There are several variations of fried rice all over the world. In Nigeria, the rice of choice when making fried rice is parboiled long grain rice. Another ingredient that makes the Nigerian fried rice unique is the use of liver. Even folks like myself who are not fans of liver have come to appreciate it in fried rice. Below, I will be sharing my recipe of Nigerian fried rice with a few tricks I have learnt over the years. This is one fried rice recipe you will love.
(1) 2-1/2 Cups Long Grain Parboiled Rice (See Note 1)
(2) 3-1/2 Cups Broth (See Note 2)
(3) 4 Tablespoons Groundnut Oil (See Note 3)
(4) 3 Cups Chopped Mixed Veggies (See Note 4)
(5) 1 Large Green Pepper
(6) 1 Cup Cooked and Chopped Liver (See Note 5)
(7) 1 Seasoning Cube
(8) 1 Teaspoon Curry
(9) 2 Bay Leaves
(10) Salt and Pepper to taste
(1) Like I noted in the introduction, the rice of choice here is long grain parboiled rice. This recipe can however also be made with Basmati rice. Cooking duration might however vary.
(2) This rice gets most of its flavor from the broth in which it is boiled. I have a recipe here on how to make your own broth at home. When making broth for this fried rice, be sure to add some onions, curry and thyme to the broth. It is important to strain the broth before using it as you do not want meat and herb particles from the broth to end up in the final dish.
(3) My oil of choice here is very rich groundnut oil as it brings out the flavor of the dish. Other types of oils can also be used. That being said, try to avoid using strong flavored oils like olive oil and sesame seed oil.
(4) Technically, any blend of veggies can be used for this fried rice dish. In Nigeria though, it is very common for carrots, green beans and peas to be used. Also somewhat common is shredded cabbage. I have used carrots, green beans, peas and edamame (green soy beans) in this recipe. Chop your veggies into bite size pieces, preferably cube shaped. After chopping the veggies, place them in a sieve so any water residue drains.
(5) As I noted earlier, liver is an essential ingredient when making this type of fried rice. If however you do not want to use liver, you can use some chopped meat and chicken. This is very convenient and practical if meat or chicken has been used to make the broth as opposed to bones and cutoffs.
(1) Make your broth and strain it so you have a very clear broth.
(2) Blend the green pepper with about 1/2 Cup of water.
(3) Wash the rice thoroughly and place in a large pot along with the bay leaves, broth and blended green pepper. Cook for 20 minutes. The cooking duration will however, intimately depend on the species of rice you are using. I used the traditional Uncle Ben’s variety here which needed to be cooked for only 20 minutes. The rice should still have some chew (al dente) when it is ready. Do not over cook the rice. It is best to allow the rice to cool down completely before stir frying. This step can even be done the day before and the rice kept in the fridge until needed.
Notes: (1) I learnt this method of adding blended green pepper to the rice when boiling from a friend, Nekpen. It really does improve the color of the rice. Nigerian fried rice is all about the green color. Other ways of achieving this color is by using lots of curry when stir frying the rice.
(4) Meanwhile, boil the liver with some salt. Rinse it when it is cooked and chop into cubes.
(5) Chop the veggies into cubes.
(6) Heat the oil in a hot wok or frying pan. This will be used to fry the rice. Some people do this stage in batches. I prefer to do it all at once. If using chopped chicken or met, fry it in the oil for about 4 minutes before adding the veggies for some added flavor and slight crunch.
(7) Saute the veggies for 5 minutes in the hot oil. Do not overcook the veggies.
(8) Add the liver, seasoning cube and curry and saute for a further 2 minutes.
(9) Add the rice and saute for another 3 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.
This rice is bet served warm as opposed to piping hot. It is best paired with fried chicken and coleslaw. Leftover rice should be stored in a sealed container in the fridge.
(1) Beef-Basil Fried Rice. Recipe here.
(2) Coconut Rice. Recipe here.
(3) Seafood Fried Rice. Recipe here.
(4) Beetroot Fried Rice. Recipe here.
(5) Jollof Rice. Recipe here.
(6) Spicy Plantain Balls. Recipe here.