What’s the best rice for fried rice? In most fried rice recipes, they’ll call for “day-old rice”.
Basically does what it says on the tin: the day before, you make a big batch of white rice like you always would and leave any leftovers uncovered in the fridge overnight. Then next day, you use those leftovers to make fried rice.
What’s The Best Rice For Fried Rice?
See, waiting a day after cooking will dry out the surface of the grain, and’ll ensure things don’t gum up when frying.
It’s the go-to method for homecooks in China to fry rice for a reason, and it makes for a perfect leftover lunch.
But there is a slight problem to the method – when frying, you need to pretty much constantly press down on your rice to break up the clumps, and balance that by pulling up from the bottom to avoid sticking.
It’s a little unintuitive and does takes a bit of time, up to five minutes sometimes, to get your grains nice and loose and separate. which’s probably why the English-language internet’s seemed to so consistently struggle with fried rice.
But there is a better way.
Introducing – steamed rice. See, in many places in China, steaming was the go-to method for cooking rice before the advent of the rice cooker, and this stuff makes for an makes for an absolutely perfect fried rice.
And not only that? There’s no need to wait a day here – you can go from dry grains to fluffy delicious fried rice in less than an hour flat. So right, we’re gonna be working from 150 grams of Jasmine rice, and as always before cooking, wash your rice.
The point here’s not really to clean the rice or anything… what you’re doing is removing some of the surface starch so that things won’t clump up into a big pile of goo when cooking.
So just rinse that about 3-4 times, or until the rinsing water’s lost about half of its opacity.
Now get a full pot of water up to a boil and toss your now-rinsed rice right in. Let that boil for about three minutes – this par-boil will moisten up the rice, while the later steaming process’ll cook it through and dry it out.
So if you ever find your rice to be a bit too dry, boil longer and steam for shorter; and too wet, vice versa. Now just take that out, drain in your trusty colander, and immediately move this over to your steaming set-up.
So. yeah. You will need some sort of steaming set-up for this – we personally use a bamboo steamer over a wok, but you could also just toss this over a pot, and a metal steamer set-up would also work just fine.
Now grab a cloth and thoroughly wet it – this is a cloth specifically sold for steaming stuff, but anything thin like a flour sac towel would also work just as well, and they also sell silicone mats for this if that’s more up your alley.
Either way, just lay your steaming cloth of choice onto the steamer, toss in your parboiled rice, poke a few holes in it so that it can steam a bit more even, and let that go over some boiling water for ten minutes.
Ten minutes later now, shut off the heat and let that sit there over the hot water for five minutes more. And then after that five, remove your rice, fluff it up, and let it cool down a bit. In about fifteen to twenty minutes, this stuff’ll be ready to fry up using your fried rice recipe of choice.
But I guess we’ve come this far, so I suppose we might as well just show you how to use this to whip up simple egg fried rice with scallion.
To do so, as always, first long you – get your wok piping hot, about steak searing temperature, shut off the heat, add in about a table spoon of oil – here we’re using lard because lard fried rice is very awesome – and give it a swirl to get a nice nonstick surface.
Flame on medium now, heat the oil up until it can bubble around a chopstick, then toss in one thoroughly beaten egg.
It’ll quickly puff up a bit, so then give it a quick scramble and scooch it up the side of your wok.
Now up the flame to high and go in with your steamed rice. fry that all together for about a minute, and just like that we’ve already got loose fluffy grains.
So then just season with a quarter teaspoon salt, quarter teaspoon sugar, eighth teaspoon white pepper powder, and a small sprinkle MSG another quick mix, then go in with some sliced scallion. Brief mix, heat off, and out. Egg fried rice, done.
So, day old rice is also a proper way of making fried rice.
Here you can see a comparison of the textures of the two rice. The day old rice one kind of reminds me of a quick lunch spot kind of fried rice. While the steamed one reminds me of fancier restaurant kind of fried rice. But nonetheless, they are both good.
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