So far, many foreign tourists know fried rice as a typical Indonesian culinary. You too may have the same opinion. However, who would have thought, as one of the most delicious foods in the world, the history of fried rice comes from China.
In its place of origin, China, fried rice is called by the Chinese name. It is estimated that hanzi has existed since 4000 BC. But certainly, fried rice was firstly recorded in the era of the Sui Dynasty (589-618 AD), in the city of Yangzhou, East Jiangsu Province.
“Yangzhou-origin fried rice is a versatile dish that combines rice, onions, soy sauce, sometimes eggs, and almost any other ingredient – leftover or fresh,” writes Gloria Bley Miller in The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cook Book.
The idea of making fried rice started when Chinese people didn’t like cold food. At that time, they tried to warm the cold rice. To make it more delicious, they add spices.
In the 10th century, fried rice was introduced by Chinese traders who visited the Sriwijaya kingdom. They began to create fried rice that was adapted to the seasoning and processing method.
Processed fried rice is even more diverse with the addition of variants of concoction according to the area visited by the Chinese nomads. This acculturation of fried rice from the archipelago has also given birth to a variety of fried rice menus, such as the famous Goat fried rice from Betawi, the original Semarang tripe fried rice, the Sundanese petai and kencur fried rice, to the Minahasa native Cakalang fried rice.
Jumping time in the year when Indonesia became independent. After declaring Indonesia’s independence, fried rice was considered one of the national dishes. One of the proofs is that fried rice was also introduced in the Indonesian Theater Restaurant at the New York World’s Fair in 1964.
Then, the United States ambassador to Indonesia in 1958-1965, Howard Palfrey Jones stated in his memoir “Indonesia: The Possible Dream” that he liked the fried rice made by Hartini, one of Sukarno’s wives. In fact, he said his fried rice was the best.