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I love stir fried rice but can't get close to restaurant quality. Mine seems to clump or turn almost gummy.

What can I do to improve the texture?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted

You want your rice to be fairly dry for stir frying. If you cook some rice specifically to fry, put in the minimum amount of water for whatever method you're using. As others have mentioned, it works well if you use leftover rice that's a day or two old.

Then, when you're actually frying it, it helps if the rice isn't clumped together (as it usually is when you use a rice cooker), so break it up before putting it in the pan. Use very high heat, a good oil (I like grapeseed), and be sure the oil is very hot before putting the rice in.

If you want that nice yellow colour, when the rice is almost done, make an opening in the middle of the pan, crack an egg into it, and very quickly stir the rice into it.

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The easiest fix for this problem is to use rice that was made up to 3 days ahead.

I will plan the menu to have a meal with rice on night 1, make extra, and then use that leftover rice for SF rice on night 4.

If you are making it fresh, use less water so the rice will be a bit dry.

Use high heat, and cook the rice in a wok. This also helps.

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2  
If fresh you still need to let it cool down to room temperature otherwise you'll have too much moisture in the rice. Observing a local Chinese restaurant with an open kitchen they have a large bowl of pre-cooked rice on/under the counter so the frying process is quick too. –  tonylo Jul 21 '10 at 2:40
1  
That's the same method my Indonesian friends use. Good answer! –  Boetsj Jul 21 '10 at 13:51

I would recommend washing the rice prior to cooking. Just grab a sieve, or strainer, and run cold water over the grains until the excess starch has washed away. (This will keep the rice from being mushy, and sticking together.) Then just shake off any extra water, and cook the rice as you normally would.

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A couple of other suggestions...

  • Use long grain rice. This is where you want to use the Uncle Ben's par-boiled rice. There's very little residual starch on that stuff.
  • Quickly cool the rice after steaming it by spreading it out on a large sheet pan and put in the fridge for an hour or so.
  • If you must used just-cooked rice then try mixing a well-beaten egg into it and stir furiously until each rice kernel has a slight coating of egg on it.
  • Cook in a very, very hot pan, preferably a wok, with a generous amount of oil.
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