Wenzhou is a city in South China in the province of Zhejiang. Most Chinese chefs working in Italy (in fact also in Europe) come from this region.
In Italy, as we have repeatedly been told, we eat the so-called westernized Chinese food, namely that which the Chinese have modified to satisfy the palate of us Westerners. Many recipes have been changed almost completely, others were invented from scratch.
The “almond chicken”, for example, is a remake of a very popular recipe with cashews in a spicy sauce, while the “fried ice cream” was completely invented to meet two very important Italian passions, according to the Chinese: ice cream and fried food.
There are also a number of other recipes that are often ordered in Chinese restaurants that are only remotely reminiscent of the original. One of these is undoubtedly “Cantonese rice”. It seems that the father of Cantonese rice is really Wenzhou rice.
In fact, the recipe of this “most Chinese” of rices makes use of very important ingredients like spring onions, Shiitake mushrooms, pork in soy sauce, all ingredients that, in the eighties, the Chinese reputedly found difficulty making to satisfy we Italians so they replaced them with peas and prosciutto pieces. No doubt a good dish and also very colourful but light years away from the tradition of Chinese regional cuisine.
Obviously if we go to a regular “cinoitaliano” restaurant and ask for Wenzhou rice, almost certainly we will end up eating a rice strange to the Cantonese just a bit more Chinese than usual.
If we want to eat real rice Wenzhou rice I recommend you try it in one of the real Chinese restaurants in Italy prepared the way of traditional Chinese cuisine. You will absolutely not regret it!
Ingredients for 4 people
Chinese Rice – 2 cups
Eggs – 4
Spring onion – 1
Chinese vegetables – 70gr.
Corn – 2 small cans
Pork in steamed soy sauce – one pack
Shiitake mushrooms – 5 large
Chicken stock – 2 teaspoons in water
Salt – 2 tsp
Sugar – 2 tsp
Cook the rice with steam using 2 cups rice (previously rinsed) and 2 cups of water. The rice should be prepared at least 4 hours before it is needed.
Beat the eggs and set aside.
Cut the vegetables into cubes, the onion, the pork into small pieces and the mushrooms even smaller.
Put a little oil in a wok and immediately add the eggs. Beat them and add the rice immediately. Ensure that the rice is well separated. Mix well and add the meat, vegetables, mushrooms and corn.
Continue mixing well and add salt, sugar and chicken broth. Mix again for a few seconds and add the chopped spring onion.
Serve hot and garnish with thin slices of omelette.