I like fried rice. When I try to make it myself, though, it never turns out the way restaurants make it. Restaurant fried rice almost has this sort of "smell-you-can-taste" that's not directly part of the rice. It's like part of the steam. I'm probably not making sense, but I remember being told that fried rice tastes best when friend on a really hot pan.
Why is this so? What happens when foods are cooked on something less hot? (e.g. friend rice, steak)
One of the reasons that restaurant-made fried rice has that smoky flavour is the high temperatures and the seasoned carbon steel woks that we use.
As Kenji Alt explains in his comprehensive article on stir frying from Serious Eats (emphasis added):
One more reason to use a wok instead of a stainless steel skillet: wok hei is not developed in stainless steel, as it largely comes from the burning of the patina of fats and polymers that have embedded themselves in a well-used carbon steel or cast iron wok. For this reason, if you have a cast iron skillet, it's preferably to use it over stainless steel.
This wok hei, developed only at high heat in a seasoned wok or cast iron (or similar) pan is almost certainly the flavor you are looking for--the "smell you can taste" as you phrased it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wok_hei has very good explanations about it. Let me sum of it up:
The geometry of the wok is very important:
The temperature is also very important:
Tonight, my friend and I ordered a fried chicken special at a restaurant with a local food theme. It was a great dish. Both of us got very pink chicken. I am pretty sure that my plate had three drumsticks. Upon noticing the color, my colleague returned the dish to be more thoroughly cooked. I did not return mine, since last week I read the USDA fact sheet on poultry preparation. It says that temperature and not color should be used to test for safety, and that cooked poultry can be pink - especially when young. As I kept eating, I came across meat that was quite dark red - this was probably
A NY Times article says it's a waste: After I’d heated them, none of the olive oils had much olive flavor left. In fact, they didn’t taste much different from the seed oils. But How to Cook Everything says it's a good idea: There is a myth that olive oil is not good for frying; on the contrary, it adds a delicious flavor to many savory fried foods. OMG which one is it?
I can't count the times I have heard that vanilla brings out the flavour of other foods. For example it "makes chocolate taste more chocolatey," etc... I have also heard that it's the only spice...' to flavorless seasonal fruits or other foods that need a flavor boost. Did you know that chocolate by itself tastes 'flat' which is why it usually contains vanilla?" (vanilla.com) ...Chocolate simply wouldn’t taste like chocolate without vanilla. “Chocolate tends to be somewhat dull on its own. Vanilla transforms it,” says Patricia Rain, author of a new book, Vanilla: A Cultural History of the World’s
. After the 20 minutes I don't drain anything, I just server the rice. It's always perfectly cooked. Is Consumer Reports really correct about 6 parts water to 1 part rice!? Would the rice be any good...There's been a number of news reports recently about possible high concentrations of inorganic arsenic in rice. I heard that Consumer Reports says to cook 1 part rice in 6 parts water to minimise...!?!? Are they cooking rice soup? The only way I see that helping to reduce arsenic consumption would be to make the worst tasting rice ever so you don't want to eat it! For years I have always thoroughly rinsed my rice
Possible Duplicate: How can I bake normally fried foods? I usually cut my potatoes into sticks that are slightly bigger than your generic frozen fries. I've tried baking the sticks with low temperature (350) / long duration and with high heat (425) / short duration. I still can't achieve the crispy on the outside but moist, soft, and not dry on the inside. The results are either mushy... are some of the cooking techniques involved to produce quality baked potato sticks to make them taste similar to fried potatoes (French fries)?
Possible Duplicate: Why is it dangerous to eat meat which has been left out and then cooked? Around 3pm I took out steak to thaw, the steak was wrap in foil and plastic wrap and i stuck it in the oven! i found i forgot it this morning! we all know that when you buy pre pkg steak, it doen't carry the best looking shade of red we like but hey what can you do, i found it this morning, the steak has no smell but it has some grey color to it and it looks like it started to cook you know if you take a steak and rinse it under hot water it will start to cook, so would it still be good
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cookware#Cast_iron In addition, some foods (such as spinach) cooked on bare cast iron will turn black. How true is that and why? Secondly, does it even apply to the newly seasoned cast iron cookware?
I have some white rice cake. The instructions say to soak it in water overnight, then either fry it or simmer it. I tried part of it simmered some time ago, and didn't like the bland taste. So today I shallow fried some of it. I had soaked enough for two batches. The first batch went in when the oil was at about 190°C. They took a lot time to get ready, and soaked up too much oil in the process.... These cakes puffed up, forming air pockets between the cake body and some kind of thin "skin" on the upper side. The underside fried quickly and well, but when I turned them, the puffed bubbles kept the cakes
to low-starch potatoes that don't fall apart when cooked. Sometimes called roasting potatoes (US). New potatoes behave like waxy potatoes, even if they come from a variety used for baking. Mealy potatoes (US) are floury potatoes (UK) or baking potatoes (UK, US). This refers to high starch, low moisture potatoes that result in significant softening when cooked (useful for mashed potatoes... for cupcakes. It increasingly has this meaning in the UK too, with the prevalence of American-style coffee-shop chains. Muffin (UK) is english muffin (US, AU), a yeast leavened flat-ish bread, cooked