It actually might surprise some people that the best rice for fried rice is actually left over rice. Left over rice becomes hard and separate with other grains letting you toss and stir it with ease. Freshly cooked rice tends to clump up making it difficult to coat and stir. The seasoning wont be evenly distributed and the end result is a mess. What if you don’t have left over and you want to make your own rice.
What Kind of Rice for Fried Rice
The best kind of rice for fried rice is Jasmine Rice, they have a fresh floral Jasmine smell and its a standard in all Chinese restaurant. There are other type of rice but those are not suitable for fried rice. Japanese short grain rice for example has a nice sticky texture and chew. But that extra stickiness makes it unsuitable for fried rice. Arborio rice is similar in its starch content and it too will become overly sticky. They also have a chew in the center that is not suitable for fried rice. I recommend sticking with Jasmine Long grain Rice.
Where to buy the Best Rice for Fried Rice?
While amazon have a wide selection of rice, they are not the best place to buy the best rice for fried rice. In fact, it is the Asian Supermarket that has the widest selection. They vary from short to long grain. All you need to do is look for one that says Jasmine Rice. Since rice is a staple in Asian family, they usually sell it in huge 25-50lb bags. It is meant to feed a family. If however, you do not consume that much rice, I recommend that you stick with Amazon, the Jasmine Rice that I linked before is a good choice if you are only making it for a special occasion. If you want to try a different brand, remember to stick with Jasmine Long Grain rice, not medium or short grain rice.
How to Cook the Rice?
Here is a secret to Chinese household and restaurant. They all use a rice cooker to make their rice. It seems like only western family cook their rice on a stove top. They time it and put the lid on hoping that it comes out perfect. For a simple rice, you can forego this step and invest in a rice cooker. The Zojirushi Elephant Brand is the one that is most trusted. Be sure to get a Japanese model like This One. If that brand is too expensive, you can use any other type of rice cooker, like the Instant Pot or other lower cost brand. The result wont be as stellar though.
Direction to Prepare the Best Rice for Fried Rice
With that being said, there is still a trick to bringing out the best quality of the rice.
1) Measure the desired amount of rice and wash it once or twice with tap water.
2) Measure 1.3 times the amount of water to the rice. Some rice require more than other, adjust as necessary.
3) Soak the rice in water for 2 hours, you can forego this step if you are not too fussy about your rice.
4) Press the cook button and wait till its done. After its done stir the rice and wait for 15-30 minute for the steam to dissipate.
5) Stick in the fridge so that the rice will harden.
1) Washing the rice initially remove the excess starch, this will prevent too much clumping. Some claim that it will remove the nutritional value, maybe the glucose from the starch??? Most of the nutrition comes from the rice itself.
2) The water ratio on rice packaging is often time wrong, I find that the best ratio is usually 1.3 times the amount of measure rice. It sometime can vary so you need to adjust based on what you find.
2) Soaking the rice before hand infuses the rice with water. It makes it more tender. It is a similar process to cooking beans.
3) Letting the rice steam after cooking will ensure that the excess moisture is driven out. Stirring will break up the clumps.
4) By sticking rice in the fridge, you are removing more of the excess water and the rice will break into individual pieces.
Best Fried Rice Sauce
I personally avoid using sauces in my fried rice to perserve its light color. However, Soy Sauce is very common in fried rice. Kikkoman, a Japanese branded soy sauce is commonly used in American Chinese Restaurant. For South East Asian fried rice in Malaysia and Indonesia, they use Kecap Manis in their fried rice. It has its own distinct sweet flavor.
Best Fried Rice Recipe Chinese Shrimp Version
If you are looking at this article, you probably have an idea on how to make fried rice. If you don’t here is my best fried rice recipe with shrimp.
1) left over rice
2) 1/2 -1 lb of shrimp
3) 2 Eggs Beaten and lightly salted
3) Vegetable mix or Frozen Peas and Carrots
4) Salt and White Pepper, black pepper will work also but white is traditional
In order to make a good fried rice at home, use a non stick pan. A wok is designed to be use in a professional gas range that looks like its shooting jet fire. You will not get the same heat with your home range. A traditional non stick pan will reach a higher temperature.
1) Preheat the pan with oil the sear the shrimp on one side. Just leave the shrimp there and do not touch and do not over crowd the pan. Remove once you see color on one side.
2) Scramble the egg lightly and remove.
3) Fry the rice to soften it and then add the vegetable to warm it through.
4) Add the Shrimp and egg to cook through.
5) Salt as necessary and salt lightly as you cook.
1) Preheating the pan with oil prevents the pan from overheating and damaging the non stick coating.
2) Cooking the shrimp only on one side prevents the shrimp from over cooking. Adding it near the end will give it a right texture.
3) Cooking the food individually will ensure that nothing will stick together. If you add the egg to rice instead of scrambling it individually it will adhere to the rice and give it a horrible texture.
4) Seasoning the food as you go, ensure that the salt will penetrate the food. Salting near the end will make the food too salty.
This article was a little longer than expected but if you are looking for the Best Rice for Fried Rice, these steps are what is necessary. Although its not as intense as what Japanese sushi chef do for Sushi. If you do not want to do all of this, just go get some takeout and stick the rice in the fridge. It can not get more simple than that.
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