• Nyonya fried rice (Poh's Kitchen)Source: Poh's Kitchen

When the Chinese migrated to Malaysia and Singapore in the 15th and 16th century, the confluence of cultures gave birth to a new one, known as Nyonya. This fried rice sees cucumber inject freshness at the end.






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 2 large red chillies, chopped and seeded, or 8 dried chillies, seeded and soaked in boiling water
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cups dried shrimp, soaked in boiling water
  • 10 green prawns, peeled deveined and cut into small pieces
  • 1 ½ cups jasmine rice, cooked
  • 2 tbsp light soy
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1 telegraph (long thin) cucumber, quartered lengthways, seeds sliced off and discarded (for maximum crunch) and then sliced diagonally – about 2–3 mm

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Poh’s tip: The trick to cooking great fried rice is to pre-cook the rice and put in the freezer, then defrost it when you wish to use it. This keeps the grains separated and stops the dish from becoming stodgy.


  1. Pound the chilli, garlic and shallots to a paste in a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, chopping finely will be completely appropriate.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok until it's hot. Add the paste and sauté until it is rich and aromatic. (If finely chopping the aromatics, add the garlic first to the wok and cook briefly, then the shallots and chilli and stir-fry until aromatic.)
  3. Pound drained dried shrimp in mortar and pestle until shredded, or blitz in a food processor to a crumbly consistency. Add to the wok and stir-fry until fragrant. Add prawns and stir-fry until just cooked. Immediately add rice, soy, salt, sugar and white pepper.
  4. Cook until rice has separated and is tender.
  5. Make a well in the middle of the wok, pushing rice to the sides. Tip in the egg and let it sit for a while so the bottom has a while to caramelise. With an egg flipper, flip it over so that is also nice and brown, then chop it with the egg flipper so that little pieces of it cook all the way through. Add the cucumber and give it all a final toss so thateverything is incorporated, checking for seasoning. Serve hot or at room temperature.


Poh's Kitchen, season 1 to season 3, premieres on Tuesday 20 November at 8.30pm. The series airs Tuesdays at 8.30pm on SBS Food (Channel 33). After they air, episodes will stream at SBS On Demand.