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How to Cook Perfect Fried Rice

Updated on January 1, 2019

How To Cook Fried Rice

Fried Rice Recipe

Perhaps the most mysterious thing about the mysterious Orient is their ability to cook perfect fried rice every time. You go to an Asian restaurant and order the chefs special fried rice and it's amazing. Delicious, individual grains of rice, not one big gluey clump of mush that more resembles a ball of wallpaper paste like what you get when you try to make it at home. How do they do it?

Believe it or not, it's actually not that hard. I learned the secret from one of my wife's best friends, a Chinese chef named David. David, along with his very strict mother, owns a Chinese restaurant in Phoenix Arizona and he was kind enough to share the secret of making perfect fried rice every time. I'm now going to share the secret with you so that you can amaze your friends with tasty fried rice dishes.

Cooking Fried Rice

Secret Step # 1: Wash & Soak The Rice

Rice is covered in starch and that is what makes the grains stick together so, according to chef David, you should always rinse the starch off the rice. Some have argued that this will wash away some of the nutritional value of the rice but I'm not sure how much of an impact that washing the rice would really have.

How To Wash the rice
Put the uncooked rice into an ordinary kitchen strainer and put the strainer under a running faucet. The water will run milky for a while as the starch washes down the sink. Keep the water running until it runs clear and not milky white.

Soaking the rice
Chef David says that, if you want a softer texture to your rice, you will have to soak it in water for at least thirty minutes.

Side Note: I have actually skipped this step a number of times when cooking on my boat and still managed to produce some very acceptable fried rice.

Authentic Fried Rice

Cook Fried Rice Like A Chinese Chef

Secret Step # 2: Dry Fry The Rice

According to chef David, in order to cook perfect fried rice, you dry fry the rice in a sauté pan. If you have washed and soaked the rice as in step 1 above, then you will need to wait until the rice is thoroughly dry before moving on to this step.

How To Dry Fry Rice

This step has proven to be a little challenging for some people (my wife!) but most people shouldn't have too much trouble with it (please don't tell her I said that!) You simply pre-heat the sauté pan and then pour in the uncooked rice. In a few minutes, it will begin to change color. White rice, for example, gets even whiter. My wife cooks the rice until it starts to burn, If that keeps happening to you, consider ordering pizza.

Cooking Tip

Whether you choose to steam or boil your rice, make sure you season it with salt and pepper at the very least. You could also use stock, garlic or something else to add flavor to the rice.

Chinese Fried Rice Recipe

Secret Step # 3: Cook The Rice

It's time to cook the rice. Now don't get excited, I didn't say it was time to actually fry the rice. You see, in order to cook perfect fried rice, you need to cook it twice. The first time is by either steaming or boiling and the second time is the actual frying. Let's get cooking!

Some people boil rice, others, like me, prefer to steam it. For whatever reason, I never seem to be able to boil rice without making a mess of it. If I don't stir it, the bottom burns. This means that I end up turning the rice constantly which, I'm told by many chefs, is not something you want to do when cooking rice.

Cook Fried Rice Like A Chef

Secret Step # 4: Age The Rice

Chef David swears that this is the most important step in making perfect fried rice. He claims that the rice needs to be at least 2-3 days old before you fry it or it will come out clumpy and mushy. So, after you have cooked your rice by either steaming or boiling, allow it to cool before covering it and storing it in the fridge for a few days.


How To Make Perfect Chinese Fried Rice

Secret Step # 5: Massage The Rice

When chef David told me to massage the pre-cooked rice, I have to admit that I thought he was pulling my leg but he was deadly serious. After you have let the rice age for 2-3 days to allow it to dry out a little, you have to massage it between your fingers. This is so that the rice clumps break up into the individual grains. This will assist in making sure that the rice all cooks evenly.

How To Fry Rice

Secret Step # 7: Fry the rice.

Many people insist that you have to use a wok in order to cook perfect fried rice but I prefer to use a saucepan (I am probably using the wok wrong.) To perfectly fry rice, heat a little oil in the pan, preferably peanut oil. Peanut oil is often used in Asian cooking because, not only does it have an extremely high smoke point (meaning that the oil can be heated to extremely high temperatures without burning), but also because it adds a delicious flavor to the rice.

Make sure that the bottom of the pan is evenly coated with pre-heated oil by swirling the oil around. Now add the pre-cooked, hand massaged rice. Using a wooden spoon, move the rice around the pan to make sure that every grain gets an even coating of the cooking oil.

Stir in the soy sauce, oyster sauce or other flavors you desire. Note: Chef David says that, traditionally, Chinese people do not add soy sauce.

Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the rice is heated through.

You just made yourself some perfect fried rice just like a Chinese chef!

Did You Like This Recipe?

4.5 out of 5 stars from 8 ratings of How To Cook Perfect Fried Rice

Fried Rice Tutorial Video

© 2014 Dale Anderson


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    • GetitScene profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Anderson 

      3 weeks ago from The High Seas

      I have never even heard of Volcano Rice so I shall go on the look for it now.

    • lizmalay profile image


      3 weeks ago from USA

      Have you tried the volcano rice? It's similar to the brown rice. It needs to cook longer, and it's healthier.

    • GetitScene profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Anderson 

      4 weeks ago from The High Seas

      I like to try different types of rice at home. Tried black rice, want to try it again and see what I can make with it.

    • lizmalay profile image


      4 weeks ago from USA

      I'm not surprised to hear that. You can add almost any type of protein and vegetables in the fried rice. I have tried a few here but, you know what, I still prefer to cook at home so I can choose what I want to have in it. I guess I'm just spoiled by how easy to cook fried rice!

    • GetitScene profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Anderson 

      4 weeks ago from The High Seas

      We found a Chinese restuarant near our home in Mesa, Arizona and their fried rice is beyond understanding. it's got pork, shrimp and chicken in it and even their smallest box of it takes my wife and I several meals to get through it. I don't know how anyone eats the rice AND something else because it is incredibly filing just on it's own.

    • lizmalay profile image


      5 weeks ago from USA

      That's great, Dale. I'm glad to hear that your wife also enjoyed it. To me, fried rice is convenient as comfort food. You can add anything you want and make it unique and delicious. My husband never had fried rice before he came to visit Malaysia. I introduced it to him. Now, he loves fried rice every time I cooked for us :)

    • GetitScene profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Anderson 

      5 weeks ago from The High Seas

      Liza my wife and I often just eat friend rice with nothing else as a meal. it gets us some odd looks from our friends sometimes but, after they try it for themselves, they completely understand why we love it so much.

    • lizmalay profile image


      5 weeks ago from USA

      Hi Dale, growing up in Malaysia, I've eaten nasi goreng or fried rice all the time. Fried rice is one of my favorites comfort food to cook for dinner. Now that I have moved to the US, I still cook it for a family dinner. I don't think I can live without cooking this versatile food. Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm for my favorite food :)

    • GetitScene profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Anderson 

      6 months ago from The High Seas

      I love it when people share recipes, their favorite foods or what to eat at their favorite eateries. They light up! There's something about talking about food that makes people happy and I enjoy seeing that. It is a fantastic way of bringing people together.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      6 months ago from North Central Florida

      Great instructions ...I learned to make some delicious fried rice when I lived in Japan for 4 years. Many of my Japanese friends were eager to share recipes and I was thrilled to be on the receiving end of their generosity.. Thank you for sharing. Pinning to my ''good things to eat'' board Angels are on the way ps

    • Guckenberger profile image

      Alexander James Guckenberger 

      11 months ago from Maryland, United States of America

      I love fried rice.

    • GetitScene profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Anderson 

      21 months ago from The High Seas

      My wife used to be a TERRIBLE cook but she has gotten much better over the years. Thankfully!

    • profile image


      21 months ago

      A neat read here. Sounds like your wife and I could be good friends. Years ago one particularly interesting meal caused my husband to decide to order pizza. Rice can be tricky. Thanks for the method and tips.

    • GetitScene profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Anderson 

      5 years ago from The High Seas

      Try it and tell me how it worked out. I just made some more last night and it was fantastic! Thanks for visiting.

    • Ahdilarum profile image


      5 years ago

      Good tips and looks tasty one, try once later..

    • GetitScene profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Anderson 

      5 years ago from The High Seas

      I was always sleptical of the rice cooker...but every one that I have owned has cooked pretty good rice I must admit.

    • weezyschannel profile image


      5 years ago from Central USA

      We bought my son one of these little rice cookers, and let me tell you, it makes the perfect rice ! I was surprised..I think we just bought him a Rival brand since he's in college. He can't cook rice right, but this did it! Just for your information!! great hub

    • GetitScene profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Anderson 

      5 years ago from The High Seas

      I promise you that this will work and you will be enjoying perfect, fried rice that you proudly made yourself. Let me know how it goes!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      5 years ago from the beautiful south

      OK. I am gonna try this but I figure I will forget the rice until it has already turned some nice colors but if I don't I will try the frying, because I love fried rice. Thanks for sharing!

    • GetitScene profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Anderson 

      5 years ago from The High Seas

      LOL! My wife sympathizes but she actually just pan cooker her first batch of flawless rice last night. She's very proud!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      5 years ago from England

      I am absolutely useless at cooking rice! in fact one time I tried the microwave version because 'its great, so simple'!! said my friend from work. yeah? so why did it explode in the micro, causing me to have three days of trying to scrape off the darn rice which had gone like concrete? haha! great advice getit, and one I will definitely take notice of! voted up! nell


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