Before pursuing his education, Nigel was a cook for two years in several restaurants specializing in Malaysian and international cuisine.
Uncle Roger, Egg Fried Rice, and a Viral Video
Hello niece and nephew! Perhaps you've heard of the famous Malaysian comic, Nigel Ng, better known as his character, "Uncle Roger." His YouTube video went viral after he criticized a BBC cooking tutorial in which Hersha Patel prepared egg fried rice. Later, he also criticized the egg fried rice made by another famous chef, Jamie Oliver. Uncle Roger is very confident about his own cooking skills!
Malaysian-Style Egg Fried Rice
Like Uncle Roger, I am Malaysian—and we even share the same first name. Malaysians are known for paying a lot of attention to our food, from choosing the freshest ingredients to using special cooking techniques in the kitchen. Although egg fried rice is originally a Chinese dish, we Malaysians love a good egg fried rice any time and any day.
For many Asians, egg fried rice is a versatile dish we can whip up and have any time, whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. We can also throw anything in it, any ingredient we happen to have in the refrigerator or pantry. Not only that, but this dish is very budget-friendly, and you can make it using leftover rice (in fact, it tastes better that way). Join me as I show you how to make a proper egg fried rice that I hope would make Uncle Roger proud.
What Is Wok Hei?
You may have heard Uncle Roger refer to “wok hei” during his videos, and you might have wondered what that means. Wok hei is a Cantonese phrase that literally translates to “breath of the wok.” In essence, it refers to the special quality and flavor of properly prepared wok-fried foods. Wok hei is achieved through using a wok, very high heat, and a practiced technique.
In most Chinese cooking, wok hei plays a crucial role in the finished dish. This cooking method gives a subtle charred flavor to the fried rice or fried noodles.
Read More From Delishably
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
3 to 4 servings
- 2 to 3 cups frozen mixed veggies
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 slices spam, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 bowls rice, cooked (day-old rice is best)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons black or white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Thaw the mixed veggies by placing them in boiling water for about 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a bowl, beat the eggs.
- Scramble the eggs in a pan (the eggs should be cooked before adding them to the rice). Set aside the scrambled eggs.
- Add oil to a wok, let the wok heat up, and then add garlic to the oil.
- Add the spam and drained mixed veggies. Stir-fry until well combined.
- Add the rice and give everything a stir.
- Add the scrambled eggs, soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, salt, and pepper. Continue stir-frying for 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and check for salt and pepper.
- Voila! You've made yourself egg fried rice!
- Wok vs. pan: Although it's possible to cook this dish in a pan, the best way to achieve wok hei for good fried rice is by using a real wok and lots of heat. As the great Uncle Roger once said, "It's called wok hei, not saucepan hei."
- Salt: Both soy sauce and oyster sauce contain salt, so be very careful when adding salt. It is best to add it gradually as you taste. You can always add more salt, but you can't remove it!
- Umami: I thought my egg fried rice lacked a bit of the "umami" flavor, so I added some fish sauce. Be aware that fish sauce has a salty flavor—so if you do choose to add it, do so before seasoning with additional salt.
Egg fried rice is Uncle Roger's favorite dish! I grew up making it since I was three years old.
— Nigel Ng, as Uncle Roger
Malaysian Fried Rice Dishes
In Malaysia, we have many types of fried rice dishes; for instance, nasi goreng kampung, which literally translates to village fried rice, and mamak fried rice. The basis of all these dishes, however, is the simple egg fried rice recipe I've shared here.
The beauty of fried rice dishes is how versatile and flexible they are. They allow endless creativity; you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand and/or whatever ingredients you love. Egg fried rice is one of Uncle Roger's favorite dishes, and it's one of mine, too. Uncle Roger, I hope I've made you proud with my recipe!
© 2020 Nigel Koay