Nigerian Fried Rice

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Nigerian Fried Rice is like no other. You can play around with the basic recipe, use other meats, add different veggies, etc. But this basic recipe will get you the authentic Nigerian fried rice experience.

Nigerian Fried Rice

(Photo Attributed to Author: Poorna Shaji)

Nigerian Fried Rice Recipe-

  • 26 oz. (750g) long grain rice, parboiled
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Chicken (whole chicken or chicken drumsticks)
  • 3-1/2 oz. (100g) Cow Liver
  • 1 tbsp. Plain Yellow Curry Powder (for color, mostly, you don’t want chili flavored curry)
  • Green Beans (a handful)
  • 5 medium sized carrots (note: you can also use peas, and celery is often used too. A matter of preference)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 3 medium onions
  • 3 Knorr seasoning cubes (an absolute must ingredient for authentic Nigerian flavor!)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 6 to 8 green onions, trimmed and rough chopped, for garnish
Prep Cook Instructions:
Wash and Chop the vegetables-

Peel the tough outer skins off the carrots and chop them into tiny cubes. Cut the green beans into 1/4″ pieces. Soak these 2 vegetables separately in hot water for about 5 minutes and drain. Cut 1 bulb of onion. Set all these aside.

If you are also going to include celery, use tender inside stalks, wash thoroughly, and chop into very small pieces. If including peas, other than washing, if necessary, they are ready as is.

Cook the Chicken and Liver-
  1. Boil the cow liver until tender, and then chop it into little (about 1/4″ to 1/2″) cubes. You can cook the liver with the chicken, to move the preparation time along quicker.
  2. Cut chicken into pieces and boil it with the Knorr cubes, thyme and 2 of the onions, chopped. After the chicken is cooked through (no blood around the bone), deep fry the pieces in vegetable oil, or grill them in an oven. You want to get that appealing golden brown look makes the finished dish look so warm and inviting.
Cooking Directions:
  1. Parboil the rice (cook just until still quite chewy, about half as soft as you will want it when fully cooked), to ensure that the grains will not clump and stick together when the rice dish is done. Use cold water to rinse the parboiled rice, and then drain off the water in a sieve.
  2. After cooking your chicken, if the stock has traces of onion, spices, etc. in it, pour the stock into a sieve to remove them. Pour the cleaned stock into a pot and heat to a boil. As soon as the water boils, add the parboiled rice, and then add 1 tablespoon of plain yellow curry powder, and salt to taste. The plain yellow curry powder is small part of the flavor blend you want, but it is mostly for color, so it should not be the kind of curry that contains hot chilli.
  3. Keep the water at just at, or slightly below, the level of the rice. You want this to make sure all of the water is dried up once the rice is cooked – overcooking will not produce a good finished dish, which is such that the rice and grains are not clumped and/or stuck together. As soon as the rice is cooked just right, stir the contents well, cover the pot and let it cook some more, on medium heat. This ensures that the rice doesn’t burn before the water has fully dried up.
  4. As soon as all the water has cooked and evaporated out, the rice should be cooked just right. When the rice is still just a little chewy, but not hard to the bite, and when the grains are well separated from one another, your rice is cooked to perfection.
  5. The next step is to cool the rice rather quickly. Do this by putting it in a casserole dish or another pot, fluffing and spreading it to aerate the rice. This step is important, as it will help to keep the grains from clumping and sticking together. Because the pot you cooked it in is still hot, leaving the rice in there would have the rice continuing to cook, hence the rice will eventually get sticky – which you do not want.
  6. You are going to fry the rice in batches, so you will want to divide the vegetables into 4, 5 or 6 equal parts, depending on the amount of rice your pot or pan can handle at one time. The same dividing into equal portions step also applies to your cooked rice, the chopped onions, and the cooked, diced cow liver.
  7. Take your frying pan and pour in a small amount of vegetable oil – just enough for one of the divided portions each of the cooked rice, diced cow liver, chopped onions, and vegetables. Test the oil to see if it is hot enough, by dropping a droplet or two of water in the pan; if the droplets sizzle and pop, the oil is hot and ready. Now add one part of diced onions and stir for 10 to 15 seconds, then add in one portion of diced cow liver, one portion of the diced vegetables, and one portion of cooked rice.
  8. Repeat step 7 until all your rice, onions, liver, and vegetables are fried, adding each cooked portion into one pot large enough to hold the entire finished dish.
  9. Do a taste test now, for the level of salt you want, and add more if you think it is needed. Also at this point you can assess the color of your fried rice and, if necessary, add in more curry powder if it hasn’t got that desired yellow zing look. Stir all the ingredients well, mixing until they are well blended and proportionately spread throughout the entire dish.
  10. To serve your Nigerian Fried Rice, ladle a generous portion on each serving dish and garnish with a healthy sprinkling of chopped green onions. And make sure to share it with lots of friends and family – they will love you for it!

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