp paste, tamarind, and chili. Other ingredients include eggs, prawns, and chicken.
- Sinangag – the Filipino staple of fried rice is none other than sinigang. Sinangag is basically garlic fried rice that’s typically cooked in the morning using leftover rice, leftover meat from the day before, and copious amounts of chopped garlic.
There are definitely a lot more rice varieties out there all the way across the globe but we can’t possibly list them all here.
How to Make Chao Fan
Now that we’ve covered all that we need to know about Chao Fan and fried rice as a whole. It’s time we get to cooking this delicious universal dish. This is a simple recipe that anyone can do I bet you that it’s just as good as Chowking’s. Plus, you can have this right at home without spending money on fast food.
All you need with this recipe is the use of the right temperature and the right timing. But otherwise, it takes little to no effort to accomplish. This Chao Fan recipe just uses the fundamentals that once mastered will be easy to add on ingredients based on your preferences.
Scroll on down below to learn how to recreate this delicious Chao Fan recipe. Enjoy!
- 100 grams Ground pork
- 1 pc Slice Onion
- 3 cloves Slice Garlic
- 1/8 cup of Soy sauce
- ½ tsp Salt and Pepper
- 1 pc. Egg
- 1 tbsp. Sugar
- 6 cups of Left-Over Rice
- 2 tbsp. Oil for sauté
- Slice of Leeks Leaves
- Heat the pan with oil.
- Sauté onion and garlic for 30 seconds. Then add the ground pork and sauté well.
- Seasoned with salt, pepper, sugar and soy sauce.
- Add the egg and mix well, lastly add the rice and onion leeks.
- Tossed it and mix well,
- Served while hot. Enjoy