Hello, everyone, welcome to The Dish, I'm Natasha Ho, and today I want to talk about one of my favorite foods. I'm talking about fried rice. I absolutely love fried rice. It's like the perfect comfort food. It's so delicious. There's never a time where I will turn down a good plate of fried rice.
I ate so much of it when I was pregnant with Leo. It was like the food that I always craved. It was that and chicken wings. I was always in the mood for those two things. Don't don't have any idea why. If anybody has any insights on the psychology behind cravings during pregnancy, please let me know.
But back to the point on making fried rice. I learned a lot about fried rice from eating it as well as making it for myself. And I wanted to share with you some keys for getting great results when you are making your own fried rice. So five things that you should know in order to get great results with fried rice.
The first thing is rinse your rice. Depending on the effect you're going for with rice helps determine whether you should rinse it or not. When you want sticky rice, when you want those granules, those grains to stick together, don't rinse your rice, for instance, sushi. But when you want those grains of rice to be separated, make sure to rinse all that excess starch off so that the grains will not stick together. So with fried rice, we don't want the grains to stick together. So rinse the rice.
The next thing is you want to make sure you remove all of the excess moisture on the surface of the rice when you are making fried rice. Otherwise you end up with mushy fried rice, which nobody wants to eat. Absolutely disgusting. I've been there. I did not want to eat mushy fried rice.
So removing the excess moisture, there's many ways you can do this. You can take the rice immediately after you cook it and spread it out, put a fan on it to help remove all of that surface moisture. Or a lot of times people use day old rice. Maybe you had take out and you have leftover rice that was put in the fridge, you can also use that. The key thing is that you need to remove that excess moisture from the surface. So it doesn't have to be day old rice, but it does have to be dry on the surface.
The next thing is use an extremely hot pot. You want your wok or pan or whatever it is that you're making your fried rice in to be extremely hot. At a Chinese takeout restaurant, they have very, very, very hot burners. Our burners at home don't typically get as hot as they do at the restaurant. So one of the things you can do is make sure to give your time, your pot some time to get extremely hot before you put the food in.
And also you can cook in batches. So don't crowd that pan with a whole bunch of fried rice. You might make it in two or three batches in order to make sure that all those granules get all of that attention from the surface of the pan and they heat up and they caramelize and they get that wonderful little bit of crunch. And it's called fried rice for a reason. We want a little bit of fry to the surface of those rice grains.
The next thing is to keep the mix ins relatively simple for your fried rice. You don't want to overdo it because then again, it can end up changing the texture of the fried rice. You have so much stuff going on, you don't actually get a wonderful texture to the rice. I've had this happen again with like that soupy, mushy rice. Too much stuff in there kind of ruins the party.
But you do want to make sure that you use savory and sour flavors to help accentuate the rice. So, of course, soy sauce is invited to the party, but you can get creative with this in terms of other umami or sour flavors that you like, that you want to add into your fried rice and of course, make sure there's salt in your fried rice. And I think that's it.
Those are all the things adding. So one, two, three, four, five, rinse the rice. Number two is make sure that you use rice that has completely dry on the surface. Number three is using extremely hot pot, four is to keep the mix-ins simple. And number five is to make sure to add the sour and umami flavors to your fried rice. That's it for this week. I'll see you next time. Bye.
I'm Natasha Ho, a trained chef and avid traveler. I've studied culinary traditions from cuisines around the world, and I help food lovers learn how to cook a wide variety of meals that are consistently delicious so they can have more fun, ease and joy in their kitchen.