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Shalmanese

Fried rice: frying the rice or just reheating?

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The way I've always done fried rice at home is that the rice spends a significant time alone in the pan so that it's a mixture of tender and crisp. Recently, I've been looking at fried rice recipes and most of them have you cook the rice for just 30 seconds to a minute just to warm through including Irene Kuo (Barbara Tropp says 2 - 3 minutes).

Which do you do? Do you just reheat the rice or do you try and actually get it fried?

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liuzhou   

Certainly the rice should be properly fried rather than just heated. Whether that can be done in 30 seconds to 3 minutes would depend on the temperature of the wok/oil, I guess. I certainly fry for longer than that.

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sheepish   

For my money, frying is done long enough to coat each grain with oil so the rice goes from a cold lump to warm individual grains. I don't want the rice crispy.

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Keith_W   

Fried rice should definitely be fried! Like almost anything cooked in a wok, you need a furnace. The best fried rice should have each grain of rice individual, rather than clumped - and each grain should have a slight char. I know most people advocate using day old rice in the fridge, but my preferred method is to toast the uncooked rice with a bit of oil first - similar to tostatura with risotto. This helps keep the grains seperate when steamed, and helps the grains seperate when fried. It also helps with the "wok hei".

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naguere   

How about the fact that 'old' rice can be quite bad for you.

It is an excellent growing medium for bacteria.

Personally I go for a red hot wok, toss in the oil,

then cast the rice in to the inferno, get it well heated,

which will make it safe.

It is already cooked, but we also want the Wok-Hei as Kieth-W

describes.

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Sure it's bad if you leave it out at room temp for hours while you eat, clean the kitchen, have a drink, etc. So is anything else. But if you get it chilled and into the fridge quickly using day-old cooked rice is no big deal.

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Jaymes   

I fry it, too. And somewhere along the way (don't remember exactly where; I lived in both the Philippines and Hong Kong), I was taught to stir in a beaten egg right before it's time to plate it up. I definitely have to stir it and fry it long enough to get that egg to coat everything and cook.

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I also fry and find it works best with yesterday's rice. Lately I've been dicing up some Chinese bacon and rendering it in the wok, then frying the rice in bacon fat with the bacon bits.

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Hassouni   

Yeah, I definitely like to fry it, let the rice "sear" a bit, as it were

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sheetz   

I've been to many banquets where the fried rice is more tossed than fried. I don't know if that's a function of having to prepare a large amount of fried rice at one time or rather a desire to have a more "clean" tasting rice.

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I'm in the frying rather than heating camp here. The best version of fried rice ever was at Ding Tai Feng in Taipei: each grain was given a wisp of egg coating (sort of like what Jaymes mentioned) so that every bit of rice had a range of texture and flavor. The barest amount of oil was used, and tiny pink shrimp dotted the landscape. It was a revelation.

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janeer   

I quickly fry cold, dry rice over very high hieat in a tiny amount of oil. It does not stick. Sometimes I stir in beaten egg at the end, sometimes not.

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Jaymes   

Sometimes I stir in beaten egg at the end, sometimes not.

I'm pretty sure it's a regional thing. But I've forgotten which region.

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Interestinly, just made it yesterday for husband's lunch. Had to pull out a book to re-enforce "how to". Was told to fry the cooked rice, then add separately scrambled egg and top with green onion. Worked quite well.

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kayb   

I swear by Mark Bittman's fried rice recipe/technique in How To Cook Everything. It's for the most part a reheat, but you do fry long enough you get some crispy bits.

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Jaymes   

Interestinly, just made it yesterday for husband's lunch. Had to pull out a book to re-enforce "how to". Was told to fry the cooked rice, then add separately scrambled egg and top with green onion. Worked quite well.

Yes. I usually do both - add strips of scrambled egg 'omlet' and the beaten egg at the penultimate moment. Probably don't need to do both, but I do. Just habit I guess.

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