I'm trying to make chinese fried rice, for which I chose long grain basmati rice. I wash the rice thoroughly before cooking. I'm able to get separate grains (non-mushy) .

But when I stir-fry or cook the rice, the grains tend to break easily, are probably too delicate and at times tend to get lumpy when I add tiny quantities of vinegar, soy etc while tossing.

I absolutely avoid sprinkling water onto the rice even though some recipes recommend it.

I was suggested adding vinegar while boiling the rice. Does it really help?

  • 2
    I think your problem is the choice of rice. Basmati is a great all-rounder but it's more delicate than your standard long-grain rice.
    – GdD
    Jul 3, 2020 at 20:24
  • 2
    "I was suggested adding vinegar while boiling the rice. Does it really help ?" -- what happened when you tried it? There are a lot of variables to cooking rice and to making fried rice, and you haven't shared any of the specifics about how you are doing either of these. Your choice of basmati for fried rice is suspect, but beyond that your question itself does not seem answerable by anyone but you yourself. At the very least, you should try the suggested technique, and if you have some specific trouble then ask about that. Jul 4, 2020 at 6:35
  • I will try to get better rice. What type would you suggest ? Jul 5, 2020 at 9:59

2 Answers 2


No, it does not.

I was pretty sure from the theory of it that it won't help. Acid makes cell walls harder, so you can use it e.g. when you are cooking potatoes. But in rice kernels, you have basically no cell walls to harden, everything is starch granules. So I saw no reason why it would work.

Theory is nice, but not always enough for writing answers. There can always be an effect I don't know about - just because the mechanism I am thinking of doesn't apply here, it doesn't mean there isn't a different one. But it so happens that I recently bought a package of rice from a new brand, and I hate it. It always cooks up mushy. So today, I decided to give it a try. I simply used the rice cooking program of the instant pot with the usually-mushy jasmine rice, and added citric acid. The rice had an obvious sour taste to it, but it was as soft and mushy as ever. I didn't see any difference in texture. Even though it's a single data point, I still feel confident enough to write the answer - you will not get any more hardness, and you will confuse the eaters with sour rice.


I am a Chinese. You said that you want to make Chinese fried rice. To cook fried rice in China, you need to use the steamed rice the day before. The steamed rice the day before is placed in the refrigerator. . And don’t put too much water when steaming the rice, so the rice is hard, the rice grains will not be damaged during the fried rice, and each grain is not sticky, and each grain of rice has a salty taste, which is very delicious

  • Hi hibagss , thanks for your answer. I asked this same question to a friend who works in the hospitality industry. He suggested the use of a variety called "Sella long grain rice" which is hard and doesnt break easily, and you can use freshly cooked as well !! Im going to try that today and will let you know :) Jul 7, 2020 at 9:22

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