How To Make Fried Rice

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It's one of the fastest—and most delicious—weeknight dinners you can throw together. But if you don't follow the rules, your fried rice will fumble.

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Some aromatics (garlic, ginger, scallions). Some protein (egg, pork, shrimp). A hot wok (or a skillet). Fried rice doesn't require much.

So why is it so easy to lớn screw up?

Because to lớn get the best Fried Rice Experience—the crispy, savory fried rice of your neighborhood Chinese joint—you must follow Fried Rice Rules.


Freshly-made grains of rice (short or medium grain, please) are bloated with water (read: mushy), which are nearly impossible to get as crunchy & crisp as good fried rice should be. Day-old rice, on the other hand, has dried out và is perfect for frying. The pro move: make a batch of rice the night before & chill it in your refrigerator.


There will be mornings when you wake up craving fried rice for dinner. If there's no day-old rice in the house, don't freak out—just turn lớn the freezer. Make a batch of rice & spread it in a thin layer on a sheet tray. Put the tray in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes (this keeps the grains from clumping), then portion out the rice into individual freezer bags. Freeze for a couple hours và BOOM—dry rice, ready for frying. (Note: You need to let the rice thaw before frying.)


You know that chef who works the wok station at your Chinese spot? The one who makes all that noise, banging his metal ladle and spatula against the sizzling steel as if he's Art Blakey? That chef can work so fast because he's prepared. His ginger, garlic and scallions are cut. His egg is beaten. His bacon is chopped. If you want to cook your fried rice perfectly, your ingredients need to lớn be ready lớn go, too.

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In Spain they gọi it the socarrat, the crispy, crusty, flavor-packed layer of rice at the bottom of a paella pan. Fried rice should have socarrat, too. Here's how lớn get it: Once you've cooked your aromatics, protein, rice etc, fast & furiously over high heat, press the rice mixture down with your spatula. Your instinct will be lớn toss after 30 seconds. Don’t. Let the packed rice sit for 2-3 minutes, then flip, pat and repeat. The rice will not burn; instead, it will toast and char và caramelize. It’s how you want to lớn serve fried rice. Anything less, và you're not following the rules.


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Plus steaming! & deep-frying! A good wok should vì it all, so we tested nine top-rated models lớn find the very best.

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