What Is The Difference Between Japanese And Chinese Fried Rice?
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Did you know that the original recipe for the Chinese fried rice you eat even today, was born somewhere in the year 589 AD, in the city of Yangzhou in the Jiangsu province of China? Although, the stir-frying technique used for fried rice was only popularised during the late Ming dynasty (1368–1644 CE) when fried rice was a popular way of accommodating leftovers; this would explain why most Chinese fried rice recipes are loaded with proteins. 

Japanese fried rice, or at least the version we know today, originated in the nineteenth century. The dish, called Chahan is said to have been introduced by Chinese immigrants who arrived at the port of Kobe, Japan in the 1860s. 

Another version of Japanese fried rice known as Yakimeshi is cooked on a griddle and served at Teppanyaki diners, whereas chahan is cooked in a wok and served at Chinese restaurants in Japan. Chinese and Japanese fried rice differ significantly in taste; Japanese fried rice is typically cooked with less oil and is more suitable for daily consumption. Chinese fried rice, on the other hand, is considered more filling. But there are some significant differences between how the two cultures approach this popular recipe, Let's take a look:

All About The Rice 

The biggest difference between Japanese and Chinese fried rice is the type of rice used. Japanese fried rice is usually made with short-grain rice and yields a chewy texture. Chinese fried rice is made with long-grain rice, like Basmati rice and Jasmine rice. Short-grain rice usually has more starch, so a Japanese Chahan is stickier in mouth-feel than regular fried rice. In fact, most Japanese fried rice recipes recommend using day-old rice which lacks moisture, resulting in a natural crisp.

Eggs Are Key 

Japanese fried rice recipes, especially the Yakameshi use the egg to make the rice creamier. Japanese fried rice puts the rice into the wok followed by the beaten eggs on top. By doing this, the rice is covered in the egg, and they're cooked together. This method makes the already chewy short-grain rice even creamier and also gives it a subtle yellow hue. Chinese fried rice treats eggs like proteins and chefs usually cook them separately, either by scrambling them first or by frying them before the rice.

Different Seasonings 

Yangzhou where the most commonly used Chinese fried rice was born, was a salt town, and for many decades the fried rice would only be seasoned with salt. But as it travelled from Yangzhou to different regions, sesame oil became a more popular way of seasoning it. The Cantonese style uses oyster sauce and soy sauce, while the Szechuan style uses the Sichuan peppercorn. Japanese fried rice has been designed with the kick of umami in mind so soy sauce is a staple seasoning in the cuisine. 

Oyster sauce is also a major way of seasoning fried rice; in the mid-1900s the Worcestershire sauce gained popularity in Japan, particularly in Osaka. The Japanese version of the sauce which is used in rice, okonomiyaki, takoyaki and tonkatsu is sweeter and thicker and adds a mild, tarty flavour