Fried rice takes many forms these days and has been adopted across the globe in different cultures, but it's origins can be traced back to China as early as 600 AD. Like anything of a considerable age, fried rice deserves a good amount of respect.
Other than being a quick cooking method, fried rice is another great way to use up not only leftover rice, but also cooked meat and bits-and-bobs of vegetables.
We've gathered some secrets (shhh!) together to help you with honing your fried rice recipes:
Fried rice needs one critical ingredient - day-old rice
The cooked rice goes through a transformation overnight in the fridge called "retrogradation" - in short, tiny crystals form, locking water inside the grains while also creating a dry outer shell which is perfect for searing in a hot wok. Freshly cooked rice will give you a disappointing outcome - it will steam and become sticky, gelatinous and clumped.
Be picky with your choice of rice
Depending on your preferred texture, you can opt for a medium-grain (e.g. Jasmine or white rice) for a balance between bite and stickiness, or a short-grain (e.g. sushi rice) for more stickiness and chewiness. If you're not that picky, any rice will do, and even brown rice is a great choice.
Turn up the heat
Your wok (or largest frying pan!) needs to be smoking hot with a good glug of oil to get the right temperature and space for the grains to colour and sizzle.
A little goes a long way
For sauce, don't soak everything in the pan, just add enough to bind and flavour it well. You can always add a smaller amount to start, and then add more if you need to tweak it.
Keep it simple
The best fried rice involves letting a handful of ingredients shine. Doing so also means you aren't overcrowding the pan and juggling too many things in the process. Just like a stir-fry, give the rice, vegetables and meat plenty of space to move about, sear and take on flavours.
Are you ready to try perfecting Fried Rice? Try one of our recipes below: