There are many versions of tomato fried rice found across Asia. Even in Malaysia and Singapore, tomato fried rice is a huge favourite among families for its simplicity in preparation. Above all, whatever leftovers in your refrigerator can be used to create your version of tomato fried rice. All that are needed are some onions, eggs, prawns or chicken and you're almost there.
We have tomato fried rice quite often over here as it's my husband's favourite while growing up in Japan. Besides, it's like a free day for me since the dish doesn't need much time to prepare. Let me run you through some tips and tricks to make this fried rice error-free.
Type of rice
You can use any type of long grain or short grain rice. Since this recipe follows the Japanese version, short grain rice is used, just like how it is done in Japan.
The more important question is whether it is really required to use overnight rice. As explained in the Pineapple Fried rice recipe, overnight rice may be most ideal because it has less moisture. Hence, it mixes well with the sauces preventing the rice from becoming soggy. However, if you don't have overnight rice, it's also acceptable to use freshly cooked rice.
Cook over high heat
The trick is to always cook over high heat so that the moisture of the rice can be reduced as the sauces are added. However, it's also crucial to be fast while cooking as using high temperature may result in burning the rice. To avoid this, prepare all the ingredients in advance.
Types of ingredients
It's best to use ingredients of various types of colours in this fried rice. It's a fantastic way to add vegetables to your dish. In this recipe, capsicum, carrot, onions and peas were used. Feel free to add other vegetables such as corns or french beans.
Usually, sausage slices are always added. Other types of meat which can be used are ham, bacon, chicken or even prawns. However, you may also keep the dish vegetarian.
Tomato sauce vs Tomato Ketchup or Tomato Paste
Using tomato sauce is out of the question. As mentioned earlier, it is important to keep the moisture low. Therefore, tomato ketchup is recommended. Every grain of rice should be coated with ketchup. You can also use tomato paste but because of the thick consistency, it would be very difficult to coat every grain of rice with the paste.
Tomato paste is used in this recipe as the additional secret ingredient. It adds a hint of tartness to the dish and balances the sweetness of the tomato ketchup.