|Making perfect fried rice begins with the rice. Ideally, you want the rice in fried rice to be fluffy and not too sticky, with distinct, individual grains. Here are tips to help you make fried rice that tastes as good as a restaurant.
Best Rice For Fried Rice
Long grain white rice is perfect for fried rice: it cooks up fluffy and not sticky, with individual grains remaining firm and distinct. It all comes down to two starch molecules: amylose and amylopectin.
Long grain white rice contains a significantly higher amount of amylose and less amylopectin than other types of rice. By comparison glutinous rice, also known as sticky rice, is high in amylopectin and contains a maximum of 1 percent amylose.
What About Jasmine Rice? Many people prefer Thai Jasmine rice over all other types, due to its popcorn-like aroma and sweet, slightly nutty flavor. While Jasmine is a long grain rice, it contains less amylose than regular long grain white rice and cooks up slightly sticky. Basmati rice, which contains a higher percentage of amylose, is a better choice. Nonetheless, it all comes down to personal preference: feel free to use Jasmine rice if you like.
How to Prepare Rice
Cooking the Rice – How Much Water to Add?
If you find your fried rice is turning out rather mushy, try reducing the amount of water to cook the rice. This recipe for cooking white rice uses a 1:1.5 ratio (1 cup rice to 1½ cups water).
Why Do You Need to Use Cold Cooked Rice?
You’ll frequently find fried rice recipes calling for cold cooked, previously chilled or leftover cooked rice. Ideally, the rice you use to make fried rice will have been cooked at least one day previously. Day-old rice is dryer, and reduces the chances of the dish turning out wet and mushy.
However, using leftover rice has its downsides. Bacillus Cereus is a spore forming bacteria that flourishes in starchy foods such as potatoes and rice. It thrives best in warm, moist environments – such as a pot filled with freshly cooked rice left on the stovetop. When using leftover rice, it’s important that the cooked rice be cooled down to room temperature and stored in the refrigerator within one hour of cooking if possible, and two hours at the maximum. The chilled, cooked rice should be eaten within 24 hours.
How to Loosen Rice Before Cooking
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