Nigerian Fried Rice Is A Fresh Take On A Classic Dish

Fried rice can be paired with chopped chicken or made into a delicious, breakfast waffle. When you think of the best fried rice recipes, dishes from Asian countries probably come to mind. And it stands to reason because fried rice was created in ancient China as a way not to waste leftover food (per iFoodTV). Nasi goreng is a fried rice meal that Indonesia recognizes as its national dish (via Tasteatlas). However, despite its strong roots and history in the region, fried rice extends far beyond the borders of Asia.

Kitchen Joy claims that in Peru, arrocito is a fried rice dish featuring cumin and garlic that pairs perfectly with the country's honey curry chicken. And Food Network says Spanish fried rice infused with chili pepper and paprika is a delicious side dish. But in the heart of Nigeria lies a recipe for fried rice your taste buds will never forget. Here's why Nigerian fried rice is the perfect answer to the traditional Chinese dish.

All about Nigerian rice

Rice is an integral part of the Nigerian diet (per the International Food Policy Research Institute). And while jollof rice and coconut rice (per Food.) are everyday mealtime staples for the country, Nigerian fried rice is known as a special dish that often appears at parties, according to Tasteatlas.

And if someone is set on making a pot of Nigerian rice for a celebration, they have their work cut out for them. According to Food52, Nigerian rice is made with long grain or basmati rice, dried thyme, turmeric powder, curry powder, thyme, pepper, coconut milk, liver, prawns, and a mixture of various hard and soft vegetables. As the website notes, the Nigerian stock, in particular, acts as a crucial ingredient for the recipe. Unlike traditional Western stocks, Nigeria's is filled with chili pepper, curry powder, turmeric powder, and fresh veggies.

The trick to preparing Nigerian fried rice, however, is first to sauté the rice and cook the hard vegetables in separate dishes. Then the two are seasoned and combined, and later the dish's meat is added and cooked in the pot, and the Nigerian fried rice is ready for a special occasion.

Chinese and Nigerian fried rice – what's the difference?

Although Chinese and Nigerian fried rice both include rice and vegetables, their other ingredients make them quite distinct.

A traditional Chinese fried rice recipe only calls for vegetables, oil, soy sauce, rice, and an egg. Meanwhile, Nigerian fried rice doesn't use an egg but is packed with various spices and uses a hearty stock. And according to MydiasporaKitchen, even the type of rice in the two dishes differs. While Chinese fried rice uses old white rice as its main ingredient, Nigerian fried rice calls for long-grain rice that gets its rich flavor by absorbing the meat stock. Food52 also notes that although the stock gives the dish extra flavor, the fresh ingredients make Nigerian fried rice more perishable than its Chinese counterpart.

However, while these two mealtime favorites might have less in common than more, they're both staples. What makes Nigerian fried rice so special is that it manages to build on the classic Chinese recipe while still reflecting its own culture.